Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan Via Pexels

According to a new report by the American Immigration Council, immigrants significantly contribute to Michigan's economic development, impacting everything from the labor force and business creation to consumer spending power.

The American Immigration Council collaborated with the Michigan Global Talent Coalition to produce the report titled "Contributions of New Americans in Michigan." Among the main findings, immigrants made up nearly 9% of Michigan's spending power in 2022, contributing a collective $23.1 billion to the state's economy. Immigrants also represent 8.4% of the employed labor force and are 24% more likely to be of working age compared to their U.S.-born counterparts, suggesting they can help mitigate labor shortages across various industries.

In a press release, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, Jeremy Robbins expressed his own conclusions about the report:

"The findings of this report document the value and importance of immigration and immigrants' economic contributions to Michigan. The fact that immigration is responsible for the majority of Michigan's population growth is typical for states across the Midwest and Northeast and much of the country. We hope policymakers and business leaders can use this data to properly contextualize hiring, talent attraction and retention, workforce development, and economic development in public policy decisions."

Among other insights, the report highlights the significant presence of immigrants in Michigan's STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce. As of 2022, over 18% of STEM workers in Michigan were immigrants, addressing a critical need for available workers in this field. Additionally, other sectors with workforce shortages, such as registered nurses, retail salespeople, supervisors, and sales representatives, benefit from the influx of immigrants.

The report also reveals that immigrants in Michigan are over 35% more likely to become entrepreneurs than U.S.-born citizens, a fact that seems to coincide with a nationwide trend.

Steve Tobocman, Executive Director of Global Detroit, member organization of the Michigan Global Talent Coalition expressed the need for the report's findings to translate into a coherent strategy going forward:

" A Michigan population strategy without an immigration strategy is akin to developing a Michigan economic strategy that would ignore automobiles, manufacturing and agriculture. Immigration has been the single biggest driver of population growth in Michigan for 30 years, and all of the prior research on this topic acknowledges that reality. It's absolutely imperative for policy leaders to invest in what has proven to be our strongest asset in fighting population loss and economic stagnation--our immigrant workforce. The data doesn't lie."

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