The New American Economy released new research Jan. 30 showing that immigrants accounted for 64.4 percent of Middlesex County’s science, technology, engineering and math workers and 49 percent of business owners in 2018, despite comprising only 34.5 percent of its population.
The report, which was published in partnership with the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Einstein’s Alley, highlights the economic impact that immigrants in Middlesex County have on their community. The report says they contributed $2.7 billion to federal taxes and $1.4 billion to state and local taxes in 2018.
Discussed at the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Outlook 2020 event at Rutgers Visitors Center on Thursday, the launch of the report coincides with the recent formation of the New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition spearheaded by Einstein’s Alley, which brings together New Jersey business, higher education, and economic development leaders who are dedicated to promoting immigration reform that supports economic growth.
Findings indicate that immigrants also supported critical social programs, including paying $1.3 billion into Social Security and $353.2 million to Medicare. Additionally, immigrants held $9.4 billion in spending power – 42.8 percent of all spending power in the county – providing an economic boost to Middlesex County as consumers.
The report 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.
The report, which uses data from the 2018 American Community Survey and covers Middlesex County, was awarded to the Middlesex County Regional Chamber and Einstein’s Alley as part of New American Economy’s Gateways for Growth Challenge. Gateways for Growth, the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Einstein’s Alley are bringing together leaders across sectors to ensure that Middlesex County welcomes and harnesses the potential of all residents.