National Data | July Jobs— “Trump Effect” Back, American Worker Displacement, Immigrant Workforce Growth Both Stall


In the months immediately after Donald Trump’s election, immigrant displacement of American workers and growth of the foreign-born workforce (including illegals) seemed to be reversing so consistently as to amount to a “Trump Effect.” We were surprised when April’s job data suddenly undid all the gains. We wondered if this was statistical noise or a seasonal artifact that would soon reverse. Apparently so. Subsequently the Trump Effect has slowly reasserted itself and July jobs report, released on Friday, shows that it has unambiguously returned.

  • The first good news: the immigrant population of working age, while still increasing, is far below the estimated annual legal immigrant inflow.

July’s ’s figure of 141,000  is less than one-third the corresponding figure for June, and one-tenth the year-over-year inflows reported for the months prior to the 2016 election, when an illegal alien surge was clearly underway:

 

Change in Foreign-born population

from same month prior year

(age 16+; in 1,000s; BLS data)

July 2016 1,176
Aug. 2016 1,478
Sept. 2016 1,471
Oct. 2016 1,711
Nov. 2016 1,545
Dec. 2016 886
Jan. 2017 351
Feb. 2017 177
Mar. 2017 56
Apr. 2017 770
May 2017 697
June 2017 497
July 2017 141

 

There may be seasonal factors at work, so it is particularly heartening that July 2017’s 141,000 gain is a fraction of the 1.176 million gain reported for July 2016.

  • More good news: the foreign-born share of total employment fell slightly in July, to 17.11%, from 17.22% in June.

While welcome, this is not necessarily much to celebrate, as June was a month of record displacement. In fact, the foreign-born share of employment in July 2017 was higher than in any July since we have been tracking this statistic (2009.) In only six months since January 2009 have immigrants held a larger share of jobs than in July. So, while the Trump Effect seems to be taking hold, the Obama Effect—immigrant displacement of American workers increased relentlessly during his term in office—is far from erased.

MSM coverage focused on the fact that jobs are being created at rates that keep unemployment in the low 4 percent range. The difference between the 345,000 employment gain reported by the Household Survey and the 209,000 reported by the more widely-cited survey of employers, may well reflect illegals entering the labor force—employees that employers are loath to acknowledge when surveyed.

Average wage gains accelerated to 0.3% over May, according to the Employer Survey. As usual, the MSM views this strong uptick as a sign of an imminent labor shortage—requiring more immigration, of course.

Our take: a growing underground economy, manned mainly by illegals in Sanctuary Cities, is keeping wage gains lower than the official wage stat indicates.

That is great for Wall Street, great for employers, but bad for the average Trump voter. (If Jeff Sessions has his way, this will soon pass.)

Nevertheless, July was one of those rare months in which native-born Americans gained jobs, and immigrants lost jobs. In July:

  • Total employment rose 345,000, up by 0.23%
  • Native-born American employment rose 441,000, up by 0.35%
  • Foreign-born immigrant employment fell 96,000, down 0.36%

During the 96 months of Barack Obama’s tenure, immigrant employment rose 4.2 times faster than native-born American employment—19.8% versus 4.7%.

During Trump’s first six months immigrant employment rose by 287,000 – an 1.11% increase, while native-born gained 1,145,000 jobs—an increase of 0.91%. So while we have not yet decisively reversed the long-term Obama-Era trend, the first six months of Trump has moved us much closer to that goal.

Native-born American workers lost ground to their foreign-born competitors throughout the Obama years, and this trend accelerated significantly in the months leading up to the election. This is brought out in our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI) graphic:

OBAMA'S LEGACY: IMMIGRANT VS. AMERICAN EMPLOYMENT GROWTH

January 2009 though July 2017

(Monthly employment index: Jan. 2009=100)

*VDARE.COM AMERICAN WORKER DISPLACEMENT INDEX
Source: BLS Household Employment Survey; VDARE.com

Source: BLS Household Employment Survey; VDARE.com

Native-born American employment growth is represented by the black line, immigrant employment growth is in pink, and NVAWDI—the ratio of immigrant to native-born American job growth—is in yellow.

The index starts at 100.0 in January 2009 for both immigrants and native-born Americans, and tracks their employment growth since then.

From January 2009 through July 2017:

  • Immigrant employment rose by 4.627 million, or by 21.4%. The immigrant employment index rose from 100.0 to 121.4.
  • Native-born American employment rose by 6.665 million, up by 5.5%. The native-born American employment index rose from 100.0 to 105.5.
  • NVDAWDI (the ratio of immigrant to native-born employment growth indexes) rose from 100.0 to 115.0(100X (121.4/105.5))

The foreign-born share of total U.S. employment rose steadily, albeit erratically, throughout the Obama years. It fell sharply in the months after the election, but roared back to Obama-era levels in the spring:

In February 2009, Barack Obama’s first full month in office, 14.97% of all persons working in the U.S. were foreign-born. In his last full month, December 2016, 17.05% of workers were foreign-born. This implies that Obama-era immigration pushed as many as 3.16 million native-born Americans onto the unemployment rolls.

The immigrant share of employment in July (17.11%) was 0.06 percentage points above the share in December. This implies that resistance to Trump’s immigration agenda may have put as many as 9,200 native-born Americans out of work.

In contrast, by early April, the mere threat of a Trump immigration crackdown appeared, by our estimates, to have put 168,000 native-born American workers back to work. This was actually quite plausible, given the early hysteria about Trump in the MSM. Some immigrants, legal and illegal, may have decided to leave. Others, above all illegals, may have decided not to come after all.

A detailed snapshot of American worker displacement over the past year is available in the Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Nativity table published in the monthly BLS Report. [PDF]

 

Employment Status by Nativity, July 2016-July 2017
(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)
  Jul-16 Jul-17 Change % Change
  Foreign born, 16 years and older
Civilian population 41,311 41,452 141 0.34%
Civilian labor force 27,132 27,536 404 1.49%
  Participation rate (%) 65.7 66.4 0.7 pts. 1.07%
Employed 25,984 26,438 454 1.75%
Employment/population % 62.9 63.8 0.9 pts. 1.43%
Unemployed 1,149 1,098 -51 -4.44%
Unemployment rate (%) 4.2 4.0 -0.2 pts. -4.76%
Not in labor force 14,178 13,916 -262 -1.85%
Native born, 16 years and older
Civilian population 212,310 213,699 1,389 0.65%
Civilian labor force 133,572 134,375 803 0.60%
  Participation rate (%) 62.9 62.9 0.0 pts. 0.00%
Employed 126,453 128,033 1,580 1.25%
Employment/population % 59.6 59.9 0.3 pts. 0.50%
Unemployed 7,119 6,342 -777 -10.91%
Unemployment rate (%) 5.3 4.7 -0.6 pts. -11.32%
Not in labor force 78,737 79,324 587 0.75%
Source: BLS, The Employment Situation- July 2017, Table A-7, August 4, 2017.
PDF

 

Over the last 12 months (July 2016 to July 2017):

  • The foreign-born labor force grew 2.5-times faster than the native-born American labor force: 1.49% versus 0.60%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS.
  • Immigrant employment rose 1.4-times faster than native-born employment: 1.75% versus 1.25%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS.
  • The labor-force participation rate (LPR), a sign of worker confidence, rose by 0.7 points for immigrants and was unchanged for native-born Americans. At 66.4%, the immigrant LPR in June was considerably above the native-born American rate (62.9%.) ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The number of unemployed native-born Americans fell by 777,000—down 10.9%; the number of unemployed immigrants fell 262,000—down 1.9%. ADVANTAGE AMERICANS, although much of this “advantage” may be due to older natives retiring, or younger, discouraged, natives leaving the labor force from lack of suitable job opportunities.

July’s results indicate the Trump effect really is alive. But it needs help.

Hopefully the RAISE legislation, introduced in August, will be that hope—both when it is enacted, and by sending a message immediately in the form of the Left’s deranged reaction.