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Saturday, September 26, 2015

One-quarter of a job

After reading the actual study that is being used to claim that immigration actually creates new jobs for native workers, I became so skeptical of their mathematical modeling, their theoretical justifications, and their cherry-picked data that I have reached the conclusion that even with the wind of the credit boom at their backs, I can disprove their conclusions on the basis of the same 1980-to-2000 period they used to make their claims.

First, however, I have to note some corrections that I have made to my previous post. Because I used the labor force and not the working-age population, my numbers were a little off. My conservative interpretation of the NBER model meant that the U.S. economy was 24,367,681 short of the number of jobs predicted by the model. And from 2000 to 2015, 16.4 million new immigrants have created a total of 5,832,319 new jobs, for an average jobs/immigrant ratio of 0.36, which is still considerably short of the 1.2 that had been claimed.

But the economists' claims were actually more outrageous than I thought at first. You may recall that I was thinking perhaps the 1.2 job included the immigrant's job, for a net benefit to a native worker of 0.2. But that was simply how the media characterized the study, which actually claimed the following:

"Consistent with our prediction, the impacts of immigration on employment growth have become greater as the estimates imply that each new immigrant is predicted to add 2.5 new jobs (1.9 for native workers) to a city in which he or she settles."

So that is the prediction we will use for the 20-year period they used, 2.5 new jobs per immigrant. In 1980, the U.S. working age population was 142,520,008 and the employment population ratio was 60.0. That means there were 85,512,005 jobs in 1980.

From 1980 through 1999, there were 16,822,980 legal immigrants, not counting refugees or undocumented workers. According to the study, they created 42,057,450 new jobs, which means that there should have been 127,569,455 jobs in the United States in 2000.

Were there? In January 2000, the working age population of the United States was 178,259,050 and the Employment-Population Ratio was 64.6, meaning there were 115,155,346 jobs, leaving 12,414,109 of the newly created jobs unaccounted for. In fact, 16.8 million immigrants created 29,643,341 jobs, or 1.76 per immigrant. That looks pretty good, with each immigrant not only finding work but adding three-quarters of a new job per native. Of course, a credit boom is going to make most economic statistics look good.

However, if we put the two periods together, what we see is that from 1980 to 2015, 33,180,780 legal immigrants have created a total of 35,475,660 new jobs, for a net rate of 1.07 new jobs per legal immigrant. If we then add the additional 12 million illegal immigrants estimated to be resident in the USA, this reduces the 35-year new jobs/immigrant ratio to 0.78, which means that each immigrant eliminates approximately one-quarter of an existing American's job.

And if the number of undocumented workers is as high as 30 million, as Ann Coulter and Donald Trump have asserted, then the new job/immigrant rate is 0.56 and each immigrant eliminates nearly half of an existing American's job.

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51 Comments:

Blogger Chris Mallory September 26, 2015 8:12 AM  

Edwin Rubenstein over at VDare has been keeping track of the job losses by native born Americans.

Here are his numbers from August:

Total employment rose by 196,000—up by 0.13%
Native-born American employment fell by 122,000—down by 0.1%
Foreign-born employment rose by 318,000—up by 1.3%
The 318,000 gain in immigrant employment last month was the highest monthly increase since September 2014, when immigrants gained 356,000 jobs. It comes after two successive months in which native-born American workers gained, and immigrant workers lost jobs.

http://www.vdare.com/users/edwin-s-rubenstein

Blogger epobirs September 26, 2015 8:18 AM  

Here in CA it frequently isn't even a matter of voting for bad policies. It's instead a choice of suicide methods. Prop A if you favor jumping off a bridge. Prop B if you're inclined toward the pharmaceutical approach.

Blogger Koanic September 26, 2015 8:30 AM  

O hey "They took our jerbs" = fact.

"So we took their lives" = nextfact.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 September 26, 2015 9:18 AM  

Does the study even try to justify the assumption that immigrants created all of the new jobs in the relevant period?

Blogger His Majesty September 26, 2015 9:26 AM  

"After reading the actual study that is being used to claim that immigration actually creates new jobs for native workers,..."

Isn't nativism a sin?

Blogger Geoff September 26, 2015 9:32 AM  

the wind of the credit boom at their backs

Too bad we now have a major headwind.

OT: There was a debate earlier about the most "Ilkish" of sports. I would like to nominate Rugby.

VD, Canada is going to kick Italy's butt today at the Rugby World Cup.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 26, 2015 9:38 AM  

Should we ever expect more than rhetorical smoke from our new overlords? I guess not

Blogger VD September 26, 2015 9:46 AM  

Does the study even try to justify the assumption that immigrants created all of the new jobs in the relevant period?

Yes. It's fairly technical.

Blogger Red Bane September 26, 2015 9:57 AM  

Who's off-shoring all the industrial jobs? Lets look at the heritage of the CEOs of the biggest companies moving work overseas:

Hewlett Packard - Meg Whitman (Anglo)

Eli lilly - John C. Lechleiter, German Protestant.

GM - Mary T. Barra (Anglo Scotts)
t
GE - Jeffrey R. Immelt ( ethnically ambiguous)

Microsoft - Bill Gates (Anglo)

Pfizer - Ian Read (Anglo)

Apple - Tim Cook ( Anglo)

IBM - Ginni Rometty (Latina)

Merck - Kenneth C Frazier ( Afro American)

Johnson and Johnson - Alex Gorsky (Russian/Polish)

Exxon Mobile - Rex W. Tillerson (Anglo)

Google - Larry Page (Anglo)

Pepsico - Indra Nooyi (Indian)

Oracle - Larry Ellison (Anglo)

A definite pattern here. Not a Mexican Irishman with an Italian mother among them. Hmmm





Blogger Durandel Almiras September 26, 2015 10:28 AM  

Darn paper is behind a pay wall and I'm not concerned enough nor do I have the extra cash to spend on this. Is there a differentiation between creating programming jobs instead of more low paid barrista jobs? Are these new jobs broken down by whether they are full time or part time? And does the study factor or ignore labor supply issues in that increased labor supply drops wages? It's disingenuous if they claim 2.whatever jobs are added and they mean Starbucks baristas and Walmart greeters rather than well paid, higher end work.

Blogger Cail Corishev September 26, 2015 10:39 AM  

Who's off-shoring all the industrial jobs? Lets look at the heritage of the CEOs of the biggest companies moving work overseas:

I notice you didn't include Mark Zuckerberg (despite including several other non-industrial CEOs like Ellison) even though his FWD.us is one of the most visible organizations leading the charge for more cheap foreign labor. I wonder why you would leave him out. Thinking....thinking....hmm, just can't think of a reason. Probably just an oversight.

Blogger Noah B #120 September 26, 2015 10:40 AM  

"Yes. It's fairly technical."

Lots of handwaving to hide obvious nonsense, apparently. Pure propaganda.

Blogger rcocean September 26, 2015 10:53 AM  

How many of these jobs "Created" by immigrants were Government jobs? Or jobs paid by Government Contracts? I notice my local Post office is 50% immigrant.

Blogger Josh September 26, 2015 10:58 AM  

Google - Larry Page (Anglo)
Oracle - Larry Ellison (Anglo)


Page and Ellison are both Jewish

OpenID Steve September 26, 2015 11:18 AM  

The data has been purposely distorted for so long its almost impossible to tell how bad it is. With Hispanics added to the white crime rate after 2006 the Ten Most Wanted in TX has been majority listed as white with no actual whites present. Before 2006 we could say that illegal alien drunk drivers killed more Americans in 2 week than rifles do in a year, now we can only guess that its worse.

-BGS

Blogger Student in Blue September 26, 2015 11:34 AM  

Related to jobs and immigration... had a thought recently concerning the meme that "Mexicans are the hardest-working people I know".

At first, my first thought was "Maybe, no idea. They don't seem that much more hardworking than others."

Now I plan to bring up, "What the hell happened to us, then?" whenever someone mentions it. Just to keep that idea in someone's mind that maybe, just maybe, the kids aren't alright.

Blogger automatthew September 26, 2015 12:06 PM  

Page and Ellison are both Jewish


It's almost as if you can't rely on people's names anymore.

Blogger Eric Medvich September 26, 2015 12:20 PM  

Gee, Vox's numbers seem to make sense in the real world. You know the one where there is a huge College loan bubble and 30-40% of the grads can't even land a crappy job. The one where the cost of milk has risen 200% and the dollar has ever decreasing buying power. Luckily the cost of oranges has remained stable.

OpenID fidelioesp September 26, 2015 12:47 PM  

We can only hope that they're working and not drawing welfare. I listen to NPR frequently (need to keep up on state propaganda) and was appalled to hear what it will cost the German taxpayer to resettle each Syrian refugee. Supposedly the nation would be supporting and educating them for up to five years!
Does the study address programs such as the H-1B visa? I don't have a problem with letting in educated, responsible workers, particularly if their employers pay their resettlement costs. But H-1B lets the corporations treat them like serfs, bringing down wages across the board for engineers such as myself.

Blogger Ragin' Dave September 26, 2015 1:06 PM  

Remember, the Left is importing these people to perform one job, and one job only - to vote Socialist and keep the socialists of both parties in power. That's it. That's their function. And once they do that, they can be discarded again.

Blogger 지호 September 26, 2015 1:09 PM  

Not all economists agree that immigration creates jobs. You should check the work of Geroge Borjas at Harvard. The press try to ignore that he exists or paint him as a marginal radical. However, he has papers published in the most prestigious econ journals with a lot of citations providing evidence that immigration lowers wages. I suspect that the reason why he is able to be anti-immigration, unlike white economists, is because he is Cuban. Therefore he can avoid being called a racist.

Blogger 지호 September 26, 2015 1:17 PM  

The paper that you are discussing, "Are immigrants a shot in the arm for the local economy" by Hong and McLaren, has not been published. It is only a working paper and has yet to pass the peer-review process. Also, it has only been cited twice by academics, though being mentioned many many times by the media.

Compare that with George Borjas' "The labor demand curve is downward sloping", which was published in one of the most prestigious journals and is cited 1,600 times.

OpenID Jack Amok September 26, 2015 1:20 PM  

Does the study even try to justify the assumption that immigrants created all of the new jobs in the relevant period?

Yes. It's fairly technical


I don't have access to the NBER paper, but I wonder how they avoid the "locusts caused the crops to exist" error.

Blogger 지호 September 26, 2015 2:10 PM  

There are three ways economists analyze immigration. Theoretical, empirical using local wages, and empirical using national wages. Basic theory will predict wages to fall when immigration increases, though theory can always be twisted so that it can predict almost anything. So economists looked empirically. Using local data tends to favor pro-immigration and using national data tends to prefer anti-immigration. The paper above by Hong and McLaren uses local data. The problem with local data is that immigrants will tend to move to places where there is more economic growth. Native workers that compete with the immigrants may move to other locations for better wages or working conditions. Native workers that don't compete with immigrants, such as high-wage workers, may move into the area due to the opportunities. Measuring wage effects at the national level tends to show that immigration hurts wages, but the issue with national level data is that it is noisy.

Blogger frigger611 September 26, 2015 2:30 PM  

Anyone claiming that importing poverty, in the form of millions of third world illiterate peasants is "good" for a society or economy in any way - should go to the inner city's skid row, adopt a few oppressed crack heads and move them into the spare bedroom of their home - in order to observe the wonderful ways in which their own family's life will be enriched.
None of us needs to dig deep into the stats to be aware of the fraud, however kudos to Vox for doing the yeoman's work to properly expose the ways the media interprets and manipulates numbers to fit the narrative. (Not that the MSM will ever notice).
When I rule the world Vox will be in charge of the ministry of data and statistics. Woe to the unbelievers.

Blogger The Other Robot September 26, 2015 2:34 PM  

Looks like Finland gets a reprieve because it's just too cold and boring for vibrants to bother with.

Also, what's with the title of one quarter of a job? The only relevant number I can see suggests that it should be one fifth of a job,

Blogger Josh September 26, 2015 3:00 PM  

From the OP:

which means that each immigrant eliminates approximately one-quarter of an existing American's job.

Blogger James Higham September 26, 2015 3:02 PM  

Got it in one.

Blogger maniacprovost September 26, 2015 4:16 PM  

But aren't many of the immigrants drug dealers, children, or otherwise not working? If you take out the nonproductive leeches we're importing, it may be a wash.

Blogger OddRob September 26, 2015 4:18 PM  

But you still haven't addressed the Argument from Better Food. I mean, just imagine how many "ethnic food" stores will spring up down the street with the addition of each new immigrant!

Blogger ajw308 (#98) September 26, 2015 4:54 PM  

Police work, lawyers, judges, paralegals, ER docs & staff, rape counsellors, etc, don't count as jobs created by illegals?

Blogger Danby September 26, 2015 4:54 PM  

"Mexicans are the hardest-working people I know".

There used to be an adage in this country, "He works like a nigger."

Meaning that a man would work tirelessly, regardless of effort or pain, and not stop until the job was done.

Wonder why no-one says that any more?

Blogger Salt September 26, 2015 5:10 PM  

#31 That's more like jobs created by breaking a window.

Blogger The Other Robot September 26, 2015 5:18 PM  

Some of those immigrants produce Cuckservative Clocks

That's gotta be worth something.

Blogger Student in Blue September 26, 2015 6:21 PM  

@Danby
Meaning that a man would work tirelessly, regardless of effort or pain, and not stop until the job was done.

I know a guy who exemplifies that. Skin color and everything.

...only problem is, I only know *one* guy who lives that.

Wonder why no-one says that any more?

I know it's a rhetorical question, but... probably because the government dole has essentially bred the hardworking out of the black population.

Blogger The Other Robot September 26, 2015 7:12 PM  

She's only getting what she deserves

If you prove that immigrants are that important to you, then they are more important than you.

Blogger The Other Robot September 26, 2015 8:03 PM  

Where did they get the RPG-7s for this?

Blogger maniacprovost September 26, 2015 8:11 PM  

I think that life experience is necessary to make someone a "relentless worker."

Blogger Harsh September 26, 2015 8:16 PM  

Police work, lawyers, judges, paralegals, ER docs & staff, rape counsellors, etc, don't count as jobs created by illegals?

It's a good point. Illegal immigration is becoming an industry unto itself. The question is whether or not it's a net drain on the economy.

Blogger Harsh September 26, 2015 8:18 PM  

Page and Ellison are both Jewish


It's almost as if you can't rely on people's names anymore.

I don't know what you're talking about. It's not like Jews ever change their names to sound goy.

Blogger maniacprovost September 26, 2015 8:26 PM  

The question is whether or not it's a net drain on the economy.

A related question is whether or not a bear shits in the woods.

Immigration increases the size of the economy, but it's divided amongst more people. The net result is not only a lower standard of living for the natives, but a reduced surplus available for long term investment, scientific research, and exploration. Immigration-induced equality is a recipe for Malthusian dystopia.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 September 26, 2015 9:04 PM  

@8 Vox, how, pray tell? Beyond simply correlating the numbers of immigrants with the number of jobs created and assuming immigrants caused the jobs? How many new jobs would have been created in the same period according to their model if there had been no immigration?

By the way, a BLS report last year put the number of foreign born workers (legal and illegal) at about 25 million out of a total of about 144 million workers. A lot of those immigrants aren't working... Probably don't have the time, what with creating all those jobs and such.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 September 26, 2015 9:13 PM  

@24 what does use of "local data" mean in this context? Cherry picking stats to fit the theory then extrapolating?

Blogger Stilicho #0066 September 26, 2015 9:19 PM  

@24 what does use of "local data" mean in this context? Cherry picking stats to fit the theory then extrapolating?

Blogger Stilicho #0066 September 26, 2015 9:21 PM  

@Jack Amok: exactly.

Blogger bob k. mando September 26, 2015 11:07 PM  

31. ajw308 (#98) September 26, 2015 4:54 PM
don't count as jobs created by illegals?



if you break enough windows, it makes for a fantastically productive economy.



32. Danby September 26, 2015 4:54 PM
There used to be an adage in this country, "He works like a nigger."

Meaning that a man would work tirelessly, regardless of effort or pain, and not stop until the job was done.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI0D44zYP-Q

Blogger Harsh September 26, 2015 11:14 PM  

The question is whether or not it's a net drain on the economy.

A related question is whether or not a bear shits in the woods.

So you're saying there's a chance.

OpenID eidolon1109 September 27, 2015 2:47 AM  

@42

I was assuming he was giving the authors every benefit of the doubt, so that even under their own ridiculous assumptions their conclusion was nonsense.

What's sad is that anyone would get a conclusion like "every single immigrant somehow magically creates 2.5 jobs wherever he moves to, but natives don't and the immigrants don't do that in their own countries" and think to themselves "yep, sounds legit."

Blogger Stilicho #0066 September 27, 2015 8:13 AM  

@48, yes I understand what he was doing and why, but I want to look at their assumptions and methodology as well because I suspect we'll find even more sleight of hand beneath their "numbers"

Blogger The Other Robot September 27, 2015 12:18 PM  

Peter Frost on Déjà Vu ? and the Similarities and Differences between the current Immigration Crisis in Europe and those about 1,600 years ago.

The Romans did have a system of collective defense. By the 4th century, there was an extensive network of walls, forts, and watchtowers along the border, as well as defense in depth—legions stationed farther behind to contain any incursions. But this system failed to allow for a situation where large numbers of barbarians would be invited to cross the militarized border zone with no opposition whatsoever. At that point, they entered the so-called 'civil zone,' where defenses were much weaker.

The resulting crisis tended to feed on itself. When large numbers of barbarians were invited in, even more decided to invite themselves. The border ceased to exist. There was no longer any barrier between the barbaric outer world and the pacified Roman world, which was home to millions of people who didn't know how to defend themselves and who had not done so for generations.

And so the inevitable happened. The barbarians didn't wish to destroy Roman society—they just wanted to help themselves to its wealth—-but their very presence made the survival of Roman society impossible. No, they didn't completely destroy the heritage of Rome. They came to plunder, not to destroy; moreover, they were already semi-Roman and semi-Christian, and in time the kingdoms they founded would preserve some of that heritage. But the Empire did collapse, as a French historian has wryly pointed out:


Message to Europeans. Get guns and start using them!

Blogger The Other Robot September 27, 2015 2:50 PM  

Given the destruction of jobs real GDP (if that is even a thing) has to be going down, I would think.

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