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How Migrant Muscles Are Fueling America’s Job Surge

By Claire Moraa

  • America’s GDP is expected to reach highs of $7T over the next decade with the number of immigrant workers growing
  • Immigrant workers making up the U.S. labor force reached a peak of 18.6%, an increase from 18.1% in 2022

When you think of immigrants, you’re probably thinking of the less fortunate, minority and underrepresented people. And its true, they often face challenges such as language barriers, discrimination, and lack of access to healthcare. However for the U.S, this is a group that is literally the cornerstone of growth and success holding their economy together. Birth rates in the U.S have significantly gone down to 2% leaving employers seeking for employees. However with the entry of migrant workers, the labor force has seen a boost and is projected to hit 5.2 million people in the next decade.

Why This Matters: The increase in immigration following the pandemic has been crucial for economic stability. It has enabled steady economic growth without spurring higher inflation. Immigrants have helped fill job vacancies at wage levels that contribute to controlling overall price growth in the economy. But it’s a win for both migrant workers and U.S-born workers. Immigration has had a positive effect on the wages of less-educated native workers, increasing them by about 1.7% to 2.6% in the 2000-2019 period.

Immigrants are no longer a burden to an economy. They establish new businesses and create employment opportunities, spend their earnings on American goods and services, pay taxes, and enhance the productivity of U.S. businesses. All these activities stimulate the economy, creating a positive impact. And if we’re talking numbers, the projection of a $7 trillion increase in the GDP over the next decade where the federal government gets to collect a tax revenue of $1 trillion is phenomenal.

While migrant workers evidently bring more good to an economy, the challenges they face cannot be overlooked. Many of them lack proper documentation, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation due to their undocumented status. Their influx has allowed the U.S. to sustain higher job growth rates but if these challenges are left unaddressed, the expected GDP increase may be a dream that needs to be shelved.

What’s Next: With an aging population and declining birth rates, migrant workers are likely to remain essential contributors to the dynamic and diverse U.S. economy. To be able to fully depend on migrant workers, reforms are required to promote labor rights. Otherwise, the trajectory of migrant labor in growing the economy could shift, and not in the right direction.

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