Stunning figures show that over 1.2 million US-born workers lost their jobs last month, while foreign-born workers grew by 668,000 — while migrants continue to stream across the border under Biden’s administration.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there was a staggering drop of 1.223 million native-born people in the labor force between July and August — a low not seen since April 2020.
The number of US-born workers had been rising steadily since January, when the number was 130 million. This rose to 131.1 million in April before peaking at 132.25 million in July.
Employment in this category fell back to 131.03 million in August.
In comparison, the number of foreign-born workers has increased since the beginning of the year. In January 2023, 28.69 million non-natives worked in the US, compared to 29.96 million in April and 30.396 million in August.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most dramatic fall in native-born employment was between March and April 2020, the first month of the coronavirus pandemic.
Employment rose from 128 million to 111 million in four weeks – a loss of 173.24 million jobs.
July to August 2023 was the biggest drop since then.
While there can often be a lull in employment in the summer months and in the winter period from December to January, the decline this year is more pronounced than in previous years.
In 2021, there was a 601,000 native-born job drop in the US between July and August.
Also in 2022, 324,000 fewer workers were employed in the same months.
Even before the pandemic, there were 700,000 fewer native-born people in the US workforce, according to July and August 2019 data.
Therefore, this year’s negative difference of 1.223 million seems more worrying – a negative contrast to the trend of previous holiday doldrums.
Looking at the same summer jumps in foreign workers, the opposite trend seems to apply. Employment has increased rather than decreased.
Between the summer months of the first year of the pandemic, employment among foreign-born workers boomed – up by 473,000.
Between July and August 2021, the number of foreign-born workers increased by 237,000, and while there was no increase in 2022, the decrease was marginal – at just 29,000.
The 668,000 increase in the number of foreign-born people working in the US this summer is the highest jump from July to August in the last 10 years. The only period from July to August that came close to this figure was the peak of the pandemic in 2020 – 605,000.
While there can often be a slump in employment in the summer months and in the winter period from December to January, the decline this year is more pronounced than in previous periods (archive image)
The figures suggest that the number of native-born jobs has risen by almost zero since the Corona economic crisis. The job market is just about to hit the highs of October 2019 when employment stood at 131.72 million.
Trends also appear to show that fewer foreign-born people were working in the United States each month under Donald Trump, according to FBI data.
Comparing numbers from the first three years of their respective terms, the Republican president’s foreign-born workforce increased by 752,000 between August 2017 and 2019.
In contrast, Democrat Biden’s August 2021-2023 tally was 3.943 million.
During the Trump presidency, the number of foreign-born workers increased by just 82,000 between July and August 2017.
The figure of 668,000 foreign workers in 2023 is a staggering eightfold – given the Biden administration’s control of movement across the US-Mexico border since Title 42 of the pandemic era ended in May.
Between July and August 2018, the number of foreign-born employees increased by 168,000, compared to 132,000 in 2019.
According to the Bureau of Labor StatisticsForeign-born persons are United States residents who were not US citizens at birth and whose parents are not US citizens.
Although new hires this August were high by historical standards at 187,000, job growth over the past three months averaged just 150,000, the lowest since October-December 2019.
The figure of 668,000 foreign workers in 2023 is a staggering eight-fold – amid the Biden administration’s control of movement across the US-Mexico border since the end of Title 42 of the pandemic era in May (stock image)
Worker churn rates, as well as the hiring rate, have also fallen to near or below pre-pandemic levels, while a statistic closely monitored by the Fed — the number of job openings for each unemployed person — plunged to 1.51 in July, the lowest since September 2021
Former Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said the downgrade represents “a significant slowdown in the job market.” “If this continues, we’re likely to be at the peak of the interest rate cycle.”
The Fed has been raising its federal funds rate rapidly since March 2022, but is expected to keep it steady in the current range of 5.25% to 5.50% at its September 20th meeting.
New economic forecasts released at the end of this session will show whether policymakers continue to expect another rate hike this year, but following the latest jobs data, investors have increased their bets against such a prospect.
Acting US Secretary of Labor Julie Su said the slower pace of job growth shows the economy is transitioning from the “rapid” recovery from pandemic-era job losses to “sustained stable, steady growth.”
She said, “That’s really what you want to see if you’re aiming for a ‘soft landing’.”
She was referring to Fed policymakers’ hopes that they can bring still-high inflation down to the central bank’s 2 percent target without pushing the economy into recession or causing high unemployment rates.
Although the unemployment rate rose three-tenths of a percentage point to 3.8 percent in August, it remained well below the US post-World War II rate of 5 percent and above.
It has also been fueled by an increase in the number of available workers by more than 700,000 – a constructive dynamic that can allow employment to expand without inflationary pressures on wages.
Fed officials have been hoping for a slowdown in the job market, torn between the fact that rising wages and a buoyant job market will improve the economic fortunes of workers and families, and concerns that continued tight hiring conditions will keep inflation high could.
So far, at least, the Fed has been posting gains there, too, with data since the July meeting showing the pace of inflation is slowing and the breadth of inflation is narrowing.