National Data | October Jobs—Immigrant Population FALLS For 3rd Successive Month, American Worker Displacement Is DOWN
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The Trump Effect lives! For the third consecutive month the immigrant working-age population (legal and illegal) declined from the same month of the prior year. And immigrant displacement of American workers is also (finally) DOWN.

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:
  • Total employment fell by 484,000, down by 0.31%
  • Foreign-born immigrant employment fell 447,000, down by 1.57%
  • Native-born American employment fell 37,000, down by 0.03%
From September 2017 to October 2017:
  • The immigrant employment index, set to 100.0 in January 2009, fell from 123.5 to 121.4.
  • The native-born American employment index was virtually unchanged, at 105.8.
  • NVDAWDI (our term for the ratio of immigrant to native-born employment growth indexes) fell from 116.7 (100X (123.5/105.8)) to 114.7 (100X (121.4/105.8))
October’s VDAWDI (114.7) was the lowest since the 113.6 recorded in March.

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)
  Oct-16 Oct-17 Change % Change
  Foreign born, 16 years and older
Civilian population 41,785 41,668 -117 -0.28%
Civilian labor force 27,060 27,374 314 1.16%
   Participation rate (%) 64.8 65.7 0.9%pts. 1.39%
Employed 25,965 26,343 378 1.46%
Employment/population % 62.1 63.2 1.1pts. 1.77%
Unemployed 1,096 1,031 -65 -5.93%
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 population 212,536 214,099 1,563 0.74%
Civilian labor force 132,722 133,091 369 0.28%
   Participation rate (%) 62.4 62.2 -0.2pts. -0.32%
Employed 126,370 127,880 1,510 1.19%
Employment/population % 59.5 59.7 0.2pts. 0.34%
Unemployed 6,352 5,211 -1,141 -17.96%
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.
Over the last 12 months (October 2016 to October 2017):
  • The foreign-born immigrant labor force (employed plus looking for work) grew 4.1-times faster than the native-born American labor force: 1.16% versus 0.28%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • Immigrant employment rose 1.2-times faster than native-born American employment: 1.46% versus 1.19%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The labor-force participation rate (LPR), a sign of worker confidence, rose by 0.9 points for immigrants and fell 0.2 points for native-born Americans. At 65.7%, the immigrant LPR in September was considerably above the native-born American rate (62.2%.) ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The number of unemployed Americans fell by 1.141 million—down 18%, while the number of unemployed immigrants fell 65,000—down 5.9%. ADVANTAGE AMERICANS, although much of this “advantage” may be due to older native-born Americans retiring or immigrant workers losing jobs in hurricane ravished parts of the country.
All of this progress could reverse, unless Congress passes e.g. the RAISE Act, and some of it may be statistical noise.

But, by some combination of enforcement measures and jawboning (assisted, ironically, by the hysterical MSM), Trump appears to have succeeded in reversing the immigrant influx.

Which must inevitably tighten the labor market—and benefit working-class Trump supporters across the country.

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

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