NATIONAL DATA: January Jobs—Immigrants Seriously Displacing American Workers; Political Class Doesn’t Want To Know
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[Research by Edwin S. Rubenstein]

Of course the White House crowed about January’s stronger-than-expected jobs report [Biden takes victory lap with January jobs report, by Nick Niedzwiadek, Politico, February 4, 2022]. But what’s surprising—well, maybe not surprising given Conservatism Inc.'s general brain-deadness—is that the GOP had no clear response [Biden-era job growth is so good, the GOP is literally speechless, by Steve Benen, MSNBC, February 7, 2022]. What both missed: much or all of that job growth, depending which measure you use, was taken by immigrants. And the growth in the immigrant labor force was even greater still. Oh, and wage growth—nominal wage growth minus inflation—was actually negative.

January payrolls surged by 467,000 vs. an expected 125,000:

The 467,000 gain in non-farm payrolls in January is even stronger than it looks, as it came despite the spike in absenteeism driven by the Omicron virus wave and was accompanied by significant upward revisions to the gains over the preceding couple of months," Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics, said on Friday in a note on Friday.

[January jobs report: Payrolls jump by 467,000 as unemployment rate rises to 4.0%, by Emily McCormick, Yahoo News, February 4, 2022]

For years, noted problems with the Payroll Survey. It consistently reports a total employment figure that is millions below that reported in the Household Survey, and now, in the latest report. Our theory: U.S. businesses are reluctant to acknowledge illegals on their payrolls. But this has never been explored by MSM commentators.

So readers should not be surprised that our analysis of the January Household Survey indicates an employment gain of 1.199 million, a figure more than twice the growth reported in the Payroll Survey.

Significantly, the Household Survey reports employment by nativity. And it shows that immigrants got nearly half of that job growth:

As calculated exclusively by

  • Immigrants (legal and illegal, government data doesn’t distinguish) gained 524,000 jobs, a 1.89% increase from December.
  • Native-born Americans gained 675,000 positions, a 0.53% rise from December.
  • Thus’s immigrant employment index, set at 100.0 in January 2009, rose to 130.5 from 128.1 in December, a 1.89% increase.
  •’s Native-born employment index rose to 106.9 from 106.4 in December, a gain of 0.53%.

Thus the New VDARE American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI), our name for the ratio of the immigrant to native-born employment growth indexes since January 2009, rose to 122.1 from 120.5—a 1.36% rise.

Since we started calculating VDAWDI in January 2009 there has been only one month—April 2018—when our displacement index was higher than it is now.

April 2018 was an anomaly—an anomaly likely soon to be exceeded by real events in Biden’s second year. Despite 1.277 million immigrants reported as unemployed in January, the increase in the foreign-born working-age population continues to run at 1.5 million above the rate of the previous year:

Note carefully what this chart shows. Unlike our other charts, which show absolute values, this one compares each month to the same month of the prior year. So the immigrant workforce population grew by 1.538 million in January 2022 compared to January 2021. The corresponding increases for November and December were 1.318 million and 1.225 million, respectively.

In contrast, for most of the last Trump year of 2020, the immigrant workforce population declined year-over-year. This far exceeded the net exodus during the 2008 Great Recession, and the brief net exodus during Trump’s first year, when his mere presence seemed to have jawboned illegals into fleeing.

The immigrant Work Force population started growing again only in December 2020—when the election results spurred a renewed invasion.

Another displacement metric—the immigrant share of total employment—also rose to levels not seen since April 2018. Our analysis shows that 17.979% of jobs were held by immigrants in January. Back in April 2018, immigrants held 18.083% of all jobs.

Note that, after some gyrations, the immigrant share of employment had been falling steadily even before the pandemic started. But, again, these Trump gains have been wiped out and the immigrant share is resuming its Obama-Era upward march.

Each 1% rise in immigrant employment share represents a transfer of about 1.5 million jobs from native-born Americans to immigrants.

As worker demand remains elevated, nominal average hourly earnings rose, increasing by 0.7% in January compared to December. On a year-over-year basis, nominal wages rose 5.7%.

But inflation, currently running at 7.5% year-over-year, swept away all these nominal wage gains [Rapid Inflation Stokes Unease From Wall Street to Washington, NYT, February 10, 2022].

A more detailed picture of how native-born American workers have fared vis-à-vis immigrants is published in Table A-7 of the monthly BLS Report:

Employment Status by Nativity, Jan.2021-Jan. 2022

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)





% Change


Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population





Civilian labor force





     Participation rate (%)



1.7% pts.







Employment/population (%)



3.9% pts.







Unemployment rate (%)



-3.7% pts.


Not in labor force






Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population





Civilian labor force





     Participation rate (%)



0.6% pts.







Employment/population (%)



1.9% pts.







Unemployment rate (%)



-2.1% pts.


Not in labor force





Source: BLS, The Employment Situation, January 2022. Table A-7, February 4, 2022. PDF


From January 2021 to January 2022:

  • Immigrant employment rose by 2.660 million, an eye-popping 10.51% gain, while native-born employment rose by 4.575 million, a 3.7% gain. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The immigrant adult population rose by 1.538 million, a gain of 3.575%, year-over-year, while the corresponding native-born population increased 814,000—a 0.37% rise. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The immigrant labor force (people working or looking for work) grew by 6.2%, more than 4 times the 1.4% gain in the native-born labor force. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • Labor Force Participation Rates rose for both native-born and immigrants, but the 1.7% point (or 2.66%) gain for immigrants was nearly 3 times larger than the corresponding gains for native-born workers. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • For most of the pandemic, unemployment rates have been higher for immigrants than native-born. There are many reasons for this. Foremost among them: the low-wage jobs filled disproportionately by immigrants preclude remote employment. In January, seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for immigrants and native born were identical: 4.4%. Last January 8.1% of immigrants, and 6.5% of native-born, were unemployed—so immigrants saw a larger decline year-over-year. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • 5.929 million native-born Americans, and 1.277 million immigrants, were unemployed in January. Over the past 12 months the number of unemployed immigrants fell by 42.8%, while native-born American jobless declined by 31.2%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS

Bottom line: even in this confused labor market, the Biden Rush is finally showing up in the employment data. Native-born Americans are being seriously displaced and immigrants, legal and illegal, are seizing most or all the fruits of the expansion. The Political Class, Democrat and Republican, doesn’t want to know.

Peter Brimelow [Email him] is the editor of His best-selling book, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, is now available in Kindle format.

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