The Brooking Institution has an interesting piece this week about the impact of so-called "minority" (i.e. non-white) population growth on the US labor market. The US labor force is expected to grow by more than 5 percent through 2030, but without “new” minorities (especially recent immigrants and their children), there would be an 8 percent decline in the US labor force.
Younger people migrating into the United States from foreign countries will help replace the older, largely white labor force that is aging into retirement, according to the Brookings report.
Earlier this month the Center wrote about the very same trend from the New Hampshire perspective. We noted that foreign immigration is an important piece of New Hampshire's economic and demographic future – but one largely ignored by policymakers.
In one sense, New Hampshire is an outlier in the national trend towards greater immigrant-fueled labor growth. Our foreign born population is relatively small: 75,000 people out of a total state population of 1.3 million residents. And America’s foreign-born population is growing rapidly in southern and western states, with much lower in-migration in the Northeast.
Still, New Hampshire seems to be a magnet for well-educated foreigners. Our foreign-born population, as a whole, is better educated than those born in the state. Almost 58 percent of foreign-born residents in New Hampshire have at least some college, compared to 52 percent of New Hampshire’s native-born residents.
One particular challenge for New Hampshire in the coming years is that if we miss out on the growth in foreign migration and minority population, we’ll be on the wrong end of the national labor market, with even less labor force growth than the nation as a whole.