Immigrants Are the New American Workforce

Foreign-born workers made up 17.4 percent of the labor force in the U.S in 2019. Last year, there were 28.4 million foreign-born people in the U.S. labor force. According to the Census Bureau, there are 161 million workers in the American workforce. Nearly a quarter of the workforce, 23.1 percent, is employed in educational services, health care, and social assistance. Onevox’s CEO, Rodrigo Lins that is an immigration researcher in the U.S says the immigrant community is now more qualified than ever.

Immigrants make up approximately 17 percent of the U.S. labor force, about one in six workers. More than half of immigrant workers in the U.S. (56 percent) work in just four major industries. More than 20 percent of new and established business owners in the U.S. were immigrants in 2014. Immigrants have founded 51 percent of the country’s startup companies worth $1 billion or more as of Jan. 1, 2015, a study conducted in 2016 found. Each of these companies employed an average of 760 people.

About 11.5 percent of workers are employed in the retail trade while another 11.2 percent work in professional, scientific, management, administration, and waste management services. The manufacturing sector employs 10.3 percent of U.S. workers. According to Rodrigo Lins, that is the CEO of Onevox Creative Solutions and a researcher of the immigration system in the U.S, the immigrant community is changing.

“We had a new profile of immigrants coming to the U.S in the last 5 years. They study more and come legally. That makes their life easier here in the U.S and also helps to open businesses around the country. According to the last information of the U.S Bureau of Labor Statics, the immigrants are now working more in educational services, management, arts, and science. That’s great news for the U.S economy”, reveals Rodrigo Lins.

More qualified, the immigrants are now opening more business than ever before. American business applications skyrocketed in the third quarter of this year, and continue to grow, highlighting a shift in the US economy towards entrepreneurship and new startups during the pandemic. The data from the US Census Bureau show significant growth for high-propensity businesses, the type that tends to eventually employ people.

“The data are a count of the number of businesses that applied for the tax identifier known as an EIN or Employer Identification Number”, explains the researcher Rodrigo Lins. He believes the Startups are affecting the economy. “New businesses, also known as startups, are important indicators for the US economy because they are a major source of jobs, innovation, and competition”, explains Mr. Lins.

Many of these new businesses are digital. According to Rodrigo Lins, in the wake of these economic trends, many more people in the U.S have become retail entrepreneurs, especially online. “Between April and October of this year, the number of weekly applications for new, non-store retail businesses far outpaced every other kind of retail”, reveals the researcher.

This growth in American entrepreneurship is continuing into the fourth quarter. Data for the six-week period ending on Nov. 14 show there were more than 508,000 new business applications, with 34% of them for high-propensity businesses. Weekly increases in applications continue to be high in states like Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Maryland.

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