You mean America NEEDS MORE immigrants labor and brains?
A shortfall of immigrants is worsening widespread labor shortages and hobbling the U.S. economy at a time when more than 10 million jobs remain unfilled, particularly in low-paying and physically demanding industries such as hospitality, agriculture, construction and health care.
While the slowdown in immigration began well before the pandemic, the covid crisis intensified the process as the Trump administration effectively halted the flow of foreign-born workers into the United States. Although legal immigration has rebounded somewhat since then, particularly in the last six months, major shortages remain, rippling through the economy at a time when the labor force is also missing workers from early retirements, ongoing health problems and caregiving challenges.Labor force shortages are also contributing to higher prices for some goods and services, as companies raise wages to compete for a smaller pool of workers and to keep existing staff.
The crisis had prompted senators on both sides of the aisle to try to strike a deal that allowed more legal immigration in the weeks before Republicans take control of the House. But those proposals never got off the ground, making an immigration overhaul far less politically feasible.
“Immigration is something almost everyone agrees needs to be fixed, but it’s become a political wedge issue,” said Tara Watson, an economics professor at Williams College and fellow at the Brookings Institution. “There have been huge bureaucratic delays since the Trump administration. And of course covid really put a wrench in the gears. But this is a long-term structural problem that has not been addressed.”
Economists say it’s difficult to quantify exactly how many foreign-born workers are missing from the labor force, particularly when it comes to undocumented immigrants. By one estimate, the United States is shy of about 1.7 million legal immigrants based on pre-pandemic migration trends, according to Giovanni Peri, director of the Global Migration Center at the University of California at Davis.
Even though immigration rates have picked up in recent months, Peri says it could be another four years before the country makes up for current shortfalls. Even then, it won’t be enough to catch up to the rapidly aging workforce that is projected to leave millions more positions unfilled….