New Americans in the City of Los Angeles

New research from New American Economy underscores the crucial role immigrants in Los Angeles play as essential workers, economic contributors, and business owners. The new report, New Americans in the City of Los Angeles, was prepared in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA).

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The report also features profiles of two Los Angeles residents: Lizbeth Garcia and Emanel Noreza.

Key Findings

  • Immigrants are helping the city of Los Angeles meet its labor force demands. In 2019, immigrants accounted for 36.3 percent of the city’s total population, representing 41.3 percent of the working-age population, and 43.1 percent of its employed labor force.
  • Immigrants and refugees are helping the city meet its rising labor force needs in STEM and key industries. Immigrants and refugees accounted for 36 percent of the region’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 71.7 percent of essential services workers, and 55.9 percent of food manufacturing workers — all critical industries that have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Immigrants play a significant role in the city as entrepreneurs. Immigrants represented 51.4 percent of business owners in the city in 2019, generating $4.3 billion in business income for the city of Los Angeles.
  • Immigrants in the city of Los Angeles 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 city helped create or preserve approximately 66,500 manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.
  • Immigrant households support the federal safety net. The foreign-born contributed $4.8 billion to Social Security and $1.3 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.

About Us

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…