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May 21, 2018

In Both Canada And United States, Immigration Important For Economic, Job Growth

Businesses in the Canadian and U.S. metals sectors rely on skilled workforces to do business and to expand. As such, the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) supports commonsense immigration policies and programs that ensure access to both low- and high-skilled workers. Two new reports, one from a think tank in the United States and another from the Conference Board of Canada, illustrate how important sound immigration policies are to the two nations’ economies.

First, the Conference Board of Canada estimates:

  • If Canada stopped admitting immigrants, economic growth would slow from 1.9 percent annually to an average of 1.3 percent annually.
  • By 2034, the number of deaths in Canada will exceed births, which means population growth will only come from immigration. If Canada admitted no new immigrants, by 2040 almost 27 percent of the population would be 65 years of age or older.
  • Increasing immigration to one percent of Canada’s population by the early 2030s would help keep Canada’s population, labor force, and economy growing at a modest rate.

In the United States, based on a review of economic data in the U.S. states, the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) found higher levels immigration actually led to lower levels of unemployment for native born workers. According to NFAP:

  • A one percentage point increase in the share of the labor force comprised of immigrants reduced the unemployment rate of U.S. natives in similar demographic groups by 0.062 percentage points.
  • A one percentage point increase in the share of the labor force comprised of immigrants raised the labor force participation rate of U.S. natives in similar demographic groups by 0.045 percentage points.
  • There is no evidence of significant adverse effects among less-educated U.S.-born workers, while immigration appears to boost labor force participation among more-educated U.S.-born workers.
  • Having more immigrants overall does not significantly affect U.S. natives’ unemployment or labor force participation rate.