New research from New American Economy highlights the crucial role immigrants are playing in New Jersey’s economy, working in some of the state’s fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, including education, healthcare, and mental health. In order to remain competitive and meet the critical workforce shortages in many of these fields, New Jersey will need to implement policies that not only attract and retain immigrant talent that complements U.S.-born workers, but that also build career pathways for the immigrants that already call the state home. By passing Assembly Bill 4225/Senate Bill 2455, New Jersey can expand economic opportunity for all residents and help to meet the state’s pressing workforce needs.
Key findings from the report include:
- Immigrants are helping to fill critical teacher shortages in New Jersey. From 2014 to 2018, online job posting for K-12 teaching positions increased by 31.8 percent. Over that same time period, the immigrant share of K-12 teaching positions grew by 26 percent, compared to 0.8 percent among U.S.-born.
- Immigrants are helping New Jersey meet its growing demand for healthcare workers. From 2014 to 2018, online job postings for nurses increased by 90.5 percent. Immigrants have helped fill many of these roles, making up more than 33 percent of workers in occupations that required a nursing certificate or license over that four year period.
- Immigrants are playing essential roles as social workers and behavioral health providers. From 2014 to 2018, the share of immigrants in social work and counseling occupations ranged from 12-15 percent.