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A look at the job losses that result from increased legal and illegal immigration.

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Numbers that Don’t Add Up

A look at the job losses that result from increased legal and illegal immigration.

The widely-respected National Bureau of Economic Research recently determined that a recession began in the United States in March 2001 and ended in November of that same year. Economic growth has been fairly robust since then. Why then, economists ask, did unemployment increase from 4.5% to 6.2% in the two years since March 2001? “Who is losing out?” might be a better question.

Federal figures of all kinds divide the country up into white, black, and Hispanic. However, if you add the numbers for these categories you get a much larger figure than the related Total. There is a good reason for this-Hispanics are counted twice: by Hispanic origin and by race. As a result we have relatively accurate figures for Hispanics but no information on the worsening conditions of non-Hispanic whites and blacks.

There’s another problem with these statistics. Double-counting Hispanics hides the astonishing growth of another whole category which, for lack of a specific term, we call “non-Hispanic Other.” This subunit is made up largely of Asians, but includes many miscellaneous categories.

This blurring of statistical lines is important because the actual dimensions of each group’s growth (or decline) are crucial in developing governmental policy in matters of immigration, education, labor, national unity, etc.

Ironically, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) do collect more specific information. It is possible by careful recalculation to distinguish non-Hispanic white, non- Hispanic black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic Other.

Let’s look at job figures. Each month the Census Bureau in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts a scientific sample survey of the non-institutionalized civilian population aged 16 years and older-about three-quarters of America’s population. They divide this population into three classes: Employed, Unemployed, and Not in Labor Force.

Employed. As Table 1 (below) indicates, between March 2001 and March 2003 employment of non-Hispanic whites and blacks declined by 2,295,000. During the same period, employment of Hispanics and non-Hispanic Others increased by 1,923,000. Considering that manufacturing payrolls declined by 1,704,000 during this period, it is a reasonable conjecture that non-Hispanic whites and blacks lost well-paying professional and factory jobs, while Hispanics and non-Hispanic Others gained low-paying service jobs.

But maybe the non-Hispanic white/black decline simply means more retirements rather than more unemployment.

Unemployed. Well actually, as Table 2 (below) shows, the number of unemployed who are non-Hispanic white and black increased by 1,793,000 during the two years in question. Note: To be counted as unemployed requires a serious effort. A survey respondent must be unemployed but actively seeking work-contacting employers with resumes, or visits, or phone calls, etc. Just reading the want ads or networking with friends won’t do.

Not in Labor Force. Individuals Not in Labor Force (see Table 3 below) are neither employed nor unemployed and are not actively seeking employment. Among others, this includes discouraged workers, students, homemakers, the disabled, and retired persons (not including those in retirement homes). Here the significant facts are that non-Hispanic whites and blacks not in labor force increased by 1,876,000 while Hispanics and non-Hispanic Others not in labor force increased by 1,999,000.

Civilian Population Aged 16 and Over. Add all three categories together for the two years, March 2001 to March 2003, and we discover astonishing changes in the civilian population aged 16 and over. The number of Non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks grew by 1,372,000 while that of Hispanics and non-Hispanic Others grew by a whopping 4,638,000-over three times as fast and from a much smaller base! Even these substantial numbers are based on just three-quarters of the total population. They do not include, for example, children of illegal aliens under the age of 16, which is most likely quite numerous.

Losing Jobs and Creating Workers. No need to ask why employment is declining or unemployment is increasing. Americans lose jobs to increased efficiency, outsourcing overseas, and plant relocations overseas; Congress and the President create workers by legislating mass legal immigration and failing to defend our borders against illegal immigration.

THE U.S. CIVILIAN POPULATION:
Employed, Unemployed &
Not In Labor Force

In the most recent years for which statistics are available, FY 2001 and FY 2002, the United States admitted over 2,128,000 legal immigrants. Unpublished figures by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that these legal immigrants are now outnumbered by a larger influx of illegal migrants. The following BLS data reveal how this migration impacts our job markets and a close scrutiny of the data underscores the demographic trend of displaced workers in the labor force. As the unemployment rate increased from 4.5% to 6.2% between March 2001 and March 2003, non-Hispanic whites and blacks left the labor force (either becoming unemployed or entering retirement) while the employment rate actually increased for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Others. This trend illustrates the economic displacements (job losses) that result from increased legal and illegal immigration.

Table 1. EMPLOYED

 
March 2001
March 2003
Gain
%Gain
Non-Hispanic White
99,313,000
97,586,000
-1,727,000
-1.7%
Non-Hispanic Black
14,527,000
13,959,000
-568,000
-3.9%
Hispanic
16,156,000
17,123,000
967,000
6.0%
Non-Hispanic Other
7,159,000
8,115,000
956,000
13.4%
Total
137,155,000
136,783,000
-372,000
-0.3%

Table 2. UNEMPLOYED

 
March 2001
March 2003
Gain
%Gain
Non-Hispanic White
3,655,000
5,149,000
1,194,000

40.9%

Non-Hispanic Black
1,357,000
1,656,000
299,000
22.0%
Hispanic
1,184,000
1,542,000
358,000
30.2%
Non-Hispanic Other
313,000
671,000
358,000
114.4%
Total
6,509,000
9,018,000
2,509,000
38.5%

Table 3. NOT IN LABOR FORCE

 
March 2001
March 2003
Gain
%Gain
Non-Hispanic White
51,210,000
52,528,000
1,318,000
2.6%
Non-Hispanic Black
8,865,000
8,923,000
558,000
6.7%
Hispanic
7,294,000
8,527,000
1,233,000
16.9%
Non-Hispanic Other
3,772,000
4,538,000
766,000
20.3%
Total
70,641,000
74,516,000
3,875,000
5.5%
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Written By

Mr. Buchanan is Legislative Director for the American Council for Immigration Reform.

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