New research from New American Economy shows that immigrants contributed $2.1 billion to the GDP of the Akron region metropolitan area in 2018. The report, New Americans in Akron, was prepared in partnership with the Greater Akron Chamber.
In addition to their financial contributions, which included paying $213.6 million in federal taxes and $107.9 million in state and local taxes, the report highlights how immigrants fill crucial workforce gaps. Although foreign-born residents made up 4.9 percent of the region’s overall population, they represented 5.7 percent of its working-age population. Additionally, immigrants had an outsize impact on key industries vital to the economic stability of the Akron region. Immigrants accounted for 9.1 percent of manufacturing workers, 7.8 percent of education workers, and 5.2 percent of wholesale trade workers.
Akron immigrants also helped strengthen the local job market by helping to preserve or create 1,596 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2018.
Key findings include:
- Immigrants are helping alleviate population decline. Between 2013 and 2018, the population in the region decreased by 0.1 percent, while the immigrant population increased by over 20 percent. Without growth in the immigrant population, the decline in the region’s population would have been even greater.
- Immigrants are filling critical workforce gaps. Although foreign-born residents made up 4.9 percent of the region’s overall population, they represented 10.0 percent of its STEM workers in 2018.
- Immigrants are bringing much-needed talent. In 2018, 41.5 percent of immigrants in the Akron area age 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree and 22 percent had an advanced degree (either a master’s, professional or doctoral degree).
The report is based on NAE’s analysis of microdata from 5-year samples of the American Community Survey from 2013 and 2018 and refers to the counties of Portage and Summit, Ohio. Click here to read the full report, New Americans in Akron.