Topics: United States, Immigration to the United States, Economics Pages: 1 (382 words) Published: March 31, 2011
Does immigration help or hurt the U.S. economy? It sounds like a simple enough question. Immigration in recent decades has significantly increased the presence of offshore workers in the United States. The impact of these immigrants on the U.S. economy is hotly debated. Sometimes immigration and globalization have often been described as economic threats. The truth, however, is more complex. The most important conclusion that emerges is as follows: The studies uniformly show that immigrants do not increase the rate of native unemployment in the aggregate. Actually, the continuing arrival of immigrants to American shores is encouraging business activity here, thereby producing more jobs. A misconception of some policymakers is that each immigrant who gets a job displaces one U.S.-born worker. Because the scale of the U.S. economy is not fixed, however, this extreme position is unwarranted. Immigrants are not just workers after all, but consumers, and immigrant demand for products and services expands employment. Americans benefit from immigration. Economic theory says that immigration makes other inputs into production - like skilled labor and land - relatively "scarce," and therefore raises their market value. The overall benefits of immigration make to the U.S. economy are probably not trivial. A 1997 study by the National Research Council estimated that in the mid-1990s, Americans gained between $1 and $10 billion per year from immigration's labor market impacts alone. At the same time, we can see that the job-creating benefits of trade and immigration every day, even if we don't always recognize them. For example, low-skilled immigrants usually fill gaps in American labor markets and generally enhance domestic business prospects rather than destroy jobs, an immigrant will often take a job as a construction worker, a drywall installer or a taxi driver, while a native-born worker may end up being promoted to supervisor, they help the United States develop...
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