The Mainstream Media consensus: another ho-hum, albeit mildly disappointing report.
But the really bad employment news last month wasn’t in the headline numbers, but in the “other” employment survey, of households rather than businesses.
Household survey employment fell by 316,000 in April – the largest monthly job bleed since a whopping 445,000 loss in June 2011. April was also one of those rare months when immigrants bore the entire brunt of a job decline:
The bottom line: the long term trend of immigrants displacing natives in the labor force is intact. Native-born American workers have lost ground to their foreign-born immigrant competitors throughout the Obama years. We highlight this trend in our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI) graphic:
Native-born American employment growth is represented by the black line, immigrant employment growth is in pink, and NVAWDI—the ratio of immigrant to native-born job growth—is in yellow. The index starts at 100.0 in January 2009 for both immigrants and native-born Americans, and tracks their employment growth since then.
From January 2009 through April 2016:
The foreign-born share of total U.S. employment has risen steadily, albeit erratically, throughout the Obama years:
In February 2009, President Obama’s first full month in office, 14.972% of all persons working in the U.S. were foreign-born. In April 2016 the foreign-born share was 16.853%. While that is down from the Obama-era record (17.077%, reached only last month) it still ranks 11th highest among the 88 months of Mr. Obama’s Administration.
The data BLS publishes on native-born and immigrant employment are not seasonally adjusted. For this reason, comparisons with April of prior years may be more indicative of the real trend underlying the foreign-born share of total employment.
If that is indeed the case, then April 2016 marked a new record for the immigrants displacing natives in the workforce.
April’s immigrant employment share was 1.382 percentage points above the level recorded in April 2009, the first April of Mr. Obama’s administration. With total employment now at 151 million, this implies that Obama-era immigration may have pushed as many as 2.09 million native-born Americans onto the unemployment rolls since his first April seven years ago.
A detailed snapshot of American worker displacement over the past year is seen in the “Employment Status of the civilian population by nativity” table published in the monthly BLS report:
|Employment Status by Nativity, April 2015-April 2016|
|(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)|
|Foreign born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||26,103||26,596||493||1.9%|
|Participation rate (%)||65.3%||65.2%||-0.1%||-0.2%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||4.9%||4.3%||-0.6%||-12.2%|
|Not in labor force||13,895||14,200||305||2.2%|
|Native born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||130,451||131,891||1,440||1.1%|
|Participation rate (%)||62.0%||62.2%||-0.2%||-0.3%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||5.1%||4.8%||-0.3%||-5.9%|
|Not in labor force||79,817||80,281||464||0.6%|
|Source: BLS, The Employment Situation - April 2016, Table A-7, May 6, 2016.|
By comparison, the prior 12 months (March 2015 to March 2016) saw a 3-to-1 population growth rate “advantage” for immigrants.
Could this signal the beginning of a “Trump effect”—immigrants staying away rather than risking deportation? Stay tuned.