By Kourtney Webb
The United States is home to 61 million immigrants and New York is among the top three states profiting from their contributions, according to the Center for Immigration Studies analysis. While most of America’s issues with immigration rest on cultural insensitivity, the effects of immigration on the overall economy is a positive one.
With President Trump’s immigration-policy reform actions likely to affect state economies, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s economic impact of immigration by state. WalletHub ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia whose economies benefit the most and least from immigration.
The findings were based on highest percentage of jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses, highest median household income of foreign-born population, highest percent of foreign-born STEM workers, percentage of foreign-born adults with a bachelor’s degree, highest percent of Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or their children, highest percent of jobs created, percentage of jobs created by presence of international students, and highest economic contribution of international students per capita.
The data collected from the analysis concluded that California, New Jersey and New York are the three states that receive the most advantage from immigrants in their state’s economy. Mississippi, Kentucky, and South Dakota have least benefitted from immigration. This is because immigrants are more likely to move in order to find jobs. According to a report by the University of California, Berkeley, immigration as a consequence has served to smooth out local booms and busts. By moving away from declining regions and into booming areas, immigrants help stabilize the economy and reduce the “mismatch” between local demand for labor and its supply. Immigrants’ willingness to move helps slow wage decline in stagnant regions and contributes to economic growth in booming ones.
Joel Fetzer, a professor of political science at Pepperdine University, said in an interview with Wallet Hub that immigrants, both legal and illegal, have an overall impact on the economy that benefit the well-being of both the companies and citizens there.
“If all 12 million undocumented migrants suddenly disappear, many businesses in California and elsewhere would suddenly find themselves critically short of workers,” he said. “Consumers would also experience a significant price increase in immigrant produced goods and services.”
Many people have their opinions when it comes to immigrants living and working in the United States. One of the more common is that immigrants “steal” jobs from American citizens. But WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said, “It is a myth. Immigrants create new jobs much more than anything else.”
Immigrants also employ Americans as employees adding to workforce growth and job creation. Among the top ranked states for jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses were Florida and New York.
“American citizens see more competition and better prices on everyday necessities from food to cars because of immigrant-owned business,” said Gonzales.