The recent decline in the number of immigrants entering the country led to some worrying prospects for the American labor market and economy.
The early 2022 censuses in the United States shed light on a trend that began to emerge since the beginning of the pandemic: while there are more and more jobs for immigrants in the United States, there are fewer and fewer immigrants to fill them. Workers of all ages and from all walks of life are leaving their jobs, causing a shortage of employees in the American labor market.
The shortage of employees has, in fact, varied and complex reasons. They range from fears of infection due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the need for time to care for family members at risk, or even increased stress or burnout in the workforce. However, one factor is often overlooked in these analyses: Fewer people are entering the country, both temporarily and permanently, leaving many jobs in the United States for immigrants unfilled.
The rate of population growth in the United States has been declining for the last decade or so. This is not only due to the general aging of the population and a reduction in its birth rate but also to the low numbers in the migratory flow. Add to this the voluntary resignation of thousands of workers from the workforce, and we find all the necessary ingredients for an economic crisis.
How do the decline in immigration affect the economy and the American labor market?
The net number of international immigrants in the United States, measured in mid-2021, was 247,000 people. Five years ago, in 2016, the same indicator showed a total number of more than one million individuals. Although the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly influenced the decrease in the migratory flow in recent years, this downward trend can be traced back for many years. For many experts on the matter, what mainly affects these numbers is the lack of improvement and the negative changes in immigration policy. All these factors end up preventing immigration numbers from growing.
According to the latest censuses, the most demanded jobs for immigrants in the United States are in the service area. According to the United States Department of Labor, 21% of immigrants work in this industry, while only 14% of the native population choose it. On the other hand, the gastronomic industry and the construction industry are also examples of areas in which the immigrant population occupies more jobs than the native population.
During the pandemic, when added to the aforementioned reduction in the labor force, the reduction in the number of immigrants caused a significant impact on all industries that could have benefited from a greater migratory flow to cover their labor supply.
What do economists think?
The crisis in the labor supply in the United States once again shed light on an old debate: is the entry of immigrants beneficial or not for the American economy? For most experts, the answer is a resounding yes.
As uncertainty grows and debates continue, one thing is certain: there is a great demand for labor and there are jobs in the United States for immigrants waiting to be filled. The next electoral cycle will benefit from re-evaluating current immigration policies and advancing measures to restore the flow of migration.
If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 281-606-5362!