New research from New American Economy underscores the crucial role immigrants in Los Angeles County play as essential workers, economic contributors, and business owners. The new report, New Americans in Los Angeles County, was prepared in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA).
- Immigrants are helping Los Angeles County meet its labor force demands. In 2019, immigrants and refugees made up 33.8 percent of the area’s overall population, representing 38.6 percent of the working-age population, and 40.4 percent of its employed labor force.
- Immigrants and refugees are helping the county meet its rising labor force needs in STEM and key industries. Immigrants and refugees accounted for 35.1 percent of the region’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 58.7 percent of food manufacturing workers, and 42.2 percent of healthcare workers — all critical industries that have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Immigrants play a particularly significant role in the county as entrepreneurs. Immigrants represented 49.9 percent of business owners in the county in 2019, generating $8.7 billion in business income for Los Angeles County.
- Immigrants in Los Angeles County help create or preserve local manufacturing jobs. Because of the role immigrants play in the workforce helping companies keep jobs on U.S. soil, immigrants in the county helped create or preserve approximately 156,200 manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.
- Immigrant households support the federal safety net. The foreign-born contributed $11.4 billion to Social Security and $3 billion to Medicare in 2019.
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/or technical assistance in the creation of a multi-sector strategic immigrant integration plan.
Read the full press release here.