It’s hard to deny that immigrant workers are and will continue to hold up the U.S. economy, particularly in this time of crisis.

Immigrant Workers Have Always Been Essential

Published may. 28, 2020

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Of the almost 49 million essential workers on the frontlines of today’s pandemic, nearly 6 million are immigrants, working as physicians, home health aides, farm employees, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, and more.

In certain regions and industries, the percentage of immigrant essential workers is even larger. In California, immigrants make up one third of all essential workers. And nationally, at least half of all farm field workers and 80 percent of meat processing workers — people we rely on to pick and process our food — are undocumented immigrants.

Looking at this data, it’s hard to deny that immigrant workers are and will continue to hold up the U.S. economy, particularly in this time of crisis. For many companies, this is old news: they have long seen this population as an asset to their business and invested in them as such.

In an article on RealClearPolicy, Erica Cuevas, senior policy manager & Laura Roberts, deputy director, JFFLabs shares a recent report from JFF that found that immigrant workers deliver a massive boost to individual businesses and the U.S. economy as a whole. Their economic contributions account for nearly $2 trillion of total U.S. GDP, while they have higher retention rates than the labor force as a whole, and are the only talent pool growing at a pace to offset impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation.

Image via RealClearPolicy/AP.

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