Where are the people who want to get into the US?

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The US population grew by less than 1% last year. The Census estimate is for growth of 0.82%, with most of that increase coming from births in the US – 1.38 million births versus 1.25 million immigrants.

The Census forecast is that population growth rate will decrease, reaching a low of 0.45% in 2048.  Deaths among the Baby Boomers will offset both births and immigration.  In fact, if we had no immigration, the US population would decline.

As we have seen in both Maine and Japan, a population decline is a problem. It means slowing of economic growth and employers take jobs to other regions where labor is available.  It means there are fewer workers to pay for benefits for the elderly and disabled.

This forecast predates the last election and the entire discussion of a wall and restructuring of the H1-B visa program.

What you need to consider:

  • Know the facts before you listen to politicians and TV commentators.  Intentionally or not, a good portion of what they say is wrong.
  • Immigration restrictions won’t help people with the wrong job skills get work. Unless people recognize that old jobs are gone and they need to retool for what’s available, they’ll be stuck. There’s no future in unskilled labor.

Sources:

  1. US Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/projections/data/national/2014/summarytables.html
  2. Ben Fifield, “Many Northeast, Midwest States Face Shrinking Workforce,” Pew Charitable Trust, 27 May 2016. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2016/05/27/many-northeast-midwest-states-face-shrinking-workforce
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