According to a report by The Partnership for a New American Economy, young businesses under five years of age are responsible for all net job creation over the past three decades in the United States. New businesses generate jobs. But the number of new businesses opening in America is declining. This highlights the critical importance of immigrant entrepreneurs in our country.
Over the last two decades, less native-born Americans have been opening businesses. Yet, immigrants have been filling the gaps. Immigrants are twice as likely as a native-born worker to start a business and started 28% of businesses in 2011 despite being only 12.9% of the U.S. population.
Immigrant businesses do tend to be smaller than their native-born counterparts, but they still carry a big economic punch. Immigrant owned businesses employee 1 in 10 U.S. workers at privately owned companies. They also pay out $126 billion in payroll every year while generating $755 billion dollars of revenue to the U.S. gross domestic product.
Immigrant-owned businesses are more than 60 % more likely to export than are non-immigrant owned businesses. Immigrant owned companies are also 2.5 times as likely to be high exporting firms meaning they export 20 percent of their sales.
Immigrants also start businesses in key areas of our economy. Immigrants are expected to start more than 25% of business in 7 of 8 of our economy’s fastest growing sectors over the next decade. A recent study by the Fiscal Policy Institute that found that immigrants own 18 percent of incorporated businesses. Immigrant-owned business generate 20 percent of all income in the retail trade, transportation, healthcare, social assistance, accommodation, recreation and entertainment sectors.
It’s important to note that if our country allows less immigrants, we’ll be limiting the entrepreneurial capability of our nation and sending that talent abroad. In one year, the U.S. issued only 65,000 high skilled visas compared to 150,000 in Canada.
Canada, Germany, Singapore and Australia are adopting policies that attract high-skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs. These countries also have no cap on high-skilled immigrant worker visas. They also have low rejection rates for intracompany transfer visas and special visas for entrepreneurs.
Other countries are competing to become the most innovative by welcoming high skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs. They’re also building their economy by the additional revenue businesses started by the immigrant entrepreneurs generate.
Immigrants play an ever-increasing roll in U.S. job generation. From big name corporations to neighborhood markers, immigrants are growing the economy. It’s important for our leaders to see the roll immigration reform plays in building the U.S. economy.