New research from New American Economy shows that immigrants contributed more than $10.5 billion to Wayne County’s GDP in 2017. The report, New Americans in Wayne County, was prepared in partnership with the Office of Wayne County Executive and Wayne United.
In addition to their financial contributions, which included paying $736.3 million in federal taxes and $345.9 million in state and local taxes in 2017, the report highlights how immigrants fill crucial workforce gaps. Immigrants made up 9.4 percent of the area’s population but represented nearly a fifth — 21.4 percent — of all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 16.7 percent of transportation workers, and 15 percent of manufacturing workers.
Key findings include:
- Immigrants are helping offset population decline. Between 2012 and 2017, the total county population fell by 2.2 percent. Without growth in the immigrant population, the decline in the county’s population would have been even greater, falling by 3.9 percent.
- Immigrants make significant economic contributions to the economy. Alongside the $736.3 million immigrants paid in federal taxes and $345.9 million in state and local taxes, immigrants contributed $430.5 million to Social Security and $110.6 million to Medicare in 2017. After taxes, immigrants in the county have a spending power of $3.2 billion.
- Immigrants are creating jobs in Wayne County. In 2017, Immigrants represented an outsized 16.3 percent of the county’s business owners. As a result of immigration to the county, 7,564 manufacturing jobs were preserved — jobs that would have disappeared or moved elsewhere had it not been for immigrants.
- Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. Despite making up 9.4 percent of the county’s overall population, immigrants comprise more than a fifth — 21.4 percent — of all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 16.7 percent of transportation workers, and 15 percent of manufacturing workers.