Half of “missing” immigrants are college educated

A study published in early 2022 on the shortfall of immigrants due to Trump policiies and the pandemic (i.e. 2019, 2020 and 2021) concludes that the shortfall was about two million persons and that almost 50% of those who would have migrated would likely to have been college educated. The researchers thus are saying that with normal levels of immigration, about half are college educated.  This is comparable to total Americans today who are 24 – 29 years old, 42% of whom have a college degree.

There are roughly 17 million persons in the workforce 40 or younger who are college educated. The missing one million new immigrants, the great majority of whom would be 40 or younger, are equivalent to about 5% of this youngish college educated workforce.  This is the result of immigration distruption for 3 years.

“This decline in immigrant and nonimmigrant visa arrivals resulted in zero growth in working-age foreign-born people in the United States. Prior to 2019, the foreign born population of working age (18 to 65) grew by about 660,000 people per year, as reported in data from the monthly Current Population Survey. This trend came to a stop already in 2019 before the pandemic, due to a combination of stricter immigration enforcement and a drop in the inflow of Mexican immigrants. The halt to international travel in 2020 added a significant drop in the working-age immigrant population.

“As of the end of 2021, the number of working-age foreign-born people in the United States is still somewhat smaller than it was in early 2019. and, relative to the level it would have achieved if the 2010-2019 trend had continued, there is a shortfall of about 2 million people. A similar calculation done using monthly data on foreign-born individuals with a college degree indicates that of the missing two million foreign workers, about 950,000 would have been college educated, had the pre-2020 trend continued. This is a very substantial loss of skilled workers, equal to 1.8 percent of all college-educated individuals working in the US in 2019.”


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