Economy Rebounds Thanks to Immigration

Immigration numbers are slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels.

This is thanks to U.S. consulates and embassies reopening and beginning to process the overload of visa applications placed on hold through the pandemic, and our government beginning to expedite processing times for worker visas to alleviate the continued need for employees across industries.  

According to an in-depth report from the Wall Street Journal, published this September 2023, an increase in work permits granted “is helping ease labor shortages and wage and price pressure. While that alone doesn’t remove the risk of recession, it makes it a bit easier for the Federal Reserve to bring inflation down without a significant rise in unemployment- a so-called soft landing.” 

Bringing U.S. government offices in foreign countries back to pre-pandemic staffing and work capacity levels took longer than expected, and some consulates are dealing with years-long wait lists for visa approvals. However, there is an ongoing effort to process applications swiftly.  

“By 2022, though, the U.S. granted more than a million work visas, hitting a 25-year high, according to an analysis of government figures by USAFacts, a nonpartisan data provider. It issued nearly 500,000 green cards to immigrants moving to the U.S. permanently, the highest total since 2018, government data show,” the article states.    

In addition to this, the current administration has made an effort to process and allow immigrants from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Venezuela into the U.S. to work under humanitarian programs. Since the return to opening businesses pos-covid began in 2021, all industries struggled to find workers to meet consumer demand. The immigrants that have come from these war-torn countries have helped fill those voids.  

Figures from the Labor Department showed that by March 2022, the number of vacant jobs increased to a historic high of 12 million, double the nearly six million unemployed. As of July 2023, numbers have fallen to a still-high 8.8 million, roughly 50% more than the unemployed.   

“The falloff in migrant inflows compounded the shortage, especially in industries such as construction, healthcare and restaurants,” the article adds. “A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that declines in net international migration raised the ratio of job vacancies to the unemployed by roughly 5 percentage points between 2017 and 2021.”  

Throughout history, immigrants have made the U.S. better and maintained our workforce and economy stable. Returning to pre-pandemic immigration processing levels, and improving our current immigration system, can ensure our country’s economy remains stable.  

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