National Data | April Jobs: Immigrants Gain Jobs Three Times Faster Than Americans Since Last April
May 04, 2013, 03:25 AM
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The economy created 165,000 jobs in April, a smidgen above the consensus estimate but not nearly enough to shake the view that a spring/summer slowdown lurks. Economists say the double whammy of higher payroll taxes and lower federal and state spending create insuperable obstacles to economic growth.

Diana Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial in Chicago, agrees:

What’s the biggest drag on the economy? The government. If the government simply did no harm, we could be at escape velocity.  [U.S. Spending Cuts Seen as Key in Slowing Growth, By Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times, May 2, 2013]

Ms. Swonk is right: government is the problem. But like most mainstream economists, and all Main Stream Media commentary, she is oblivious to the harm done by federal immigration policy.

About 90,000 legal immigrants are allowed into the country every month. This means that more than half last month’s job gain is needed just to absorb new legal entrants.

The “other” employment survey, of households rather than businesses, reported a fairly robust job gain of 293,000. Our analysis finds that, for the second straight month, native-born Americans enjoyed all the job gains while the number of foreign-born employed declined.

            In April:

  • Total employment rose by 293,000, or by 0.20%
  • Native-born employment rose by 317,000, or by 0.26%
  • Foreign-born employment fell by 24,000, or by -0.10%

The return of illegal immigrants to Mexico in a U.S. weak job market could explain some of the foreign-born employment slippage.

It’s also a fact that, for whatever reason, immigrants have lost ground relative to the native-born in each of the past three Aprils. Indeed, immigrants’ job performance relative to the native-born was, if anything, better in 2013 than in prior years:

 

Foreign-born Employment (millions)

 

March

April.

% chg.

2009

21.429

21.799

1.7%

2010

21.381

21.840

2.1%

2011

21.869

21.743

-0.6%

2012

22.885

22.598

-1.3%

2013

23.293

23.269

-0.1%

Foreign-born Share of Total Employment (%)

 

March

April.

% chg.

2009

15.21%

15.47%

1.7%

2010

15.39%

15.66%

1.8%

2011

15.64%

15.57%

-0.4%

2012

16.11%

15.93%

-1.1%

2013

16.26%

16.21%

-0.3%

Source: Author's analysis of BLS unseasonalized data.

 

After declining by 0.6% and 1.3% in April 2011 and 2012, respectively, foreign-born employment fell by only 0.1% this April. The same trend is evident in the share of jobs held by immigrants.

So while the immigrant penetration of the U.S. workforce was reversed last month, the magnitude of the reversal was nowhere near what had occurred in the two prior Aprils.

The overall trend is made clear in our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI).  It tracks native-born and foreign-born employment growth for every month since the start of the Obama Administration:

National Data | April Jobs: Immigrants Gain Jobs Three Times Faster Than Americans Since Last April

Native-born employment growth is the blue line, immigrant employment growth is in pink, and NVAWDI—the ratio of immigrant to native-born job growth—is yellow. To chart American worker displacement, we set both the native-born and immigrant employment indexes in January 2009 at 100.0.

Since then:

  • Foreign-born employment increased by 1.622 million, or by 7.5%. The immigrant employment index rose from 100.0 to 107.5
  • Native-born employment declined by 264,000 – or by -0.2%.The native-born employment index fell from 100.0 to 99.8.
  • NVDAWDI (the ratio of immigrant to native-born employment growth indexes) rose from 100.0 to 107.7 (100X(107.5/ 99.8)

The long-term trend of native-born worker displacement is also seen in this table, containing foreign and native-born employment data for April 2012 and 2013:

Employment Status by Nativity,

April 2012-April 2013

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

Apr-12

Apr-13

Change

% Change

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

37,215

37,842

627

1.7%

Civilian labor force

24,600

24,982

382

1.6%

     Participation rate (%)

65.7%

66.0%

0.3%

0.5%

Employed

22,619

23,292

673

3.0%

Employment/population %

60.8%

61.6%

0.8%

1.3%

Unemployed

1,852

1,690

-162

-8.7%

     Unemployment rate (%)

7.5%

6.8%

-0.7%

-9.3%

Not in labor force

12,755

12,860

105

0.8%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

205,569

207,332

1,763

0.9%

Civilian labor force

129,444

129,757

313

0.2%

     Participation rate (%)

63.0%

62.6%

-0.4%

-0.6%

Employed

119,376

120,432

1,056

0.9%

Employment/population %

58.1%

58.1%

0.0%

0.0%

Unemployed

10,068

9,325

-743

-7.4%

     Unemployment rate (%)

7.8%

7.2%

-0.6%

-7.7%

Not in labor force

76,124

77,575

1,451

1.9%

Source: BLS, The Employment Situation - April 2013, May 3, 2013. Table A-7.

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Over the past 12 months:

  • Immigrants gained 673,000 jobs, a 3.0% increase; native-born workers gained 1,056,000 positions, an 0.9% increase. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The immigrant unemployment rate fell by 0.7 percentage points – or by 9.3%; native-born unemployment fell by 0.6 percentage points – a 7.7% decline. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS.  IN ADDITION:
  • The labor force participation rate—a measure of worker confidence—increased for immigrants but declined for the native-born. At 66.0%, the immigrant participation rate in April was 3.4% points above the native rate.

Overarching everything is the inexorable rise in foreign-born population. It grew 1.7% over the past 12 months, or at nearly twice the 0.9% growth of the native-born population (which, of course, includes the children of legal immigrants—and illegal aliens’ anchor babies).

This is the dismal employment environment into which the Schumer-Rubio Amnesty/ Immigration Surge bill proposes to legalize 11-20 million illegals—and double the rate of legal immigration.