New research from New American Economy underscores the critical role immigrants in Erie county and city play in the community’s labor force growth, STEM innovation, and business creation. The new report, New Americans in Erie County, was prepared in partnership with the city of Erie and Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.
- Immigrants’ spending power has helped revitalize local businesses. Immigrants punch above their weight when it comes to their power as consumers. In 2019, they held $192.3 million in disposable income that can go towards buying homes, supporting small businesses, and reinvigorating the local economy. At the city-level, immigrants held $88.3 million in spending power, making up 6 percent of the all spending power in the city.
- Immigrants are helping the county meet its rising labor demand in the STEM sector. Despite making up just 4.1 percent of the overall population, immigrants represented 4.8 percent of the working-age population and 8.2 percent of the county STEM workers.
- Immigrants are bringing much-needed talent. In 2019, nearly 30 percent of the immigrants ages 25 and up held at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 27.7 percent of the U.S.-born population in Erie County. About 16.1 percent of the immigrants held an advanced degree, compared with 9.8 percent of the U.S.-born population in the county.
The report was produced as part of NAE’s and Welcoming America’s Gateways for Growth Challenge, which includes tailored research on the local immigrant population and technical assistance in the creation of a multi-sector strategic immigrant integration plan.
Read the full press release here.