There were 117,000 fewer working-age immigrants (legal and illegal) in the country in October 2017 than in October 2016, according to the Labor Department employment report released Friday—a decline of 0.28%. This follows drops of 138,000 and 143,000 in August and September respectively.
Not since the Great Recession has the foreign-born working-age population fallen—but now, in telling contrast, the economy is expanding.
Note that the immigrant working-age population is a net number. There have been reports that illegal crossings of the border in the Southwest were picking up this summer, although still far below recent years. But, at least for the past three months, any gross inflow was swamped by the gross outflow.
Which is a dramatic change from the last months of the Obama Regime. From July through November of 2016, year-over-year immigrant working-age population increases were running far in excess of the estimated 1 million legal immigrants admitted annually. I surmised that an unreported illegal alien surge was underway.
October 2016, the last month before the election, was the cruelest October of all. The foreign-born working-age population rose an obscene 1.7 million from the same month the prior year.
This makes the Trump Era-contraction especially striking.
On the Immigrant Displacement of American Workers front, the news is also dramatically brighter. Last month, I noted that displacement was still continuing, perhaps because immigrants are more mobile than native-born Americans and could move to new jobs. But I wrote:
Both trends cannot exist together indefinitely. Something has to give. The post-election stall in foreign-born population growth hastens the day when U.S. employers are forced to go native—and maybe pay them more.At least in part, this now seems to be happening. Our analysis of the October Household Survey indicates job losses for both native-born Americans and immigrants, but with the foreign-born contingent experiencing the greater percentage loss:
Of course, eight months of Trump has not come close to undoing the damage done by eight years of Obama. Native-born American workers lost ground to their foreign-born competitors throughout the Obama years, and, as we have seen, this trend accelerated significantly in the months leading up to the election:
Native-born American employment growth is represented by the black line, immigrant employment growth is in pink, and NVAWDI—the ratio of immigrant to native-born American job growth—is in blue.
Storms in Puerto Rico and immigrant-rich parts of Texas and Florida possibly contributed to the disproportionate decline in foreign-born employment. And political atmospherics deriving from Donald Trump’s relatively hard line on immigration play a role.
Another way of looking at American worker displacement: the immigrant share of total U.S. employment rose steadily, albeit erratically, throughout the Obama years. It fell sharply in the months after the 2016 election, but roared back to Obama-era levels in the spring. Again, October saw a big drop from September, although the level is still high:
A detailed snapshot of American worker displacement over the past year is available in the Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Nativity table published in the monthly BLS Report. [PDF]
|Employment Status by Nativity, Oct. 2016-Oct. 2017|
|(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)|
|Foreign born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||27,060||27,374||314||1.16%|
|Participation rate (%)||64.8||65.7||0.9%pts.||1.39%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||4.0||3.8||-0.2pts.||-5.00%|
|Not in labor force||14,725||14,294||-431||-2.93%|
|Native born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||132,722||133,091||369||0.28%|
|Participation rate (%)||62.4||62.2||-0.2pts.||-0.32%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||4.8||3.9||-0.9pts.||-18.75%|
|Not in labor force||79,814||81,007||1,193||1.49%|
|Source: BLS, The Employment Situation- October 2017, Table A-7, November 3, 2017.|
Which must inevitably tighten the labor market—and benefit working-class Trump supporters across the country.