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National Data | July Jobs: Americans Are the Biggest—and Only—Losers. Moratorium Now!
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August 06, 2010, 05:00 AM
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The U.S. may be headed for a double-dip recession. Private employers added 71,000 jobs in July. That`s above June`s 31,000 figure, but short of the consensus forecast that 90,000 private sector jobs would be added in July.

Over all, the economy lost 131,000 jobs in July—more than expected. But many of those losses came as federal Census Bureau workers left their temporary posts.

The government also sharply revised the overall June number, saying the economy lost 221,000 jobs instead of 125,000.

The "other" labor survey, of households rather than businesses, was even more downbeat. It reported a July job loss of 159,000.

The carnage prompted Allen Sinai, chief global economist at Decision Economics, to hypothesize that "Businesses just don`t want to hire. Workers are too costly and it`s very easy to substitute technology for labor." [Jobs Report Shows Private Sector Still Wary of Hiring, by Motoko Rich, New York Times, August 6, 2010]

Well, yes, some of the employment malaise is surely the result of computers, equipment, and other business capital displacing labor in the workplace.

But a more insidious kind of substitution,—low wage foreign labor for native workers—is also apparent, but never mentioned by Establishment economists. Here are the relevant data points for the month:

  • Total July employment: down 159,000  (-0.11 percent)

  • Hispanic employment: up 133,000 (+0.67 percent)

  • Non-Hispanic employment: down 292,000 (-0.24 percent)

While the national unemployment rate remained unchanged, at 9.5 percent, foreign-born labor, as proxied by Hispanic workers, managed to buck the trend:

Unemployment rates (%)

June 2010

July 2010

Change,

June-July

White

8.6

8.6

0.0

Black

15.4

15.6

+0.2

Asian

7.7

8.2

+0.5

Hispanic

12.4

12.1

-0.3

BLS figures, PDF,Summary Table A.

As a result, our measure of native labor displacement, the VDARE.COM American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI), rose a hefty 1 percent in July, to a record 126.8:

VDAWDI is calculated like this:

  • For every 100.0 Hispanics employed in January 2001 there were 124.0 in July 2010

  • For every 100.0 non-Hispanics employed in January 2001 there were 97.8 in July 2010

  • July`s VDAWDI equals 126.8 (=100 X 124.0/97.8)

Of course, Hispanic employment is an imperfect proxy for our primary interest: foreign-born employment and its implications for job prospects of native-born workers.

In recent months, the jobs report has presented data on foreign- and native-born workers, their working-age populations, employment, unemployment rates, etc.

The data are not seasonally adjusted, making month to month comparisons tricky. But we can compare this July with last July:

Employment Status by Nativity, July 2009-July 2010

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

July-09

July-10

Change

% Change

 

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

35,216

36,207

991

2.8%

Civilian labor force

24,289

24,586

297

1.2%

Employed

21,856

22,249

393

1.8%

Unemployed

2,433

2,337

-96

-3.9%

   Unemployment rate (%)

10.0

9.5

-0.5

-5.0%

Not in labor force

10,926

11,621

695

6.4%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

200,654

201,683

1,029

0.5%

Civilian labor force

131,966

130,684

-1,282

-1.0%

Employed

119,199

117,884

-1,315

-1.1%

Unemployed

12,767

12,800

33

0.3%

   Unemployment rate (%)

9.7

9.8

0.1

1.0%

Not in labor force

68,688

70,999

2,311

3.4%

Data source: BLS, "The Employment Situation—July 2010," August 6, 2010. Table A-7. PDF

In other words, over the past 12 months:

  • Foreign-born employment rose; native-born employment fell.
  • The foreign-born unemployment rate fell; the native-born rate rose.
  • The foreign-born population of working age grew more than five-times faster than the corresponding native-born population.

Bottom line: The sharp bifurcation between foreign and native-born employment trends hinted at in the monthly figures is even more evident—and explicit—in the longer term.

Immigrants are displacing native-born Americans.

The only answer: an  immigration moratoriumnow.

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