National Data | June Jobs: Displacement Surges—But Michele Bachmann Misses Chance To Advocate Immigration Moratorium
Print Friendly and PDF

Michele Bachmann was the first GOP presidential contender to release a statement on Friday's June job numbers, which unexpectedly showed unemployment back up to 9.2%, spooking Wall Street and finally getting the Beltway worried about Obama's re-election. [Dismal jobs report adds urgency to debt talks, fears for Obama's 2012 campaign, by Ian Swanson, The Hill, July 8, 2011.]

Unfortunately, although Bachmann has the strongest patriotic immigration reform record of all the candidates, her statement was just a recitation, albeit effective enough, of GOP boilerplate about "higher taxes, massive government spending, and overregulation"—no mention of an anti-unemployment immigration moratorium. [Michele Bachmann first on unemployment report, by Alexander Burns, The Politico, July 8, 2011].

Yet it's increasingly clear there is no policy alternative to a moratorium. Not only is unemployment up, but both's current measures of American worker displacement by immigrants are surging.

Curiously, British politicians are allowed to discuss immigrant displacement of native-born workers. But American politicians, it appears, are not.

June payrolls rose by only 18,000, well below the consensus forecast of 125,000. Moreover, May's gain was revised down to 25,000—less than half the original estimate of 54,000.

The "other" survey—of households rather than businesses—showed a seasonally adjusted employment decline of 545,000, the largest since September 2009. The Household Survey, which records race, showed that non-Hispanics bore the entire brunt of the June swoon:


  • Total employment: down 545,000 (-0.39  percent)

  • non-Hispanic employment: down 684,000 (-0.57 percent)

  • Hispanic employment: up 139,000 (+0.69 percent)

Accordingly, VDARE.COM's American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI) rose to a record 127.8 in June from May's 126.2:

Since the recession hit in December 2007 non-Hispanics have lost jobs at more than three-times the rate of Hispanics (-5.3 percent versus -1.7 percent.) And since the start of the "recovery" in June 2009 Hispanics have gained 416,000 jobs while non-Hispanics have lost 675,000 positions.

Step back further and the picture is still bleaker. Since January 2001 the number of non-Hispanics holding jobs has declined by 2.6 million, or by -2.1 percent. But over that same period Hispanic employment rose by 4.0 million, or a whopping 25.1 percent.

This Hispanic/non-Hispanic divide is interesting in itself. In future, we will be examining the racial distribution of jobs more closely, especially with regards to the continuing catastrophe of black unemployment.

But it was a convenient proxy for our main interest: the displacement of native-born workers by immigrants—which the federal government did not track. It worked because some 40% of Hispanics are foreign born.

However, in January 2010 the Bureau of Labor Statistics has published job figures for immigrant and native-born workers. (It does not distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants). These data are not seasonally adjusted, making month to month trends difficult to interpret. BLS tries to resolve the dilemma by comparing the current month with the same month of the prior year.

At least when compared to the same month of the prior year, June 2011 was the first month that these figures show native-born workers gaining jobs while immigrant workers were losing them. [See table.]

Over the past 12 months:  


  • Immigrants lost 281,000 jobs, a decline of 1.2%; natives gained 521,000 jobs, a 0.4% increase. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • Labor force participation rates fell by 1.4 points for immigrants and 0.4 points for natives. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • The share of immigrants holding jobs fell by 1.6%; the share of natives holding jobs fell by 0.3%. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • The immigrant population of working age increased 0.5%; the comparable native population increased 0.8%. ADVANTAGE NATIVES

But, to put this in perspective, we set the job count at 100.0 for both native-born and immigrants in January 2009. This reveals that immigrant employment sank to 102.2 in June from 102.4 in May—a decline of 0.3%. On the same basis, native employment declined to 97.1 in June from 97.5 the prior month, a 0.4% decline. The ratio of immigrant to native employment indexes gives us a measure of immigrant displacement of American workers, which we call the "The New VDAWDI"ticked up to 105.2 in June from 105.0 in May, a 0.2% rise.

For the entire period January 2009 through June 2011 the New VDAWDI, grew by 5.2%. By comparison, VDAWDI, calculated using Hispanic and non-Hispanic employment figures, rose by 4.6% over the same period. Thus our older measure of American Worker Displacement seems to understate the problem, as we've suspected before.

JJanuary 2009, the earliest month of data published in BLS's foreign and native-born employment table, was also the month President Obama took office. Coincidence or not, this means we can piece together the monthly points to see the President's priorities, or at least his practical effect.

Bottom line: In all but a few months of the Obama Administration, native-born workers have lost ground to immigrants

Time is running out for native-born workersa.k.a. Americans..

The same could be said for the Obama Administration—if a GOP contender had the courage to make the case for an immigration moratorium.

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

Print Friendly and PDF