The key findings from a new S&P report by chief US economist Beth Ann Bovino on immigration:
• Employment-based immigration reform could add about 3.2 percentage points to real GDP in the next 10 years.
• High-skilled immigrant workers spend and invest, supporting businesses and the economy. Generally, highly skilled workers earn much more than average U.S. wages, with those in the STEM fields earning almost twice the average. The top 20% of high earners account for 38% of all spending.
• Immigrant labor largely complements–not substitutes–the U.S.-born workforce. Concerns that immigrants will “take our jobs” are misplaced.
• Highly skilled immigrants help create jobs. They increase innovation and productivity and are more likely to start a new business than U.S.-born workers. Startup businesses are the true engine of job creation in the U.S. economy.
• Employment-based reform would provide a short-term solution to the current “skills gap” businesses face, giving long-term solutions like school-business partnerships–which produce graduates with skills that meet business needs, getting graduates hired at a faster pace–a chance to work.