Some months ago, I noted in VDARE.COM that Hispanic employment, while increasing at the expense of native-born Americans, was not nearly keeping pace with Hispanic population growth.
Last Friday's dismal job numbers for February confirm the trend. Hispanic employment rose by 1,000 from January, while the share of adult Hispanics who are employed declined to 62.0% from 62.2%.
Belatedly, my job story has been echoed by an Establishment research organization. (Nyah nyah!)
The recent, much-hyped labor market study by the Pew Hispanic Center, ["Latino Labor Report, 2003" shows that between the fourth quarters of 2002 and 2003:
The mainline media was exuberant: "Latinos landed a disproportionate share of new jobs created last year…." To Harry Holzer, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University, the hiring binge was evidence that employers prefer "more appreciative and less demanding" immigrants.
[Recent Latino immigrants won majority of new jobs, By Anastasia Ustinova, Knight Ridder Newspapers ]
"It is a form of discrimination, in a way, in favor of foreign-born workers," opines Dr. Holzer, described in news reports as an expert in "ethnicity and low-wage work."
Pro-Hispanic discrimination? Look at the Pew report again, Dr. Holzer. Employers are hiring Latinos because they come cheap. Latino wages declined last year because the supply of unskilled Latino labor exceeded the demand. From 2002-Q4 to 2003-Q4:
Latino immigrants are getting jobs. In the process, however, they are displacing native-born Americans—and first and second generation Hispanics, many of whom are too discouraged to remain in the labor force.
As a result, the overall labor force participation rate for Hispanics fell in 2003 despite the increase in Hispanic employment.
When people leave the labor force they are no longer counted as unemployed. Had these labor force leavers been accounted for, overall Hispanic unemployment would double – to 14.3% from the official 7.1% rate reported for 2003-Q4. On this basis unemployment remained unchanged for Hispanics in the last six months of 2003 while declining for all other ethnic groups.
The moral: mass immigration hurts native-born workers—and immigrant workers too.
We are witnessing a jobs crunch. This economic recovery is already producing sub-par employment growth. (I'll be writing about this soon.) Immigration is making things tougher for American workers.
Yet President Bush's response, in an election year, is to propose unlimited importation of "temporary" workers.
[Number fans click here for tables.]
Edwin S. Rubenstein (email him) is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.