[Research by Edwin S. Rubenstein]
A funny thing happened to the usual cheerleading that greeted the June job report [U.S. Economy Added 372,000 Jobs in June, Defying Slowdown Fears, by Lydia DePillis, NYT, July 8, 2022]. In fact several funny things: a continued Biden Rush at the southern border; record inflation numbers; and (despite the New York Times’ headlined prediction) a “slowdown” that everyone knows would be called a recession if the GOP were in power [GDP fell 0.9% in the second quarter, the second straight decline and a strong recession signal, by Jeff Cox, CNBC, July 28, 2022]. But the cheerleading was misplaced anyway, because as usual it missed the extent to which immigrants (legal and illegal, government data does not distinguish) are taking native-born Americans’ jobs.
According to the widely cited Survey of Employers, the economy added back 372,000 jobs in June. Average hourly earnings rose a 5.1% year-over-year [Y-O-Y], a level that in most years would translate to large real income gains. Unfortunately, with the latest CPI inflation running at 9.1%, Y-O-Y, average incomes are still falling behind in real, inflation-adjusted, dollars.
[Scorching inflation hits 9.1%, highest since 1981, by Courtenay Brown, Axios, July 13, 2022]
The result: the extraordinary 2017-2021 Trump surge in real incomes, attributable at least in part to his curtailment of immigration through executive action and low inflation, has dramatically busted under Biden, attributable at least in part to his unleashing immigration and monetary laxness.
[Employed full time: Median usual weekly real earnings: Wage and salary workers: 16 years and over (LES1252881600Q), Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, updated July 22, 2022]
Underlying this wild gyration: the fact that, under Trump, the immigrant workforce population actually began falling significantly—before bouncing back under Biden.
Thus, in contrast to the Trump trend, in June 2022, despite 1.056 million immigrants reported as unemployed, the foreign-born working-age population expanded by more than 2 million Y-O-Y for the second consecutive month. May and June of 2022 were the first consecutive months of 2-million plus immigrant workforce growth in the past 15 years.
Note carefully what this chart shows. Unlike our other charts, which show absolute values, this one compares each month to the same month of the prior year. So the immigrant workforce population grew by 2.058 million in June compared to June 2021. The corresponding increases for March, April, and May were 1.397 million, 1.970 million, and 2.361 million, respectively.
For most of 2020, the population of working-age immigrants declined Y-O-Y. This far exceeded the net exodus during the 2008 Great Recession, and the brief net exodus during Trump’s first year, when his mere presence seemed to have jawboned illegals into fleeing.
The immigrant population of working age started growing again only in December 2020—when Biden’s election spurred a renewed invasion.
The Biden Rush must exert a downward pressure on wages. But additionally, apprehensions on the southwest border were above 200,000 for the fourth consecutive month:
Some recession-deniers point to the continuing job growth reported in June. But employment is typically a lagging indicator of economic conditions. And the “other” employment survey, of Households rather than Employers, is already flashing red. The Household Survey showed total employment declining by 315,000 in June, according to our analysis.
However, contrary to the major trend dating back to the Obama Administration, our analysis also shows that in June native-born American workers gained jobs, while immigrants lost them:
- Immigrants (legal and illegal) lost 439,000 jobs, a 1.5% fall from May.
- Native-born Americans gained 124,000 positions, a 0.1% rise from May
- Thus VDARE.com’s immigrant employment index, set at 100.0 in January 2009, fell to 130.4 from 132.4 in May, a 1.5% decline.
- VDARE.com’s native-born American employment index rose to 107.7 from 107.6 in May, a 0.1% increase.
The New VDARE American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI), our name for the ratio of the immigrant to native-born American employment growth indexes since Jan. 2009, fell to 121.1 in June, a 1.54% reduction from the record level (123.0) set in May.
Another displacement metric—the immigrant share of total employment—also retreated from the peak reached in May. Our analysis indicates that 17.847% of jobs were held by immigrants in June, down 1.4% from May’s 18.089%.
In June the Household Survey reported 158.1 million people held jobs in the U.S. Each 1% rise in immigrant employment share represents a transfer of about 1.58 million jobs from native-born Americans to immigrants.
A more detailed longer-run picture of how native-born American workers fared over the past year vis-à-vis immigrants is published in Table A-7 of the monthly BLS Report:
|Employment Status by Nativity, June 2021-June 2022
(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)
|Foreign born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||27,653||29,553||1,900||6.87%|
|Participation rate (%)||64.6||65.9||1.3%pts.||2.01%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||5.8||3.6||-2.2%pts.||-37.93%|
|Not in labor force||15,143||15,300||157||1.04%|
|Native born, 16 years and older|
|Civilian labor force||134,514||135,459||945||0.70%|
|Participation rate (%)||61.6||61.9||0.3%pts.||0.49%|
|Unemployment rate (%)||6.2||3.9||-2.3%pts.||-37.10%|
|Not in labor force||84,028||83,522||-506||-0.60%|
|Source: BLS, The Employment Situation, June 2022. Table A-7, July 8, 2022.|
From June 2021 to June 2022:
- Immigrant employment rose by 2.439 million, an eye-popping 9.36%, while native-born American employment rose 3.956 million, a 4.8% gain. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
- The immigrant population of working age rose by 2.058 million, a gain of 4.8%, Y-O-Y, while the corresponding native-born American population increased by only 439,000—a 0.20% rise. THE IMMIGRANT WORKFORCE POPULATION GREW A WHOPPING 24 TIMES FASTER THAN THE NATIVE-BORN AMERICAN WORKFORCE POPULATION. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
- The immigrant labor force (people working or looking for work) grew by 6.87%, more than 9 times the 0.70% gain in the native-born American labor force. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
(This data is from the Survey of Households, which includes self-employed workers, agricultural workers, and private family workers, who are excluded from the Payroll Survey. Also overlooked, we contend, are illegal immigrants working “off the books” in large corporations.)
- Labor Force Participation Rates rose for both native-born Americans and immigrants, but the 1.3% point (2.01%) gain for immigrants was four times larger than the corresponding gain for native-born workers. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
- Unemployment rates for native-born American workers fell by 2.3 percentage points, or 37.1%, while the immigrant unemployment rate fell by 2.2 percentage points, or 37.9%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
- 5.279 million native-born Americans, and 1.056 million immigrants, were unemployed in June; over the prior 12 months the number of unemployed immigrants fell by 33.8%, while native-born jobless declined by 36.3 %. ADVANTAGE NATIVE-BORN AMERICANS
The big picture: June numbers showed a continued demand for labor, especially in sectors dominated by native-born American workers. Nevertheless, labor-force participation rates for native-born Americans have fallen, Y-O-Y, relative to those of immigrants. The Fed has not yet broken the inflationary fever. Further interest rate hikes seem likely. June’s native-born American job gains could revert to trend very quickly.