Today, the United States is home to the largest immigrant population in the world. The debate over immigration is still a highly contentious issue throughout the US, but opinions aside, what is the impact of immigrants in the hourly jobs workforce?
Numerous studies have documented that immigrants are needed to replace a large number of retiring Baby Boomers and that a significant portion of the future growth of the U.S. workforce will come from immigrants and their children. It’s currently expected that Gen X will fill 65 million of the 75 million positions left open from the retiring baby boomers, leaving a gap of 10 million. Who will fill these jobs? If not filled, what impact will this have on our economy?
The Hourly jobs Gap is real.
The need is already being felt in U.S. hourly jobs that employ an aging population of workers like trucking, housekeeping and janitorial positions. At Jobalign, we serve the companies that employ hourly workers, and our data tells us that Immigrants represent a disproportionate share of people in lower-wage jobs, including 32 percent of janitors and building cleaners, 50 percent of grounds maintenance workers and 55 percent of people working as maids and housekeeping cleaners. Put simply, the immigrant population is critical to the future continuation of these sectors of our economy.
Pew research, (graph below) has forecasted that the impact of immigrants on the working population will be nothing short of critical in the next 20 years, with 18M jobs.
Immigrants are positioned to replace the baby boomers in the hourly workforce.
The baby boomers who are filling hourly workforce jobs are between 51 and 69 years old today. The fact is, this workforce will be replaced in the next 10-15 years.
Most immigrants in 2015 were between 20 and 54 years old. Given this, it’s expected that immigrants will compete for the roles baby boomers vacate in the hourly workforce.
“For the health and growth of our economy, it is critical that immigrants are among those available to fill the hourly jobs that baby boomers will vacate as they retire. We must see immigrants as an asset to our workforce, to our economy, and to our country” – Doug Johnson, CEO Jobalign
At Jobalign, we interface with millions of hourly job seekers and workers. We will continue to cover these important immigration-oriented industry trends and do everything we can to support and advocate for the hourly worker, and to serve our customers who employ these workers, with what they need to engage this workforce. Stay tuned!