National Data | Slowdown Ending? American Displacement Up
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Job losses decelerated sharply in April, leading many to suspect that the recession is likely to be short and shallow rather than sharp and long. The decline in payrolls—20,000—was only one-quarter of the prior month’s job loss. Meanwhile, the ”other” employment survey made a mockery of the recession talk. Nearly 400,000 jobs were added in April according to the Household Survey. As has been the case for most of the past seven years, Hispanics were the disproportionate winners:

  • Total employment rose 362,000 (+0.25 percent) from April
  • Hispanic employment rose 135,000 (+0.67 percent)
  • Non-Hispanic employment: rose 227,000 (+0.18 percent)

More striking is the difference in total employment. The payroll survey estimates that 137.8 million people held jobs in April. That’s about 8.5 million fewer than the 146.3 million workers found in the Household Survey. How to reconcile the difference? Some economists have argued that new economy workers, eBay entrepreneurs, and (at least before the housing collapse) real estate agents—i.e., people who are not on payrolls—show up in the housing survey, but not the payroll survey. There’s a better explanation: illegal aliens. By a cautious count there may be 12 million illegals living in America. The gap between payroll and household employment is suspiciously close to estimates of illegals in the workforce. American worker displacement, as measured by the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic job growth, ticked up in April, after declining from remains the peak reached in August 2007. Increased workplace enforcement may have contributed to the recent displacement decline. Month to month displacement trends since the start of the Bush Administration are graphed in’s American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI): From the start of the Bush Administration through April 2008:

  • Total employment rose 8.553 million (+6.2 percent)
  • Hispanic employment rose 4.286 million (+26.6 percent)
  • non-Hispanic employment rose 4.3 million (+3.5 percent
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