Employers added 156,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate rose modestly, from 4.6% to 4.7%. Of course, even that latter apparent negative is construed by many in the MSM as a positive, on the theory that it reflects more people looking for jobs—people who had previously been too discouraged to even look for work. [See Job Growth Continues Slow Upward Trend With 156K New Jobs, by Connor D. Wolf, InsideSources.com, January 6, 2017]
But the “other” employment survey, of households rather than employers, reported a gain of only 63,000 jobs in December – less than half the gain reported by employers.
Our analysis indicates that December was one of those rare months in which all the job gains accrued to persons born in the U.S.
The Household Survey now also reports worker immigrant status (although not legal status). This is brought out 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 American 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 December 2016:
In many unskilled occupations the gap is larger, owing to the disproportionate tendency for immigrant workers to displace Native-born Americans there.
The key variable in the displacement story: the foreign-born share of total U.S. employment. This has risen steadily, albeit erratically, throughout the Obama years:
In February 2009, Barack Obama’s first full month in office, 14.972% of all persons working in the U.S. were foreign-born. In December 2016 17.050% of workers were foreign-born—fifth highest among the 96 months of the Obama Era.
The Obama Era high was set in August 2016, when 17.216% of persons working in this country were immigrants.
Eight of the 10 worst months for native-born American workers during the Obama years, measured by the share of jobs held by immigrants, have occurred in 2016.
The foreign-born share of total employment this December was 2.078 percentage points above the level recorded in February 2009. With total employment now at 152.1 million, this implies that Obama-era immigration may have pushed as many as 3.16 million native-born Americans onto the unemployment rolls.
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. [PDF]
|Employment Status by Nativity, Dec. 2015-Dec. 2016|
|(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)|
|Foreign born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||26,681||27,062||381||1.4%|
|Participation rate (%)||65.5||65.0||-0.5%pts.||-0.8%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||4.7||4.4||-0.3%pts.||-6.4%|
|Not in labor force||14,056||14,561||505||3.6%|
|Native born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||130,564||131,906||1,342||1.0%|
|Participation rate (%)||61.8||61.9||0.1%pts.||0.2%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||4.8||4.5||-0.3%pts.||-6.3%|
|Not in labor force||80,635||81,213||578||0.7%|
|Source: BLS, The Employment Situation -December 2016, Table A-7, January 6, 2017.|
Over the last 12 months (December 2015 to December 2016):
Once again, the population numbers give us pause. This table shows that the working-age immigrant population grew by 886,000 (2.2%) over the past 12 months, while the comparable Native-Born American population rose by only 0.9%.
This trend portends an ever-increasing immigrant (legal and illegal) share of total U.S. employment—dampening job and wage growth for native-born American workers, especially those unskilled workers who compete directly with immigrants in the labor market.
But this was BT (Before Trump). We expect better from President Trump.