Ohio economy needs foreign workers

Evidence suggests that the increasing immigrant community in the US is helping to create more businesses, and generating taxes and income. This is contrary to the perception immigrants are taking jobs and driving down wages, according to a report by Partnership for a New American Economy.

Retired Ohio State University math professor, Yung-Chen Lu, who is also the Ohio Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Council founder, says it is vital that the growing new American community within Ohio is embraced. Ohio has suffered some of the country’s worst population decline for several years, the report states, and policymakers in the state have encouraged more overseas students to remain after they graduate from university. Immigrants in Ohio are over 50 percent more likely to have a graduate degree than native residents, according to the report.

Officials in the state have also tried to attract more residents of working age. The more inclusive attitude has resulted in the immigrant population of the state increasing by as much as 2.5 percent from 2010 to 2014, the most recent year with available data. The report states that Ohio is currently home to over 480,000 immigrants.

The study found that immigrants are more entrepreneurial than most of the US population, with 6.7 percent of all Ohio entrepreneurs being immigrant workers despite them being just 4.2 percent of the population. In total, immigrant firms generated business income worth almost $532 million in 2014.