Removing Unauthorized Workers Harms States and Industries Across the Country

See also: The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers by Ryan Edwards and Francesc Ortega

Download the full excel worksheet with data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia for further detail.

Removing all 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants from the United States means removing more than 7 million workers from industries and states across the country. A Center for American Progress report indicates that there are serious economic consequences for the United States associated with such a policy, which would remove almost 5 percent of the U.S. employed labor force. The CAP report estimates that this type of policy would eventually reduce the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, by $434 billion, or 2.6 percent, on average annually. These national losses are spread out across industries and states.

The following interactive map illustrates the overall GDP losses each state would suffer, broken down by industry. To understand the extent of economic loss, the map also shows GDP lost as a share of industry-specific GDP, as well as overall GDP. For example, California would lose $8.2 billion, or 21 percent, of its agricultural industry GDP alone, while overall the state would lose 5 percent of GDP from all industries.

Note: Estimates of “annual GDP lost” are the long run impacts on production, in 2013 dollars, of a policy that removes all unauthorized immigrant workers from the country.* Totals have been rounded to the nearest $1,000,000. “Percent GDP lost” expresses these impacts as percentage reductions in a state’s industry-specific total GDP. “Total” includes public-sector—that is, government—contributions to GDP, which are not shown separately because they do not change with the policy. Estimates are not available, written as NA, for industries within a state where there are too few unauthorized workers observed in the American Community Survey.

Source: Ryan Edwards and Francesc Ortega, “The Economic Impacts of Removing Unauthorized Immigrant Workers: An Industry- and State-Level Analysis” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2016), available at See Methodology for further detail.

* Correction, September 30, 2016: This interactive has been updated to reflect that GDP losses would result from a policy that removes all unauthorized immigrant workers from the country.