There are a lot of competing studies (and pundits) out there, but the general takeaway from conservative and liberal economists is that immigration is good for Americans’ living standards over the long run. That’s because immigrants raise the wages of native-born workers (and also lower the cost of immigrant-dense services like child care and cleaning).
As scholars at the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project explained recently, immigrants and native-born workers are generally complements, rather than perfect substitutes: lower-skilled immigrants largely sort into farming and other manual, low-paid jobs that the native-born don’t want to do, and higher-skilled immigrants provide labor that high-tech companies cannot find enough trained American-born workers.
As a result, immigration creates new job opportunities for the native-born, with some particularly high-profile examples found in Silicon Valley. According to a Kauffman Foundation study, of the engineering and technology companies founded in the United States from 2006 to 2012, 24.3 percent had at least one key founder who was foreign-born. In Silicon Valley alone, this number was 43.9 percent. Even outside of Silicon Valley, entrepreneurship rates are higher for the foreign-born than the native-born, and start-ups are the greatest source of American job growth.
Academic research suggests that, over all, immigrants create modest but positive average wage increases from 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent for American workers, according to Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, both of the Hamilton Project.
Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
U.S. Entrepreneurship | Immigrants were more than twice as likely to start businesses each month in 2011
The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States and is presented a very comprehensive report. (Adapted Report excerpts by Job Market Monitor following) The Kauffman Index reveals important shifts in the national level of entrepreneurial activity and shifts in the demographic and geographic composition of new entrepreneurs across … Continue reading »
The nation’s total immigrant population reached a record 40.4 million in 2011, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. Over the last decade, the number of immigrants in the U.S. has steadily grown. Since 2007 alone, the number of immigrants living in … Continue reading »
While people earning STEM degrees has been on the uptick in the past two decades, a more recent Census report shows that most of the degrees in computer, math, statistics, and engineering disciplines are still going to foreign-born residents, primarily to those from China and India. Below are some interesting facts (many referring to the … Continue reading »
Immigrant entrepreneurs are doing great things in America today. Lebanese born Dr. Charles Elachi is the Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and his team just sent a rover to Mars. Russian born Sergey Brin is the co-founder of Google. In fact, a 2011 study found that 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded … Continue reading »
The technology journalist Robert X Cringley has an article criticizing H1-B visas that I think is worth offering a rebuttal to. In contrast to pro-immigration voices that is often associated with Silicon Valley, this piece reflects the anti-immigration sentiment that I think reflects the same old protectionism we see in many other places in this … Continue reading »
CFR’s Renewing America initiative just released a new report by Alexandra Starr, a fellow at the New America Foundation, titled “Latino Immigrant Entrepreneurs: How to Capitalize on Their Economic Potential.” Through statistics and personal stories, the report explores Latino immigrant entrepreneurs’ growing contributions to the U.S. economy. Contrary to many who assume Latino immigrants just … Continue reading »
Children of immigrants are outperforming children whose family trees have deeper roots in the United States, learning more in school and then making smoother transitions into adulthood, according to sociologists at The Johns Hopkins University. Researchers Lingxin Hao and Han S. Woo tracked nearly 11,000 children from as young as age 13 into their early … Continue reading »