National Data | June Data Confirms Hispanic/Black Employment Divide
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According to MSM economic pundits, June's employment report was disappointing. Payrolls expanded by 121,000 positions. That was better than May, but below the 175,000 predicted by economists—and far below the 390,000 projected by a private employment survey conducted by Automatic Data Processing (ADP.)

In fact, the June numbers were not nearly as weak as portrayed. The government's Household Survey showed job growth of 387,000, remarkably close to the private forecast. And, as we have often demonstrated, Hispanics garnered an above average share of the new positions.

Of course the divergence between the two surveys is doubtless the result of the "off the books" nature of much Hispanic employment.

Just look at the number and percent increase in jobs for June:

Hispanics: +108,000 (+0.55 percent)
Non-Hispanics: +279,000 (+0.22 percent)
Whites: +291,000 (+0.25 percent)
Blacks: -82,000 (-0.52 percent)

Blacks were the only group to suffer job losses in June, with the biggest hit (surprise, surprise!) taken by Black teenagers, whose unemployment rate soared to 27.8 percent from 25.0 percent in May.

To be sure, the Hispanic unemployment rate also increased in June – to 5.3 percent from May's 5.0 percent. Unlike Blacks, however, Hispanics flooded into the labor force in June, their higher labor force participation rate apparently signaling increased confidence in future job prospects. Black labor force participation declined, albeit not by enough to offset their job losses – so their unemployment rate still rose.

[ Note: As many readers know, "Black," "White," and "Hispanic" are not mutually exclusive categories. Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race, and the Household Survey does not distinguish between non-Hispanic and Hispanic Blacks. Nevertheless, the yawning chasm between Hispanic and Black employment trends can only be explained by the vastly different experiences of U.S.-born, largely non-Hispanic, Black workers and their predominantly foreign-born Hispanic counterparts.

A few days before the June report's release, the left of center Economic Policy Institute noted the growing "racial income gap"  between African-Americans and Whites.

"In 1995, the median income of African-American families was 60.9% of that of white families (in 2004 dollars: $31,966 versus $52,492). By 2000, when the unemployment rate fell to 4.0%, the ratio was 63.5% (still a very large income gap: $36,939 versus $58,167 in 2004 dollars), the highest level on record, going back to 1947. [VDARE.COM Emphasis]
"But……the racial gap widened by 2004 (most recent data) as a result of the recession and the jobless recovery that followed…… This finding suggests that unless the very favorable labor market conditions of the latter 1990s return and are maintained, racial income gaps are likely to widen further." Record, going back to 1947. [Snapshot for July 5, 2006. Weaker job market re-opens racial income gap by Jared Bernstein]

Our analysis "suggests" something else: Immigration was the culprit. If immigration remains at its present level, Blacks will continue to lose ground even if the "favorable economic conditions" of the late 1990s were to re-materialize.

The displacement of non-Hispanic workers by Hispanics since the start of the Bush Administration is tracked by the American Worker Displacement Index.

The navy blue line is Hispanic job growth, pink is non-Hispanic, and yellow is the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic (VDAWDI)

From the January 2001 through June 2006:

  • Hispanic employment rose 3.53 million (+21.9 percent)


  • Non-Hispanic employment rose 2.5 million (+2.5 percent)

In June 2006 VDAWDI rose to a record 118.9.

Edwin S. Rubenstein (email him) is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.

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