Evangelicals more likely Hispanic; Hispanics more likely evangelicals in last ten years

The Hispanic evangelical population is growing rapidly due to a number of factors, including immigration, higher birth rates, and conversion from Catholicism. The growth of the Hispanic evangelical population is having a significant impact on the religious landscape of the United States. In 2020 one third of all evangelicals were Hispanic; one third of all Hispanics live in evangelical households. I expect that in 2020 both these percentages were closer to 25%.

In 2014, there were an estimated 16 million Hispanic evangelicals in the United States, out of a total of 57 million Hispanics, or 28%. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to 22 million, or a 36% of the total Hispanic population of 62 million. Pew Research Center, there were 54 million in 2010. The number adult white evangelicals in the United States declined from 54 million in 2010 to 43 million in 2020.

Given there were 71 million evangelicals in the United States in 2014 and 63 million in 2020, this means that Hispanics were 23% of all evangelicals in 2014 and 35% in 2020.

Hispanic are more likely than the general population to hold conservative values. They are more likely to believe in the importance of family, faith, and community.

And, Hispanic evangelicals in 2016 voted heavily for Trump – 71% of them, less than did white evangelical voters (75%), but far more than all Hispanic voters (28%).

Black African immigrants and healthcare jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment in the U.S. will grow by only 6% between 2023 and 2031, or about 0.5% a year compounded. Some jobs will decline, such as lower level administrative jobs.  Some will increase, such as math and science jobs by 15%. The fastest growing jobs are in healthcare. The single fastest growing job is nurse practitioner (46%).  Healthcare support occupations, such as PT and OT assistants and home health aides, will grow by 18%.

24% of foreign-born workers were employed in healthcare and social assistance occupations, compared to 17% of U.S.-born workers.  (Go here and here for an overview of foreign-born worker participation in healthcare jobs.)

Black Africa immigrants are compared to other immigrant groups relatively more concentrated in healthcare jobs and thus will disproportionately benefit from the surge in healthcare jobs. These workers tend to be from Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Nigerian immigrants in the United States are particularly likely to work in healthcare occupations, with over 17% of Nigerian immigrant men (vs. 8% of all male workers) and 34% of Nigerian immigrant women (13% of all female workers) working in healthcare-related fields. The report also found that Nigerian immigrants were more likely to have a professional degree than any other immigrant group, and were more likely to work in high-skilled occupations such as medicine and law.

Because the Black African immigrant population is relatively small –only 2.1 million or about 5% of all 46 million foreign-born persons – African born workers are a small portion of all workers in any work sector.  But within 2.1 million is the highest percentage of healthcare workers of all other immigrant groups defined by origin.


E-Verify is effective

Any serious proposal to reform immigration laws needs to have a universal, all employer mandate to verify legal status of the applicant or actual worker.  Both parties in Congress have their own reasons not to endorse this.  The federal government has been working on an electronic verification system for close to 30 years.

The 1986 immigration reform act (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986) mandated that employers verify that their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. As a result of the 1986, the federal government launched an initiative to provide employers a means to electronically check federal databases to verity legal status. It took ten years (1996) to launch a pilot. It did not become routinely available, voluntarily, and as e-Verify, until the mid 2000s. Starting with Arizona in 2011, some states began to require use of e-Verify.

Alabama (2012), Arizona (2007), Georgia (2011), Mississippi (2008), North Carolina (2012), South Carolina (2012), and Utah (2010, currently have universal mandates that require all or nearly all employers to use the system to Screen new hires.

A Fed Reserve Bank of Dallas study in 2016 estimated that the unauthorized workforce in five states the authors studied declined by these percentages:  Alabama 57%, Arizona 33%, Mississippi 83%, Utah 34%, Georgia 14%. In South and North Carolina, there was statistically now change. Tennessee (2016) and Utah (2017) mandated universal use of e-Verity too late to be included in the study. Florida introduced a law this year (Senate 1718).

The Bank wrote, “E-Verify, a federal database, is largely achieving its goals of reducing the number of unauthorized immigrants living and working in states that require all employers to use it….. The report looks at both changes in working-age population and employment of likely unauthorized immigrants using a method that compares what might have occurred in the state without the policy change with what actually occurred. It is the first study [and I believe only study – PFR] to apply this method to multiple states with similar E-Verify mandates.”

I first posted on e-Verify in 2008.

Go here and here.

Foreign born farm workers in California

The three largest California counties in terms of dollar value of farm production – Kern, Fresno, and Tulare, which produce half of the state’s farm output – have workforces which are 75% foreign born.

Five farm product account for 60% of California’s farm production by value of product:

Diary:  more than 50% foreign born; Grapes: 70% foreign born; Almonds: 70% foreign-born; Strawberries: 70% foreign born; Cattle: over 50% foreign born.

This data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Farm Bureau Federation, the California Almond Board, UC Berkeley Labor Center, and University of California, Davis. Go here.

Residential construction: 40% of workers are immigrants

Any serious reduction of inflow of foreign born workers into residential construction, including unauthorized workers, constrains building.

The residential construction industry in some key states such as California, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Texas depend on foreign-born workers—over 40% of these workers are foreign born. In the 2010s, close to 40% of the national increase of workers from the most recession bottom were foreign born workers.

The growth of the foreign born residential construction workforce as recently slowed down.

According to the most recent 2021 American Community Survey (ACS), the number of immigrant workers in construction, including self-employed, remained close to 2.8 million, or 24% of the construction workforce. In the trades (such a masonry, carpentry) the share of immigrants was 30%. But the annual flow of new immigrant workers into construction slowed to the lowest levels since 2012 despite ongoing skilled labor shortages exacerbated by a pandemic boost to housing demand.

In the first half of the 2000s, the annual inflow of new foreign born workers was over 100,000, reflecting the surge of unauthorized Mexican and Central American migrants. This inflow accounted for one tenth of the entire new increase in the U.S. labor force during these years.  This inflow collapsed during the housing downturn of the late 2000s, then rose again in the 2010s, only to decline again.

“These [immigrant] workers are not substitutable,” said Michael Clemens, an economics professor at George Mason University. Clemens has studied the effect of immigrant labor in the workforce, and his findings refute the argument that immigrants take jobs that would otherwise be filled by U.S.-born workers. “Even when employers find a few [U.S.-born workers] to fill these jobs, they find there’s extremely high turnover in them,” Clemens said. Immigrants, Clemens said, offer the kind of labor supply that employers in construction need to plan business activity medium- to long-term.

Go here and here.

Germany’s immigration agenda

From Foreign Policy:

Germany faces a fundamental migration dilemma. Refugees from poor and war-torn countries flock to it as a haven while skilled professionals from outside of the European Union—workers the German economy sorely needs—tend to shun it. Germany’s efforts to make itself more appealing run up against deep-seated cultural affinities, which explains why a new Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report lists it as only the 15th most attractive country for foreign workers—just behind Portugal, Denmark, and Ireland and way behind front-runners New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Think tanks forecast that the German labor market could be short as many as 7 million workers by 2035.  The country’s goal: 400,000 new professionals a year. [That is more than the annual immigration of professionals into the U.S.]

The list of the sectors crying out for help, according to a foreign ministry portal, is sprawling: raw material extraction, production, and manufacturing; natural sciences; information technology; air transport; and energy technology as well as agriculture; forestry and animal husbandry; horticulture; construction; architecture; and surveying and building technology. This list doesn’t even include vacancies in education, child care, tourism, gastronomy, and retail.

The number of Germans at retirement age will rise from 16 million people today to at least 20 million people by the mid-2030s. Meanwhile, the number of working-age people will drop by between 1.6 million and 4.8 million people in the next 15 years, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

Foreign born labor force now back to pre-COVID trend

The foreign born labor force (18-64 year olds) today is about 30.5 million.  Prior to the pandemic, it rose about 2% a year, compared to 0.5% annual growth of the U.S. born labor force. That’s today going forward about a 0.6 million a year of more foreign born workers and about 0.5 million more U.S. born workers a year. During the first two years of the pandemic, the foreign born labor force lost about 1.5 million members, but that loss has been restored and we are back at the 2% per year trend line.

To put this trend into context: the total 25 to 54 year old labor force participation rate rose consderably in the five years before the pandemic, and since 2021 has risen sharply, to the highest level in recent history (83.5%),  Average wages have been growing at about 0.4% a month (5% annually) and the unemployment rate is at a low for all groups. Hispanic unemployment rate is the lowest rate perhaps ever. The fertility rate of foreign born women has been higher than of U.S. born women, and above replacement rate; thus young entrants into the labor force are disproportionately children of immigrants.

And, the workforce age (15 – 64) as percentage of total population, which was roughly 66% for a long time, is in the process of a steep decline to about 61% in the mid 2030s. 66% of 310M in 2010 means 205M; 61% of 380 in 2035 means 231M, indicating an average workforce growth of one million a year.

Biden’s immigratation proposals implicitly aim for an increase of roughly 50% in the annual addition of the foreign born to the labor force.

Hungary’s unique program to encourage children through student loan relief

Hungary’s fertility rate is about 1.5, or roughly in the middle of European countries, which range from about 1.25 to 1.8.  It is facing a demographic crisis. Its population will continue to grow slightly, but if you assume a very modest emigration of working age population and increase of life span, the ratio between the elderly and the working age populations will change dramatically in 20 years – say from about 1/3 to 2/3.

The Hungarian government offers a student debt cancellation program tied to getting married and raising a family. For several years, Hungary has offered first time mothers with student loans for a three-year suspension of the loan payments after the birth of their first child. Having a second child results in halving the remaining student loan balance,  and having a third child wipes away the balance entirely. From the beginning of 2023, the government announced women with student debt who have a child before their 30th birthday and within two years of the completion of the studies (or during) will have the entirety of the student loan debt forgiven.

Hungary also has in place child-bearing incentives which are commonly used or considered in other countries: cash payments and tax breaks; 24 week maternity leave; childcare; low interest loans for home buying; and job protection for mothers.

Source: Gladden Pappin, Requiem for the Realignment, American Affairs, Spring 2023.

Non whites dominate migration to suburbs

Today, job access in metropolitan areas is far easier – shorter commute distance, for instance – in the suburbs by car rather than by transit in cities. Therefore, any population group which is improving its penetration into the job market is moving to the suburbs.   Moving to the suburbs improves access to jobs.

In 2000, the suburban and ex-urban population was relatively more white (79%) than the urban population (59%). Thus, it is reasonable to expect that additions to the suburban population since 2000 is mainly non-white. As it turned out, virtually all suburban and exurban growth since 2000 was non white.

Between 2000 and 2019, Hispanics made up a majority of the suburban and exurban population growth (50.9%), adding 14.1 million. Asians accounted for 19.6% of suburban and exurban growth, an increase of 5.4 million. African-Americans made up 19.6% of suburban and exurban growth, an increase of 5.4 million. All other groupings (other races and multiple races) were 5.9% of suburban and exurban growth, an increase of 1.6 million. The balance of the growth, 4.0% was White-Non-Hispanics, with the smallest increase, at 1.1 million. (from here and here.)


Do higher incomes discourage or encourage migration?

One major factor in migration over the past 50 years  is that the costs and risks of international migration have declined considerably. (Go here).  A popular idea in foreign aid today is to provide people in poor countries cash assistance, with one goal to reduce the desire to migrate If the U.S. gave Central American households cash on the condition they use it for education and healthly practices, would that reduce interest in migrating?

Cash transfers can include humanitarian payments during emergencies and cash for work programs.

One form of cash transfer is a conditional cash transfer requiring the beneficiary to perform in some way, but without constraints on where that person might eventually decide to live.

Conditional cash transfers in poor counties may be conditional on base to make basic investment in human capital: school attendance by children, and periodic health checks by adults.

This study casts cold water on the notion that providing cash to people in poor countries in need leads them to stay put in better economic condition:

Intuitively, it might seem like when families get a higher income where they live, they should be less likely to migrate away, whether higher income is caused directly via cash, transfer, or indirectly by more education. But the net effect is typically the opposite: those families are more likely to migrate. Two different effects work against the intuitive one.

First, cash, transfers directly alleviate constraints on migration in the short term. Members of many poor household have powerful economic incentives to migrate, but lack the means to offset the high cost and risk they incur by migrating. Second, transfers that are conditional on investment can raise the education level of young people in the household, raising migration in the long term. Families who have children with higher schooling attainment often have higher expectations for the children’s earnings relative to their ability to find good local jobs.  In other words, in the short run cash transfers enable people to pay for migration, and in the long run increase aspirations for migration.

Cash transfer programs conditional on investment have raised beneficiaries rates of international migration in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Comoros.