How immigrant workers in US have helped boost job growth and stave off a recession


Millions of jobs that new immigrants have been filling in the United States appear to solve a riddle that has confounded economists for at least a year: How has the U.S. economy managed to prosper, adding hundreds of thousands of jobs, month after month. This was reported by the Associated Press.

How immigrant workers in US have helped boost job growth and stave off a recession
The influx of foreign-born adults vastly raised the supply of available workers after a U.S. labour shortage had left many companies unable to fill jobs.

The availability of immigrant workers eased the pressure on companies to sharply raise wages and to then pass on their higher labour costs to their customers via higher prices that feed inflation. Though U.S. inflation remains elevated, it has plummeted from its levels of two years ago.

Thousands of employers desperately needed the new arrivals. The economy — and consumer spending — had roared back from the pandemic recession. Companies were struggling to hire enough workers to keep up with customer orders.

The problem was compounded by demographic changes: The number of native-born Americans in their prime working years — ages 25 to 54 — was dropping because so many of them had aged out of that category and were nearing or entering retirement.

“Without employees, you are broken,” said Gautam, himself an immigrant from India who started working in restaurants as a dishwasher and now owns his own company. “If you want boost the economy,” he said, “it definitely needs to have more immigrants coming out to this country.”

Many economists suggest that immigrants benefit the U.S. economy in several ways. They take generally undesirable, low-paying but essential jobs that most U.S.-born Americans won’t, like caring for children, the sick and the elderly. And they can boost the country’s innovation and productivity because they are more likely to start their own businesses and obtain patents.

Wendy Edelberg, an economist at the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, notes that an unexpected wave of immigrants, like the recent one, can overwhelm state and local governments and saddle them with burdensome costs. A more orderly immigration system, she said, would help.

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