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Immigration Drove Labor Force Growth in 2022

Immigrants helped fill worker shortages last year, providing 60% of workforce growth according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, reports Bloomberg Government (subscription).

The data: “Roughly 1.8 million foreign-born workers joined the labor force in 2022, compared with 1.3 million native-born ones, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data published Thursday.”

  • “The nation’s nearly 31 million immigrant workers now make up 18.5% of the labor force, close to a record-high share and above pre-Covid levels.”

Filling the gap: Immigrants are taking more roles in industries experiencing labor shortages, as compared to before the pandemic.

  • “Almost 10% of immigrant workers had jobs in construction last year, up from 9.1% in 2019, according to the BLS. The share of foreign-born workers in health-care support occupations also increased.”

The NAM says: “With over 800,000 job openings in manufacturing over the past 12 months, manufacturers know immigration is an essential part of the workforce solution to build a stronger, more competitive America, and that’s why the NAM is unrelenting in leveraging every opportunity to advance our immigration plan ‘A Way Forward’ with key Hill and administration leaders and the press,” said NAM Director of Human Resources and Innovation Policy Julia Bogue.

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