September 6

Immigration Is Key To Growing The U.S. Economy

Jobs are integral to a thriving economy. Now, in the decade following the recession, stimulating job growth is a top priority to keep the economy growing.

An article published by the Kauffman Foundation lists five ways to prompt economic growth. Among them is immigration. The article remarks that according to Kauffman’s own research, “changes to immigration law, including the creation of a visa for immigrant entrepreneurs, can boost economic growth and job creation.”

A recent study found that about half of highly successful, fast-growing startups had at least one immigrant founder. That’s 44 out of 87 privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more. In addition to starting these companies, immigrants also created jobs – 760 jobs per start up to be exact.

The study, conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy states that the combined value of the 44 immigrant-founded companies studied is over $168 billion – akin to the value of the stock markets in Russia and Mexico.

A 2013 National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) study found that immigrants started 33 percent of venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012. This demonstrates the increasing importance of immigrants and immigrant owned businesses to the U.S. economy.

Moreover, it is not just entrepreneurs who create jobs, every H-1B visa holder creates 1.83 jobs for Americans. This may not sound like a lot but consider that H-1B visas awarded between 2010 and 2013 will create 700,000 jobs for American workers by 2020 and the impact on job creation and the economy becomes clear.

A report by the Yale School of Management discusses the economic advantages of immigrants bridging the gap between low quality STEM education at the secondary school level in the US and a lower than average trade deficit in the tech sector. The article states,

“Even though the U.S. has a trade deficit in virtually all sectors, that deficit is narrowest in the high-skill sector for high-tech products. It’s also the case that the secondary school system in the U.S. is not at the top levels of the world. If the U.S. is producing all these innovations, but our secondary school system isn’t that great, it must be the case that somebody else is filling that gap.”

The gap is bridged by immigrants. American students are not pursuing degrees in STEM.  The number of U.S. students pursuing STEM degrees is growing by just 1 percent per year. Only 2 percent of graduate degrees earned by U.S. citizens and green card holders were in STEM between 2002 and 2012 compared to 23 percent of degrees earned by foreign nationals.

The advantages to the U.S. economy are not just across the STEM sector. Immigrant owned businesses contribute $775 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy across all sectors. Latino and Asian owned businesses employ 4.7 million workers per year. There are copious statistics attesting to the fact that immigration stimulates job creation which grows the economy.

President Trump supported legislation such as the RAISE act which threatens to decrease legal immigration is an affront to the economy. A country’s ability to competitively export a product is contingent on utilizing immigrants from other nations with experience exporting that product. Immigrants create networks between countries and more opportunities for job growth which stimulates the economy.

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