- Partnership for a New American Economy
Idaho immigrants might be as much as 40 percent more likely to join the workforce than native-born Idahoans, according to an Aug. 3 report by The Partnership for a New American Economy.
The report, titled "The Contributions of New Americans in Idaho," shows 70.5 percent of new Idahoans are 25-64 years old—working age—compared to 48.2 percent of the native Idaho population.
"That 22.3-percentage point gap, which is larger than the national average for states, has major implications for the state's workforce," according to the report. PNAE compiled "Contributions" reports on the economic impacts of immigrants from 2010 to 2014 for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In the four years covered by the study, the population of new Americans has increased by 13,500 people, or 15.1 percent, most of whom are from Canada, China and Mexico. Of the nearly 103,000 people living in Idaho not born in the U.S., approximately 5 percent are entrepreneurs. In 2014, immigrant-owned businesses employed almost 15,000 people and earned around $85 million.
The report was released in Idaho in alliance with Idaho Farm Bureau, which has been urging national leaders to reform immigration to streamline the visa process for guest workers.
"Congressional activity on this issue is zero right now," said Dennis Tanikuni, IFB assistant director of governmental affairs. "What we're talking about today is legal immigration."