New research from New American Economy underscores the critical role immigrants in Spokane city and county play in the community’s labor force, STEM innovation, and economic vitality. The new report, New Americans in Spokane, was prepared in partnership with the City of Spokane, Greater Spokane Inc, The ZoNE, World Relief Spokane, AHANA, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Spokane, and Latinos en Spokane.
- Immigrants and refugees are helping Spokane meet its labor force demands. As of 2019, immigrants and refugees made up 5.6 percent of the City of Spokane’s overall population with 77.5 percent of working age, as compared to 64.2 percent of the U.S.-born population, making immigrants 20.7 percent more likely to be of working age than their U.S.-born counterparts.
- Immigrants and refugees are helping the region meet its rising labor needs in STEM and essential industries. Despite making up just 5.6 percent of the overall population, immigrants accounted for 7 percent of the region’s STEM workers, 12.7 percent of manufacturing workers, 8.7 percent of educational services workers, and 7.8 percent of healthcare workers – all critical industries that have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Immigrants in the region are making substantial economic contributions. In 2019, immigrants contributed $1.8 billion to Spokane County’s GDP, or 6.1 percent of the total, despite making up just 5.2 percent of the population.
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.