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American Worker Displacement Index
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February 04, 2005, 04:00 AM
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Non-farm payrolls grew 146,000 in January, to 132.6 million jobs. Although the gain was less than what economists had expected - 189,000 was the consensus forecast - it was enough to finally breach the February 2001 pre-recession peak. More importantly for the Bush Administration, the January payroll increase enabled the President to avoid the stigma of being the first chief executive since Herbert Hoover to preside over net job losses. Job growth during Bush`s first term totaled 119,000, a paltry 0.1 percent gain over four years.

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.

Hispanic employment fell by 54,000, or by 0.3 percent, in January, while non-Hispanic employment rose by 139,000 positions, a gain of 0.1 percent. These are seasonally adjusted numbers from the Household Survey, a separate employment survey that asks respondents their race and ethnicity as well as their work history.

Interestingly, the raw (unadjusted) data show both Hispanics and non-Hispanics lost ground in January, with Hispanic employment falling by 2.2 percent and non-Hispanic employment falling 1.0 percent.

One wonders if the "seasonal adjustment" factor is different for Hispanics and non-Hispanics. Is January`s Hispanic job loss real, or does the seasonal adjustment factor make things look worse than they really are? There are many stories of major Mexican migrations south at year end.

These are subjects for future research.

In any event, January`s results are an anomaly. From the start of the Bush Administration in January 2001 through January 2005:

  • Hispanic employment rose by 2,085,000, or 12.9%

 

  • non-Hispanic employment rose by 385,000 million, or 0.3 percent

 

  • The ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic employment growth was 43.0 (12.9/0.3)

In other words, since January 2001 immigrant employment has grown 43-times faster than native employment. Thus the VDARE.COM American Worker Displacement Index [VDAWDI] in January 2005 was 43.0, down from 65.7 in December.

For further details, see http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.