The Household Survey, which reports the nativity and ethnicity of workers and unemployed individuals, confirmed that the job market is strong. Even better, based on our estimates, February 2016 was one of those rare months when all the new jobs went to American workers:
In February 2016:
“We are seeing job growth across a range of industries, but we’re also seeing a polarization in the labor market…”Tara Sinclair, chief economist for the job site Indeed, goes on to describe a bifurcated labor market: robust demand for hospitality and service workers—sectors, we must note, where immigrant workers are overrepresented—keeping the total job count up; while manufacturing, transportation and energy—sectors, she notes, dominated by blue collar white men—are losing ground.
[Jobs Report Shows Brisk U.S. Hiring in February, By Patricia Cohen, New York Times, March 4, 2016]
But while American workers caught a welcome break in February, immigrant share of the total employment remains high by historical standards. Native-born workers have lost ground to their foreign-born 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 the black line, immigrant employment growth is in pink, and NVDAWDI—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 February 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, 14.97% of all persons working in the U.S. were immigrants. In February 2016 the foreign-born share was 16.92%. That’s down slightly from January’s 16.99%, but above the 16.75% recorded in January a year ago. Since employment data by nativity are not seasonally adjusted, comparisons with the same month last year may be more indicative of the real trend.
In only three of the 86 months of Obama’s Presidency have immigrant workers accounted for a greater share of U.S. employment than they did last month.
February’s immigrant employment share was 1.95 percentage points above the level recorded at the start of Mr. Obama’s Administration. With total employment now above 151 million, each percentage point translates to 1.5 million workers. This implies that Obama-era immigration may have pushed as many as 2.93 million (1.5 million times 1.95) 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:
|Employment Status by Nativity, Feb. 2015-Feb. 2016
(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)
|Foreign born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||26,276||26,602||326||1.2%|
|Participation rate (%)||65.2%||64.9%||-0.3%||-0.5%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||5.8%||4.6%||-1.2%||-20.7%|
|Not in labor force||14,023||14,358||335||2.4%|
|Native born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||129,937||131,677||1,740||1.3%|
|Participation rate (%)||62.0%||62.2%||0.2%||0.3%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||5.8%||5.3%||-0.5%||-8.6%|
|Not in labor force||79,663||79,941||278||0.3%|
|Source: BLS, The Employment Situation -February 2016, Table A-7, March 4, 2016.|
And, because it exceeds projected legal immigration levels, it suggests the unreported illegal immigration surge that I have been reporting for a year is continuing.