New research from New American Economy shows that immigrants held $9.4 billion in spending power — 42.8 percent of the total spending power in the county — and contributed more than $4 billion in taxes in 2018. The report, New Americans in Middlesex County, was prepared in partnership with the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Einstein’s Alley.
In addition to their financial contributions, the report also highlights how immigrants fill crucial workforce gaps in industries vital to the economic stability of the county. While representing 34.5 percent of the total population (the national average is 13 percent), immigrants represented an outsize share of workers in industries such as professional services (54 percent), wholesale trade (51.9 percent), transportation (50.5 percent) and manufacturing (49.8 percent). Immigrants also helped strengthen the local job market by helping to preserve or create 13,164 manufacturing jobs that would have either disappeared or moved elsewhere by 2018.
Key findings include:
- Immigrants are driving population growth for the county. Between 2013 and 2018, the immigrant population in the county increased by 8.6 percent, while the overall population increased by 0.1 percent. Without growth in the immigrant population, the county’s population would have declined by 2.7 percent.
- Immigrants make significant economic contributions to the economy. Alongside the $2.7 billion immigrants paid in federal taxes and $1.4 billion in state and local taxes, immigrants contributed $1.3 billion to Social Security and $353.2 million to Medicare in 2018. After taxes, immigrants in the county have a spending power of $9.4 billion — an outsized share of 42.8 percent of total spending power in the county.
- Immigrants are creating jobs in Middlesex County. In 2018, immigrants were 28.3% more likely to be entrepreneurs, and represent 49%, close to half of all entrepreneurs in the county.
- Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. Despite making up 34.5 percent of the county’s overall population, immigrants are 42.8 percent of the employed labor force, and 64.4 percent of all STEM workers.