It’s important to have a clear view of the role that immigration has on the American job market. While a lot of things can be said about the role of immigration in a country, there is no point getting started down any road until looking at the facts. Looking directly at the numbers makes it possible to see the real picture of the American job market, and helps to form a vision for the future of the country in which temporary labor visas play an active role.
These kinds of considerations are especially important because they will inform Department of Labor policy regarding work visas. So, let’s jump into the numbers and take a closer look at the impact immigration has on some major sectors of the American job market.
Historical Trend Upwards
According to official government records, between 1970 and 2010 immigrant workers have taken up a larger portion of the working population. In 1970 they took up 5% of the working population; in 2010 that percentage has risen to 16%. What this trend illustrates is that American employers are having to look farther afield to find the skilled workers they need to bring their company forward. This is especially true in the computer and mathematics department, the largest category of employer-sponsored visas by a wide margin each year. American economic growth would be slowed without these positions being filled by experts in the field.
High Immigration Corresponds to Economic Growth
Government figures from 1990 until 2010 show a correlation between immigration contribution in the labor market with economic growth. During the 1990s, a period of stability and economic growth, the United States had relatively high immigration rates and immigrants represented 46 percent of the growth of the labor force. That means that a lot of new jobs were being given to newcomers. This percentage continued to rise until the mid-2000s when a recession hit and the economy slowed down. Current numbers show that immigrants represent approximately 40% of new job growth. When the economy begins to get rolling again, we can expect to see a corresponding increase in employer-sponsored visas and a rise in immigrant jobs.
Most Immigrants Are Well Educated
A high percentage of visa-holding foreign nationals have exceptionally strong education backgrounds, and the same is true of immigrants. The only difference is that immigrants are more likely than native-born Americans to lack a high school diploma. That has not stopped most of them from finding meaningful employment. This goes to show that advertising around immigration and labor can do a better job of showing how beneficial immigration and visa-holding foreign nationals are to the American economy.