February Jobs—Immigrant Job Growth 40% Above Americans Over Past Year; Unreported Illegal Immigration Surge Continues

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Article date: 
6 March 2016
Article category: 
National News
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Employers added 242,000 jobs in February and unemployment remained at 4.9%, reprising the lowest reading in eight years. These results, while not the blowout needed to quickly absorb 8.2 million unemployed (and millions more underemployed), alleviated fears of an imminent recession.

The Household Survey, which reports the nativity and ethnicity of workers and unemployed individuals, confirmed that the job market is strong. Even better, based on our estimates, February 2016 was one of those rare months when all the new jobs went to American workers:

In February 2016:

  • Total Household Survey employment rose 530,000, up by 0.4%
  • Native-born American employment rose by 552,000, up by 0.4%
  • Foreign-born immigrant employment (both legal and illegal) fell by 22,000—down by 0.1%

The job market has been relatively strong for a few years now, but those gains have done little to assuage the economic stress and anger of the average American—emotions that fuel the candidacy of Donald Trump...

From January 2009 through February 2016:
    Foreign-born immigrant employment rose by 3.916 million, up 18.1%. The immigrant employment index rose from 100.0 to 118.1.
    Native-born American employment rose by 4.937 million or by 4.1%. The native-born American employment index rose from 100.0 to 104.1
    NVDAWDI (the ratio of immigrant to native-born employment growth indexes) rose from 100.0 to 113.4. (100X(118.1/104.1)
Immigrant employment has risen 4.4 times faster than native-born American employment—18.1% versus 4.1%—during the Obama years. In many unskilled occupations the job growth gap is far larger, owing to the disproportionate number of foreign-born workers there...