American Elephants


The Mysteries of Who Is Really Getting the New Jobs. Hint: Not Who You Think. by The Elephant's Child
June 10, 2015, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Economy, Unemployment | Tags: , ,

We are in the seventh year of “recovery,” such as it is. The first quarter of the year, the economy, the economy not only didn’t improve, it declined by 0.7 percent. The administration blames it on the weather, which was indeed a harsh winter in the East.

So it is unsurprising that economists are looking closely at the new reports on last month’s results. Hiring was picking up, last month’s jobs numbers came in at 280,000, an improvement over the average of 207,000 for the past three months.  But if hiring is picking up why are wages and GDP stagnant or even shrinking?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) reports the Establishment survey (the source of the monthly nonfarm payrolls change) and the Household survey (the source of the monthly unemployment rate data). In this case the numbers were almost identical. an increase of 280K jobs and the Household survey reported 272K jobs added. Only 251,000 jobs were expected. Two thirds of all jobs were low-paying, low-quality, primarily teachers, retail, temporary help and waiters.  The vast majority were in the 20-24 age group, and the number of self-employed workers jumped by 350K to 10 million. At Zero Hedge, the pseudonymous Tyler Durden is more helpful

So the “recovery” has almost entirely benefitted foreign-born workers, or 3 to 1 times more than native born Americans.

Here’s how the BLS describes a foreign-born worker.

The foreign born are persons who reside in the United States but who were born outside the country or one of its outlying areas to parents who were not U.S. citizens. The foreign born include legally-admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants. The survey data, however, do not separately identify the numbers of persons in these categories.
Seventy-five percent of all the jobs since December, 2007 have gone to foreign-born workers. We don’t know how many of those are here legally, but their bargaining power for wages is nil. They are happy to just have a job, which leads to depressed wages for native-born workers. That’s why there has been little  wage growth over the past 8 years. The Center for Immigration Studies has been telling us this for some time. The Census Bureau estimates that by 2013 immigrants will account for more than one in seven Americans — the largest number in history.

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