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Immigrant contributions to the U.S. Economy | News

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Immigrant contributions to the U.S. Economy
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A new SBA Office of Advocacy sponsored report by Robert W. Fairlie examines the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy. Some of its findings are:

    Immigrants are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business than are nonimmigrants, and they represent 16.7 percent of all new business owners in the United States.

    Immigrant business owners make significant contributions to business income, generating $67 billion of the $577 billion in U.S. business income, as estimated from 2000 U.S. Census data. They generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California—nearly $20 billion—and nearly one-fifth of business income in New York, Florida, and New Jersey.

    Nearly 30 percent of all business owners in California are immigrants, compared with about 12.5 percent of the population of U.S. business owners. Twenty-five percent of business owners in New York and more than 20 percent in New Jersey, Florida, and Hawaii are foreign-born.

    In California, immigrants are 34.2 percent of the new business owners each month. Nearly 30 percent of all new business owners per month in New York, Florida, and Texas are immigrants.

    Immigrants own 11.2 percent of businesses with $100,000 or more in sales and 10.8 percent of businesses with employees.

    Immigrants’ contributions differ across sectors of the economy. They own a large share—more than one-fifth—of businesses in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry. They also contribute significantly to other services, transportation, and wholesale and retail trade.



Given immigrant contribution to US economy – Conference participants hope immigration is Obama priority

By Peng Yunong, Sing Tao DailyTranslated from Chinese by Austin Woerner.

At a round-table discussion yesterday entitled “Impacting Local Development with Global Resources,” participants offered keen insights on, and enthusiastically affirmed the role of immigrants in New York City’s economic life. The discussion was part of a conference sponsored by Asian Americans for Equality, entitled “Crisis, Innovation, and Opportunity.”

Anish Melwami, of McKinsey and Company, pointed out that a third of America’s gross capital investment currently comes from Asian corporations, and the number of instances of Chinese companies investing in the United States has increased from 1,500 to 3,500, over the past five years. Last year, 29 Chinese firms broke into the American market, greater than the past three years’ total of 27. Melwami said that there is a great abundance of capital coming from diverse Asian countries – including China, Korea, India, Taiwan, and Japan – and predicted that as Asian firms quicken their advance toward American markets, there will be a boom in employment opportunities for Asian Americans, who understand market conditions in both their mother countries and the United States. Such firms will employ Asian Americans in order to decrease risks associated with entry into the American market, and to act as a bridge between their native and adoptive countries, helping them craft market plans that are sensitive to Americans’ needs and wants.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute, said that new immigrants brought to the United States by the rising tide of globalization will very quickly become a backbone of the local economy. For example, New York City’s overall economic growth rate last year was 10 percent, but growth rates reached as high as 55 percent in Flushing and 47 percent in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood. These increases were, in great part, due to the effort of immigrant entrepreneurs who quietly built thriving businesses from scratch.

Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, reminded attendees that no matter how hard immigrants work to create new opportunities, if the American government cannot quickly pass immigration reforms and legalize illegal immigrants, these hard-working taxpayers will always remain on the margins of society. Hong said that no matter how well-intentioned President-elect Barack Obama’s plans for universal healthcare, if he does not find a way to legalize America’s multitude of undocumented immigrants – conservatively estimated at 12 million – they will be unable to enjoy any benefits or medical coverage. Hong called for Obama to put immigration issues high on his list of priorities.

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