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Allowing more foreign-born people into the U.S. could help solve the country’s labor-force challenges and catalyze upward mobility for American-born workers, according to Brookings.
Millions of U.S. residents are deciding not to work low-paid, dead-end jobs, creating wide-ranging effects on the economy. One of the most notable is the disruption of supply chains and a shortage of many consumer products, creating the largest year-on-year increase in inflation in over 30 years, according to a report by Brookings.
While Americans’ rejection of front-line work has created a holdup in the production chain, some of these jobs could be filled by the large number of immigrants eager to join the U.S. labor force, the report says. This would help relieve the supply chain pressures hindering economic growth, calm inflation and provide a boost to U.S. residents seeking better careers, according to the report.
In fact, a new wave of immigrants would allow mid-sized cities to sustain their recent economic growth, much of which can be attributed to immigration that occurred over the past decade, Brookings says.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in: service occupations; natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations; and production, transportation, and material moving occupations. They also were less likely than native-born workers to be employed in management, professional and related occupations and in sales and office jobs.
The case for more immigration will soon become even more compelling, according to the report. The federal infrastructure bill recently passed by Congress will create hundreds of thousands of jobs building, installing and maintaining infrastructure, Brookings says.
Filling front-line positions with new immigrants would allow U.S. residents to move into a wide range of higher-paying jobs in which they hold a comparative advantage relative to immigrants, according to Brookings. This can include managing laborers on a construction site, a position that requires English-language fluency and local knowledge.
For more information from the Brookings report click here.
Andre Claudio is the assistant editor for Route Fifty.
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