As regular readers are no doubt aware, shifting demographics are affecting everything from the labor market, to homeownership, to race relations in America.
In “The ‘Illegal Immigrant’ Recovery” for instance, we documented the stunning fact that in May, the number of foreign born workers lept 279K which means that, assuming the Household and Establishment surveys were congruent, there were just 1K native-born workers added in May of the total 280K jobs added. Alternatively, assuming the series, which is not seasonally adjusted, was indicative of seasonally adjusted data, then the 272K increase in total Household Survey civilian employment in May would imply a decline of 7K native-born workers offset by the increase of 279K "foreign borns."
And while we also noted that these comparisons are apples to oranges, we pointed out that using the BLS' own Native-Born series, the US has added 2.3 million "foreign-born" workers, offset by just 727K "native-born" since December 2007. Because the "foreign-born" category includes both legal and illegal immigrants, it may well be that the surprise answer why America's labor productivity has plummeted in recent years and certainly months, and why wage growth has gone precisely nowhere, is because the vast majority of all jobs since December 2007, or 75% to be specific, have gone to foreign-born workers, a verifiable fact. What is unknown is how many of these millions of "foreign-born" jobs have gone to illegal immigrants who are perfectly willing to work hard, and yet whose wage bargaining power is absolutely nil (after all they are happy just to have a job) thereby leading to depressed wages for native-born workers in comparable jobs, resulting in wage growth which over the past 8 years has been non-existent.
As for the housing market, we recently cited data from the Urban Institute which shows that because the vast majority of new households in the next decade will be formed by minorities, and because minority groups tend to have lower homeownership rates, the overall homeownership rate in America — which has already retraced twenty years' worth of gains — will likely slide further in the coming years.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is embroiled in a legal battle with several states who contend an executive order designed to accelerate immigration “reform” amounted to executive overreach.
In this context, consider the following excerpts from a new Bloomberg piece entitled “American Babies Are No Longer Mostly Non-Hispanic White”:
Racial and ethnic minorities now surpass non-Hispanic whites as the largest group of American children under 5 years old, the Census Bureau said Thursday.
The reversal in 2014 marked a milestone in a trend toward a more diverse U.S. that's projected to continue. Births outnumbered deaths for all ethnic and racial groups last year except for non-Hispanic whites, the new Census data show. A report earlier this year projected that by 2044, today's majority white population will be the minority.
The demographic rise of minorities comes at a time when heightened racial tensions make headlines from St. Louis to Charleston, South Carolina, and as minorities lag in education, earnings and labor market outcomes. In the first quarter, blacks over the age of 25 made 78 cents for every dollar a white worker made, based on median weekly earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hispanic people were even further behind, at 70 cents.
That disadvantage could grow more important to the U.S. economy, because today's ethnic and racial minorities will form the cornerstone of tomorrow's labor market. In the decade through 2022, Hispanics will make up about 80 percent of growth in the workforce, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.
Clearly (and as indicated by Bloomberg) this seismic shift has implications far beyond economics and BLS and Census Bureau data. And with that, we'll close with what we said on Monday about the current (and sad) state of American society:
Increasingly, it seems Americans have lost all faith in the government’s ability to help create the conditions under which groups and individuals with divergent interests can coexist without sinking into a Hobbesian state of nature.