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National Data | March Employment Data Shows Dramatic Displacement Of American Workers
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April 02, 2005, 05:00 AM
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On Friday, the Household Survey of employment reported a whopping 357,000 new jobs in March.

(The Payroll Survey once again reported less growth. This systematic difference baffles Wall Street economists. We argue it reflects illegal immigration, which of course they never consider.)

The Household Survey, unlike the Payroll Survey, reports ethnicity. More than half of those new jobs created in March went to Hispanics. Hispanics account for just 13.1% of total employment—but they received 60% of the new jobs.

The Hispanic unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percent in March. White unemployment fell by 0.2 percent.

Because so many Hispanics are immigrants and the children of immigrants, Hispanic employment is the best proxy we have for the impact of immigration on employment. The ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic employment growth is a strong indication of how immigrants have fared relative to native-born workers in a particular month.

In this case, an even more dramatic story lies behind the numbers. White unemployment fell in part because a smaller fraction of the white population was in the labor force, i.e., either working or looking for work, in March.

Hispanic unemployment rates fell despite the fact that a larger share of the Hispanic population was in the labor force that month.

Implication: White workers are increasingly discouraged, and are likely being displaced by Hispanic workers.

March is an extreme case. Rarely have the job experiences of Hispanics and non-Hispanics departed so radically.

But the March data reflects a pattern that has prevailed throughout the Bush Administration. We track it with the VDARE.COM American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI).

From the start of the Bush Administration in January 2001 through March 2005:

  • Total household employment rose 2,730,000, or 2.0 percent

 

  • Hispanic employment rose by 2,312,000, or by 14.3 percent

 

  • Non-Hispanic employment rose by 416,000, or by 0.3 percent

The graph demonstrates the situation starkly. The black line is Hispanic job growth; pink is non-Hispanic; and yellow the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic (VDAWDI.)

VDAWDI—the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic job indexes—rose to 114.0 (=114.3/100.3) in March, up from a revised 112.8 in February.  

A week ago, the Pew Hispanic Center reported that the illegal immigrant presence has increased an astonishing 23 per cent since George W. Bush assumed office.

I have earlier documented the simultaneous drop in the enforcement of the employer sanctions legislated in 1986 to discourage illegal immigration.

Maybe Bush is trying to tell us something?

Edwin S. Rubenstein (email him) is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.