Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress released a groundbreaking new report, “The Contributions of Immigrants and Their Children to the American Workforce and Jobs of the Future” by Dowell Myers, Stephen Levy, and John Pitkin, that analyzes fundamental demographic and employment trends that are changing our nation’s workforce. As Congress moves closer to passing historic immigration-reform legislation, this analysis shows how central immigrants and their children will be to meeting the future workforce and economic needs of the nation. They will play a vital role in reshaping the workforce, filling essential jobs, and sustaining economic growth.
The workforce and jobs of the future will be very different from those of today. This study presents projections of the workforce that are unprecedented in their detail about the role of foreign-born immigrants—the first generation—and their native-born children—the second generation.
Grounded in data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the uniquely detailed Pitkin-Myers generational projections of population are extended to estimate the role of immigrant generations in the workforce. The study combines these projections of the size and characteristics of the workforce with independent estimates of job openings to show the linkages between workforce changes and economic growth over the coming decade and beyond.
Among the report’s findings:
- In total, over the next two decades, nearly 83 million people will enter the workforce. More than two-thirds of them will replace people currently in the workforce, and the rest will account for the growth in the workforce.
- Between 2010 and 2020 the workforce will grow by 12.7 million people, and between 2020 and 2030 it will grow by an additional 11.5 million, for a total of 24.2 million people.
- Immigrants and their children will account for 85 percent of the net workforce growth of 24.2 million over the next two decades.
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