New Study Shows Skilled Immigrants Boost U.S. Jobs

The American Enterprise Institute and the Partnership for a New Economy recently commissioned a study looking at the relationship between immigration and the job market in the United States.

The groups did the study to help advise policymakers in hopes that immigration policy changes could spur economic growth, according to a press release from AEI.

The study found that the current immigration policy is not hurting but enhancing the job market. The agencies conducting the survey sought to use the data to advocate for specific policy changes that could boost U.S. job growth.

Researchers looked to find out if immigrants take jobs that would be filled by U.S. citizens, if they create jobs, or if there is no net effect. They also looked into what types of jobs were being taken or created by the immigrants.

The study outlined two broad schools of thought on how immigration impacts the labor market. The first idea says that immigrants and native-born Americans share the same skill sets and must compete for the same jobs. The second idea says that Americans and immigrants have different skills and complement each other in the resulting diversified work force.

Employers and policymakers both point to two groups as being critical to the U.S. economy – immigrants with advanced degrees and temporary work visa holders. Researchers looked at Census Bureau data and temporary worker applications to look at states individually to try and learn how likely an American citizen is to have a job in states with more immigrants. The study went on to look at the benefits these immigrants receive relative to their taxes.

Researchers came up with four significant findings. Immigrants with advanced degrees boost U.S. employment; temporary workers, skilled and unskilled, boost U.S. employment; no evidence shows immigrants hurt U.S. employment; and foreign-born workers pay more in U.S taxes than they use in benefits.

The data on immigrants with advanced degrees showed that workers who studied in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – at U.S. universities had a big positive impact on jobs here. For every 100 skilled workers with advanced degrees from U.S. schools, 262 jobs were created for American-born workers between 200 and 2007.

Foreign-born workers with advanced STEM degrees from schools around the world including the United States also had a positive impact on jobs with 86 jobs created for every 100 high-skilled immigrant working here.

The addition of 100 temporary workers also resulted in more jobs for native-born Americans, according to the study. H-1B workers created 183 jobs for every 100 immigrants and H-2B workers created a whopping 464 jobs for Americans.

The researchers used the data from the survey to make policy suggestions aimed at boosting the American economy.

The American Enterprise Institute suggests giving priority to immigration applicants with advanced degrees in STEM fields and increasing the number of green cards for high-skilled workers.

A qualified immigration attorney can help skilled workers and employers work with immigration services to get visas to work in the United States.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

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