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Rick Perry`s Texas Miracle (Americans Need Not Apply)
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September 23, 2011, 12:31 AM
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Steve Camarota has done a very useful piece of research for the Center for Immigration Studies:
Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) has pointed to job growth in Texas during the current economic downturn as one of his main accomplishments. But analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) data collected by the Census Bureau show that immigrants (legal and illegal) have been the primary beneficiaries of this growth since 2007, not native-born workers. This is true even though the native-born accounted for the vast majority of growth in the working-age population (age 16 to 65) in Texas. Thus, they should have received the lion’s share of the increase in employment. As a result, the share of working-age natives in Texas holding a job has declined in a manner very similar to the nation as a whole. 
Among the findings: 
Of jobs created in Texas since 2007, 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrant workers (legal and illegal).  
In terms of numbers, between the second quarter of 2007, right before the recession began, and the second quarter of 2011, total employment in Texas increased by 279,000. Of this, 225,000 jobs went to immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the United States in 2007 or later.  
Of newly arrived immigrants who took a job in Texas, 93 percent were not U.S. citizens. Thus government data show that more than three-fourths of net job growth in Texas were taken by newly arrived non-citizens (legal and illegal).  
The large share of job growth that went to immigrants is surprising because the native-born accounted for 69 percent of the growth in Texas’ working-age population (16 to 65). Thus, even though natives made up most of the growth in potential workers, most of the job growth went to immigrants.  
The share of working-age natives holding a job in Texas declined significantly, from 71 percent in 2007 to 67 percent in 2011. This decline is very similar to the decline for natives in the United States as a whole and is an indication that the situation for native-born workers in Texas is very similar to the overall situation in the country despite the state’s job growth. 
Of newly arrived immigrants who took jobs in Texas since 2007, we estimate that 50 percent (113,000) were illegal immigrants. Thus, about 40 percent of all the job growth in Texas since 2007 went to newly arrived illegal immigrants and 40 percent went to newly arrived legal immigrants.

 

A commenter in the one newspaper that has covered this study argues:

In reading the study, they came up with 2 sets of findings depending on how they compared the data: gross vs net showed 29% immigrant growth taking 81% of the new jobs and a net vs net comparison showed 31% immigrant growth taking 54% of the new jobs. The second finding is the more valid comparison (as noted above) but only the first is being reported in most of the media reports and headlines. 
An interesting part of their conclusion: 
"This analysis shows that job growth was significant in Texas. But, depending on how one calculates the impact of immigration, between 2007, before the recession began, and 2011 more than three-quarters or more than half of that growth went to immigrants. This is the case even though the native-born accounted for more than two-thirds of the growth in the working-age population. Some may argue that it was because so many immigrants arrived in Texas that there was job growth in the state. But if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, the numbers in Texas would be expected to look very different. The unemployment rate and the employment rate show a dramatic deterioration in the Texas for the native-born that was similar to the rest of the country. Moreover, if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, why have states that received so many new immigrants done so poorly in recent years? (See Table 2.) For example, unemployment in the top-10 immigrant-receiving states in 2011 averaged 8.7 percent, compared to 8.1 percent in the other 40 states. Moreover, unemployment is 7.2 percent on average in the 10 states where the fewest immigrants arrived since 2007. These figures do not settle the debate over the economics of immigration. What they do show is that high immigration can go hand in hand with very negative labor market outcomes for the native-born. And conversely the native-born can do relatively well in areas of lower immigration."


In a 2006 VDARE.com article, I explained why the then-current boom in Las Vegas wasn`t doing American workers much good:
What [economist David] Card doesn`t grasp is that illegal immigration is denying Americans the traditional wage premium for undergoing the pain of moving to a boomtown.{NYT writer Roger] Lowenstein can`t see it either, as he writes: "Immigrants do help the economy; they are fuel for growth cities like Las Vegas …"
Imagine you are an American blue-collar worker in Cleveland, making $10 per hour. You know the local economy is stagnant, so you`re thinking about relocating to fast-growing Las Vegas. But your mom would miss you; and you`re not a teenager anymore so you don`t make new friends as fast as you once did; and you really like the wooded Ohio countryside you grew up around and the fall colors and the deer hunting; and there`s this girl that maybe you could get serious about, but her whole family is in Cleveland and she`d never leave. 
So, you decide, you`ll leave home behind if you can make 50 percent more in Las Vegas, adjusted for cost of living. That seems fair. 
But, then you look through the Las Vegas want ads and discover you`d be lucky to make 10 or 20 percent more because the town is full of illegal aliens. They`re moving from another country, so it`s not much skin off their nose to move to Las Vegas rather than some place slower-growing. 
Well, forget that, you say. I`ll stay in Cleveland. 
Unfortunately, too many economists forget that too. They can`t—or won`t—put themselves in other people`s shoes and see how the world really works. 
That doesn`t seem to hurt them professionally. But it can hurt America.