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Report shows positive impact of immigrants on Michigan's economy

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Posted at 3:49 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 15:57:07-04

More than 640,000 immigrants call Michigan home, and a new report that was released Wednesday examining the positive economic impact they are making in the state.

The Michigan Office for New Americans (MONA) in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, is partnering on the report and the “Reason for Reform,” campaign that is sponsored by the Partnership for a New American Economy.

“Immigration has proven to be a driver of job creation and economic growth in Michigan,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “As a welcoming state, we know and value the cultural diversity, professional contributions and entrepreneurial skills offered by foreign-born residents. We look forward to working with our federal partners toward making immigration reform a reality to create more jobs for families and enhance the quality of life across Michigan.”

A release from LARA states that over the years, new Americans arriving in Michigan have helped mitigate some of the negative effects of the state’s economic downturn, and loss of population during the Great Recession. It goes on to say that in 1990, the immigrant community in the state represented less than 4-percent of the total population. That has risen to nearly 6-percent in 2010.

Between 2010 and 2014, the state’s foreign-born population grew by an additional 60,000, which is almost twice as fast as the national average, the release states. This makes Michigan a standout to attract new Americans.

“Michigan has become increasingly attractive to new Americans which has proven to have a very, very positive impact on our state on so many levels,” said MONA Director Bing Goei. “This report validates their contributions toward strengthening our economy, building our workforce, creating jobs, increasing our competitiveness globally, and revitalizing our communities. These new Michiganders are working here as college professors, mechanical engineers, and IT professionals; working in our schools, manufacturing plants, on our farms and in the healthcare system, all boosting Michigan’s economic success.”

Key findings in the report include:

• New Americans in Michigan contribute significantly to the state as both taxpayers and consumers, earning 19.6 billion in income in 2014 (or 7.7 percent) of all income earned by Michiganders), and paying out $5.4 billion in overall taxes -- including $1.5 billion in state and local taxes that support Michigan’s public schools and police.
• They have significant buying power, spending $14.2 billion (net income after taxes) on consumer goods and services offered by Michigan businesses.
• They are homeowners, strengthening Michigan’s housing market. Approximately 160,000 foreign-born homeowners in the state held almost $35 billion in housing wealth in 2014 and generated 9.7 percent of the state’s rental income.
• The 30,686 self-employed immigrants in Michigan represent 8.3 percent of the state’s entrepreneurs. These immigrant-owned businesses generated more than $608 million in business income in 2014.
• They account for 25.3 percent of the state’s tech talent in computer systems design, contributing to the state’s technology industry that brings economic opportunity and jobs.
• They are helping meet Michigan’s ever-increasing demand for workers in STEM jobs; and are already playing a valuable role in helping ease Michigan’s shortage of healthcare workers that are needed to serve Michigan’s aging population.
Other statistics on immigrants in Michigan can be found by clicking here.