Immigrants Strengthen Idaho’s Economy

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The Immigration Research Initiative (IRI), a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on immigration integration, recently published a report finding that immigrants continue to struggle to make ends meet despite making significant contributions to our national and state economies.

Nationwide, the immigrant population contributes 17 percent of the United States’ economic output, more than their 14 percent share of the population.  In Idaho, the immigrant population contributes 7 percent of Idaho’s economic output, more than their 6 percent share of the population, contributing a total of over $2.8 billion to Idaho’s economy each year.

Immigrant communities in Idaho remain overrepresented in lower paying positions, despite making contributions throughout numerous industries— varying from agriculture and service industry jobs to software development, engineering, and medicine. Idaho immigrants represent 34 percent of workers in low-wage positions. In comparison, workers born in the United States represent 24 percent of this group.

To build a stronger economy and ensure our state’s future prosperity, this wage gap can be addressed by enacting policies that create opportunities for every Idahoan to achieve economic security, such as enacting refundable tax credits like an Earned Income Tax Credit and creating a restricted driver’s license.

You can read the full report from our friends at the Immigration Research Initiative here:

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