Immigrant Share of U.S. Labor Force

Perhaps I have been away from the data for too long, but the following chart from a recent IMF report was a surprise to me:

Of the OECD countries shown, the U.S. had the largest change in the percentage of the workforce comprised of recent immigrants. I would have guessed that Canada would have led the way, but apparently  not.

This is a remarkable figure. Isolationists who would like to restrict U.S. immigration polices need to reconcile the neat correlation of this figure with U.S. economic outperformance during the same period. No-one is suggesting that immigration is the entire explanation — the IMF report argues that 10% of national income growth was migration-related — but it is hard to argue that pro-immigration policies didn’t play a significant role in making the U.S. wealthier in the period.



  1. Ed Beauregard says:

    I don’t suppose when you’re on welfare or old age assistance you’re a part of the labour force. That might explain the Canadian numbers.