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Immigration is the primary catalyst for growth in the U.S. workforce

Friday, May 12, 2017

If the U.S. labor force is going to grow over the next two decades, replacing the baby boomers who are retiring in this period, immigration is the only viable solution.
A recent report from the Pew Research Center projects that the working-age population (people aged 25-64) in the United States, will dwindle from 173.2 million in 2015 to 165.6 million by 2035 unless immigration continues at its current rate. In contrast, the report estimates that at its current pace, immigration will expand the pool of workers in the U.S. to 183.2 million.
To put it bluntly, immigration is the only source of projected growth – 100 percent of it – in the U.S. workforce over the next 20 years. By comparison, baby boomers (the generation born between 1946 and 1965) were the primary drivers of growth in the pool of U.S. workers in the 50 years prior to 2015.
Even at current levels of immigration, growth of the working-age adult population in the nation will be slower than in previous decades. An insufficient labor, in turn, will slow economic expansion in the U.S. The country needs a growing workforce to maintain growth in the economy, as well as to fund Social Security, Medicare, and other benefits for the workers who are retiring.
Japan and Germany are currently experiencing stagnant economic conditions, as businesses struggle to find a sufficient number of skilled workers to fill open vacancies and replace older, retiring labor forces. The U.S. tech sector is already struggling to do so, and skilled medical workers will be in increasingly short supply as baby boomers retire and the U.S. population of senior citizens, who are major consumers of medical services, balloons.
The Pew Report also notes that, over the next several decades, immigrants and their second generation children will account for almost 90 percent of U.S. population growth. Apart from filling jobs, influxes of immigrants to small, rural towns and blighted urban areas have created renewal, local economic vitality, and prevented urban decay and the deaths of many rural towns.
Attempts to decrease immigration will stymie U.S. businesses, and simply create a population that is older, whiter, and increasingly unemployable.

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