Behind Today's Stellar Jobs Print: It Was Literally ALL Part-Time Jobs (And Illegals)

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 05, 2024 - 04:05 PM

First things first: unlike the last two months when both the January and February jobs prints were beyond ridiculously manipulated and goalseeked to pass a terrible number as a strong one, the March print was not a complete disaster.

To be sure, superficially the March report was another artificially goalseeked blowout that guaranteed it would have zero credibility: with 303K payrolls added which was a 4 sigma beat to the median estimate of 214K and above the highest Wall Street forecast. There is just one problem: the number of multiple-sigma beats in recent months has been so high, the entire concept of "beats" has become laughable.

Consider this: January was a 5-sigma beat to expectations; February was a 3-sigma beat and March, we just learned, beat the median estimate by 4-sigma. Not only that, but in every of the last 3 months, the actual payrolls number (at least before it was revised lower the next month), has come in higher than the highest Wall Street estimate! We kinda feel bad for Biden trying so hard to manipulate the economy and population into liking Bidenomics and approving of his disastrous economic policies. Maybe he should just report one month that jobs rose by 10,000,000 and sit back and wait for his approval rating to hit 100... or something.

The silver lining, is that unlike previous months when the Household Survey reported sharp drops in the number of actually employed workers, in March, employment finally rose by 498K to 161.466 million, the first monthly increase in the past 4 months.

Still, despite the modest rebound in employment, it still lags payrolls by almost 9 million jobs since the covid trough.

However, that's where the mitigating factors end, because while there was some improvement in the quantitative aspect of the March report, when it comes to the qualitative aspect, it was another disaster for one simple reason: all the job gains were part time jobs!

Here is exhibit A: in March, the number of part-time jobs soared by 691K to 28.632 million, up from 27.941 million while full-time jobs dropped by 6,000, to 132.940 million from 132.946 million.

This number only gets scarier when we extend the period to the past year: as shown in the next chart, since March 2023, the number of full-time workers has collapsed by 1.347 million while the number of part-time workers exploded by 1.888 million!

There's more.

Regular readers are aware that all the job gains since 2018 have gone to immigrants, mostly illegal immigrants, something we spent last month's jobs post discussing in detail.

So what happened in March? It will come as no surprise that there was more of the same, and after the collapse in native-born workers in the last three months when nearly 2.5 million native-born workers lost their jobs, March saw some pick up, and 929K native-born workers were added. Meanwhile, after last month's record increase in foreign-born workers, in March illegal immigrants added another 112K jobs, pushing the total number of foreign-born workers to a new record high of 31.114 million.

Said otherwise, not only has all job creation in the past 6 years has been exclusively for foreign-born workers...

... but there has been zero job-creation for native born workers since July 2018!

This, as we have been saying for months now, is a huge issue - especially at a time of an illegal alien flood at the southwest border...

... and is about to become a huge political scandal, because once the inevitable recession finally hits, there will be millions of furious unemployed Americans demanding a more accurate explanation for what happened - i.e., the illegal immigration floodgates that were opened by the Biden admin.

To this point, we are delighted to observe that after everyone had been ignoring what we have been saying for months, namely that all job growth has gone to illegals...

... overnight none other than Goldman admitted that not only has all job growth in recent years gone to illegal immigrants, but that America is now being invaded. Below we excerpt from the note from Goldman economist Elsie Peng, who amusingly calls illegal aliens "unauthorized immigrants" in her note (available to pro subs in the usual place):

Net US immigration surged in 2023. Recent reports from the Congressional Budget Office and border encounter data from the Office of Homeland Security suggest that net US immigration was running above the estimate implied by the change in the foreign-born population in the household survey over the last couple of years. We estimate that net US immigration surged to roughly 2.5 million in 2023, the highest level in the last two decades (Exhibit 1). In today’s note, we look at where recent immigrants are coming from, what parts of the US they are heading to, and how they compare to the rest of the US labor force.

Unauthorized immigrants from South America, Central America, and Mexico have accounted for most of the recent surge in immigration. Using immigration court case data, we estimate that the number of unauthorized immigrants from these three regions likely tripled in 2023 from its pre-pandemic average (left side of Exhibit 2). We note that these estimates of unauthorized immigration inflow carry some degree of uncertainty because some immigration court cases also reflect visa overstays. In contrast, the overall level and origin composition of authorized immigrants is similar to pre-pandemic trends (right side of Exhibit 2).

Where are they going? According to Goldman, the most popular destination states for new immigrants are Florida, California, Texas, and New York, which together have received over 50% of recent immigrants.

And the punchline, or how the establishment is trying to spin the flood of illegals into a positive feature for the US economy: apparently all these illegals are little gifts from god, keeping wages low and taking jobs that nobody else would ever want.

Data from the 2023 Current Population Survey suggest that recent adult immigrants are more likely to be young or prime age (90%) than the native-born adult population (62%) or adult immigrants who arrived earlier (64%). Recent immigrants have a higher labor force participation rate than the native-born population but a lower rate than immigrants who have been in the US for longer, have a higher unemployment rate than either group, are more likely to work in construction and food services and accommodations, and earn significantly lower wages on average.

This is hardly a surprise: none other than Fed Chair Powell fired the starting gun one month ago when in his 60 Minutes interview he effectively said Americans are lazy and that it was the illegals that have been critical in keep wages lower even as jobs have grown substantially in the past year (at least according to the Establishment survey). Recall this exchange from the interview:

PELLEY: Why was immigration important?

POWELL: Because, you know, immigrants come in, and they tend to work at a rate that is at or above that for non-immigrants. Immigrants who come to the country tend to be in the workforce at a slightly higher level than native Americans do. But that's largely because of the age difference. They tend to skew younger.

PELLEY: Why is immigration so important to the economy?

POWELL: Well, first of all, immigration policy is not the Fed's job. The immigration policy of the United States is really important and really much under discussion right now, and that's none of our business. We don't set immigration policy. We don't comment on it.

I will say, over time, though, the U.S. economy has benefited from immigration. And, frankly, just in the last, year a big part of the story of the labor market coming back into better balance is immigration returning to levels that were more typical of the pre-pandemic era.

PELLEY: The country needed the workers.

POWELL: It did. And so, that's what's been happening.

But that's not all: just in case praising illegal immigration wasn't enough to keeping wage growth low (completely ignoring that all these millions in illegals will require trillions in additional welfare spending, and are the primary beneficiaries of the latest explosion in US debt), there has been a second angle this time courtesy of the CBO which recently hilarious "calculated" that illegal immigrants will boost US GDP by $7 trillion in the next decade.

This is how CBO Director Phill Swagel summarized it: "as a result of those changes in the labor force, we estimate that from 2023 to 2034, GDP will be greater by about $7 trillion and revenue will be greater by about $1 trillion than they would have been otherwise."

And there you have it: yes, the US hasn't added any jobs to native-born Americans in six years, as instead all jobs have gone to immigrants, mostly the illegal variety, but that's good news you see, because if it wasn't for these lovely creatures flooding into the US, wages would be higher (that's a bad thing according to the Fed), and the US economy would not grow by $9 trillion. Just please ignore that that $9 trillion in "growth" will come only thanks to $20 trillion in debt, almost all of it soaked up by these same illegals, and of course, a handful of corrupt, embezzling politicians.

And so the scene has been set: if and when Trump or Republicans finally get their act together and halt the flood of illegals, then and only then, will the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis admit just how ugly the US economy, the labor market and inflation truly are... and then they will blame Trump for pushing the US into a stagflationary recession because he halted the record inflow of immigrants without which the US is - drumroll - doomed.