Will There be Enough Workers?

Written by Richard Hokenson 

Even as Congress and the Trump administration are debating possible immigration reform, it appears that the previous period of animosity towards immigrants may already be having a chilling effect on the potential number of foreign-born workers. The foreign born population has been shrinking for 7 months in a row (see Chart 1), making the current weakening only the second time of decline since this data series began in 2007 (see Chart 2).

The foreign born share of total employment dropped for the first time since 2009 (see Chart 3). Obviously, a continuation of this trend could imperil growth prospects for the U.S. economy. Our hope is that there will be a speedy resolution regarding immigration reform that will be positive for the labor markets. It is a situation that we will monitor closely.


This update was researched and written by Richard Hokenson, as of January 12 2018