Every month, the Biden administration touts the latest jobs report as evidence of how solid the labor market is. But the Devil is in the details. Far from solid, the labor market looks more like Swiss cheese, with job growth being mostly limited to foreigners doing part-time work in only a few parts of the country.

Over the last year, only 15 percent of America’s metropolitan areas saw any job growth. In the other 85 percent of the country, payrolls have flatlined. The so-called growth in the labor market has been incredibly isolated.

Even in the areas that are growing, they’re only adding part-time jobs, which rose 51,000 in the month of February, while full-time jobs plummeted 187,000. In the past three months, the economy has hemorrhaged 1.9 million full-time jobs, the largest three-month drop since the Global Financial Crisis if you exclude the government-imposed lockdowns in 2020.

Since June of last year, the economy shed 1.8 million full-time jobs, replacing them with 1.7 million part-time ones. The number of full-time jobs is now roughly unchanged since March 2022, rising an anemic 0.3 percent, meaning there’s been essentially no progress in two years.

All the job growth in about the last two years has been part-time, which is up nearly 2 million, and much of the increase is from people getting a second, or even a third, job. These multiple job-holders are double counted in the monthly payroll figures, making it appear that more people are employed.

The number of Americans with second jobs increased by 1.6 million in the last three years, and that doesn’t include those who had to take on a third job. Double-counting is a massive hole in the supposedly solid labor market.

Likewise, much of the monthly job growth is a façade from previous months consistently being revised downward. Of the 275,000 added to payroll employment in February, over 60 percent of them were jobs we thought we already had because the two previous months had such large negative adjustments.

Additionally, these payroll numbers are from only one of the two surveys that comprise the report. The other survey, which is used to calculate the unemployment rate, showed a decrease in employment of 184,000.

While these two surveys are tightly correlated over time, they have recently diverged to an unprecedented degree. It’s unclear whether the economy is genuinely employing more people with one of the surveys showing employment is at the same level as it was in April of last year.

But even in the few parts of the country that are adding jobs–even if it is many fewer jobs than originally estimated and it is only part-time work–that says nothing about who has those jobs. Well, it turns out that it is not native-born Americans. For such a solid labor market, these folks have been completely left behind.

Employment for native-born workers is not only millions below its pre-pandemic trend, but it’s even 1 million jobs below the pre-pandemic level. Conversely, foreign-born employment returned to its pre-pandemic trend months ago and is 3.3 million above its pre-pandemic level.

With that in mind, it really is no wonder that Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy because they aren’t the ones getting the jobs.

The stark reality is that native-born Americans have seen no progress in terms of jobs over the last four years—in fact, they’ve gone backwards with a 1 million net loss. All the net job gains since February 2020 have gone to foreign-born workers, a category which the Biden administration admits contains an unknown number of illegal aliens.The positive business headlines on the economy, especially jobs, don’t stand up to scrutiny. The topline numbers may be good, but the fundamentals are rotten—it’s a Swiss cheese labor market, and it’s even got mold. The devil is always in the details, and lately he’s there in spades.

E.J. Antoni is a public finance economist at the Heritage Foundation and a senior fellow at Committee to Unleash Prosperity.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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