Are you having fun yet? No, you say? Well, that’s not surprising. For native-born American workers, the disconnect between the MSM headlines and reality may never have been as profound as it is today.
Our reality, of course, is reported in the “Other” employment survey, of households rather than employers. The Household Survey found that 244,000 jobs were created last month—not all that different from the job gain number reported by the Employer Survey. But the Household Survey also gathers data on the nativity of workers, both legal and illegal. And the November results are shocking.
If that 1.6% per month growth rate persists, foreign-born employment will double in 45 months. We do not expect that. In fact, it seems arithmetically impossible, given that immigrant employment is already well over half (63.2%) of foreign-born working age population—unless the insatiable demand for immigrant labor sucks more immigrants (legal and illegal) into this country.
A Marketwatch article by Caroline Baum entitled “Strong job growth is a really a sign of weakness” [December 4 2015] caught our eye. Ms. Baum notes that recent strong job growth seems completely out of sync with the anemic GDP growth.
More workers amidst lower growth can only mean that workers are less productive—a condition that Ms. Baum blames on a lack of capital investment on the part of U.S. businesses.
But companies are in business to make profits, not to increase the productivity of their workers. Why would any company purchase labor-saving equipment—the things that enable workers to produce more per hours—when a seemingly endless supply of low-wage workers, mainly foreign-born, is available? Wages will never rise unless workers become more productive, and workers will never become more productive so long as immigration continues to drive the labor supply.
Native-born American 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 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 to November 2015:
In February 2009, President Obama’s first full month in office, 14.97% of all persons working in the U.S. were immigrants. In November 2015 the foreign-born share was 17.02%, up from 16.78% in October. November marked the fourth straight month in which the immigrant share of employment has risen.
In only one of the 83 months of Obama’s Presidency have immigrant workers accounted for a greater share of U.S. employment than they did last month. That record was set in September 2014, when 17.03% of U.S. employment was foreign-born.
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,
Nov. 2014-Nov. 2015
(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)
|Foreign born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||26,536||26,665||129||0.5%|
|Participation rate (%)||66.3%||66.1%||-0.2%||-0.3%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||5.4%||4.4%||-1.0%||-18.5%|
|Not in labor force||13,491||13,688||197||1.5%|
|Native born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||129,760||130,675||915||0.7%|
|Participation rate (%)||62.1%||61.8%||-0.3%||-0.5%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||5.6%||4.9%||-0.7%||-12.5%|
|Not in labor force||79,056||80,720||1,664||2.1%|
From November 2014 to November 2015: