National Data | June Jobs Decline—Whites Bear The Brunt
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The economy lost 457,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.5 percent—the highest in 26 years. More depressing still: the upbeat trend of last month, when job losses moderated, is decisively over. June's decline killed off 120,000 more positions than May's. The V-shaped recovery that some economists thought was likely a month ago now looks more like a W—or even, heaven forbid, an L. With the stock market and consumer confidence down, and the stimulus thus far failing to stimulate, June may be remembered as the month that the Obama Administration was forced to take "ownership" of the Great Recession. But the political implications of the "other" employment survey—of households rather than businesses—are somewhat less ominous for the Administration. Household employment declined by 374,000 positions, or nearly 100,000 less than the business survey figure. More importantly, the fastest growing ethnic group enjoyed a gain:

  • - Total employment in June: -374,000 (-0.27 percent)
  • - Non-Hispanic employment: -402,000 (-0.33 percent)
  • - Hispanic employment: +28,000 (+0.14 percent)

White workers bore the brunt of June's decline, as seen by disparity among unemployment rate changes:

  • - White unemployment: 8.7 percent (+0.1 point in June)
  • - Black unemployment: 14.7 percent (-0.2 point)
  • - Hispanic unemployment: 12.2 percent (-0.5 point)

People on our side of the immigration debate warned that the Obama stimulus would benefit occupations disproportionately manned by immigrants. June's figures do nothing to discredit their "paranoia." Over the long run, of course, the notion that immigrants displace native born workers is amply supported by hard evidence. From January 2001 to June 2009 Hispanic employment increased by 3,505,000 positions, or by 22.0 percent. Non-Hispanic employment fell by 1,085,000 positions, or by 0.9 percent, over the same period. The ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic job growth since the January 2001, expressed as an index that we call VDAWDI (the American Worker Displacement Index), rose by 0.5 percent in June. Since peaking in September 2008, VDAWDI has declined by 1.4 percent: So far the Great Recession has cut Hispanic job growth, both in absolute terms and relative to non-Hispanic job growth. This is clearly seen in the graphic: The black line tracks Hispanic job growth; pink non-Hispanic job growth; and yellow the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic job growth indices,—i.e., American Worker Displacement. (All lines start at 100.0 in January 2001.) Every American wants the black and pink lines to line to turn up. One worries whether the yellow line—measuring the displacement of American workers by immigrants—will roar back also.

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