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Immigrant Employment Hits October Wall—But So Does Employment For Americans
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November 07, 2008, 11:45 PM
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U.S. unemployment bolted to a 14-year high in October, as another 240,000 payroll jobs were cut—stark evidence that the economy is in a recession. The “other” employment survey, of households rather than business establishments,[PDF] confirmed this with an even steeper decline of 297,000 positions.

The employment market is much weaker than economists expected. They were forecasting the unemployment rate to climb to 6.3 percent in October and for payrolls to fall by around 200,000.

But October was one of those rare months in which Hispanic job growth (which we use as a proxy for immigrant job growth) lagged that of non-Hispanics. Here is the job action by ethnic group:

  • Total: -297,000 (-0.20 percent)
  • Hispanic: -243,000 (-1.18 percent)
  • Non-Hispanic -54,000 (-0.04 percent)

The unemployment rate for Hispanics rose a full percentage point, to 8.8 percent in October. By comparison, white unemployment rose by half a percentage point, to 5.9 percent, and Blacks enjoyed a 0.3 percentage point reduction, to 11.1 percent.

The ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic job growth since the start of the George W. Bush era, expressed as an index that we call VDAWDI (the VDARE.COM American Worker Displacement Index), fell by 1.14 percent in October. There have been only two months since Mr. Bush took office in which non-Hispanics managed to displace Hispanics as vigorously. Unfortunately, October’s reversal occurred because a sinking economy was displacing both groups – albeit non-Hispanics at a lower rate.

Hispanic job losses are undoubtedly concentrated in the illegal alien labor force, reflecting both the shrinking of opportunities and the expansion of federal enforcement efforts. The long-run displacement of American workers is still quite intact, as seen in the following graphic (click to enlarge):

Immigrant Employment Hits October Wall—But So Does Employment For Americans

From January 2001 through this October Hispanic employment increased by 4,170,000, or 25.9 percent, while non-Hispanic employment grew by 3,012,000, or 2.5 percent.

Bottom line: Hispanic (=immigrant) employment has grown more than 10-times as rapidly as non-Hispanic employment during the Bush years. Immigrants took almost half of all new jobs created under Bush.