Immigrants: job creators

A recent report by the Fiscal Policy Institute finds that immigrants make up 17 percent of Long Island’s economic output. The study also finds:

  • Nearly a quarter (22%) of Long Island small business owners are immigrants. Of the 53,000 small businesses on Long Island, 15,000 are owned by immigrants, contributing $804 million or 16 percent of aggregate small business profits.
  • Immigrant businesses have helped to stimulate the economic revival of Hicksville. Brentwood, Hempstead, and other areas.
  • Long Island immigrants pay taxes including undocumented immigrants. A third of immigrant homeowners (32 percent) pay over $10,000 in property taxes comparable to the same share U.S. born homeowners (30%) contribute. Undocumented immigrants in New York State pay, on average, $2,000 per family in state and local taxes.

A research report Immigration’s Impacts on the Long Island Economy, by David Dyssegaard Kallick of Hofstra University, provides historical background on immigration on Long Island and further evidence that immigrants are “pulling their weight” in the economy. The report finds that between 1990 and 2005/07, immigrants accounted for about $27 billion of the $151 billion economic output of Long Island (in year 2000 dollars), roughly one-third of total GDP growth for that period. The report also finds that immigrants seldom displace native workers disproving the suggestion that immigrants steal jobs from U.S. workers.

For research at the national level demonstrating a correlation between immigration and economic growth, see "Value Added: Immigrants Create Jobs & Businesses, Boost Wages of Native-Born Workers," Immigration Policy Center.