photo via @PuraPapua
As U.S. population growth stagnates and Baby Boomers begin to age out of the workplace (sorry Mom and Dad) the country will be dependent on immigrants to maintain the workforce. Without an influx of young workers, the dependency ratio (number of non workers to number of workers) threatens to rise. The new administration's vow to clamp down on immigration and restrict H1B visas for skilled workers would have one sector of the economy in particular feeling the pinch-the tech industry. "The U.S. tech industry is utterly dependent upon foreigners, not only for workers, but for ideas and entrepreneurship," writes MarketWatch columnist Rex Nutting. Some of Silicon Valley's biggest names (Google, Apple, Tesla) were founded by immigrants. A Pew Research Center study projects that although they will remain a minority in terms of overall individuals in the workforce, "immigrants will play the primary role in the future growth of the working-age population". According to the study, barring the arrival of new immigrants, the working-age population in the U.S. would decline to a projected 166 million by 2035 from a recorded rate of 173 million in 2015. This "demographic time bomb" would have dire economic consequences for future generations who will struggle with labor shortages, a shrinking tax base, higher healthcare costs, and with keeping social services solvent. Immigrants may be the only way to defuse this device.
Posted by Amy Levengood