The results of a new study by economic forecasters at IHS Global Insight can be summed up in a single sentence: “The Hispanic population will play an increasingly significant role in future U.S. employment growth.”
Those words, penned by lead author James Gillula in a press release, might be something of an understatement, given the IHS findings. In the next five years, the firm predicts, Latinos will account for more than 40 percent of the nation’s job growth, and between 2020 and 2034, that number will jump to 75 percent.
What that latter percentage means is that 11 million of the 14 million new jobs added to the U.S. economy in the next 20 years will be held by Latinos. Why the huge proportion? As Fox News Latino explains, the Hispanic population promises to grow at an average of 2.6 percent over the next two decades, while the growth of non-Hispanic working-age individuals will continue to decrease and dip to around zero. In fact, the number of non-Hispanics entering the workforce will barely make up for the aging baby boomers reaching retirement.
U.S. Census figures bear this out. In the next 20 years, the number of foreign-born Latinos is expected to go from 22 million to 29 million, and yet over the same time period, the proportion of the U.S. Hispanic population born overseas will fall from 39.7 percent to 34.8 percent.
“The Hispanic population is a younger and faster growing segment of the population, while trends in the non-Hispanic population are heavily influenced by the aging baby-boomer generation that is moving into retirement,” Gillula says.
The IHS findings come as lawmakers continue to debate immigration reform, and as GOP members of congress threaten to block funding for the Department of Homeland Security unless President Obama withdraws executive orders that would protect million of immigrants from deportation.
Obama has argued that immigration reform will help strengthen the U.S. economy, and the IHS study seems to back him up.
“Higher levels of immigration are conducive to stronger U.S. economic growth, and there are credible scenarios for higher levels of Hispanic immigration than assumed in the study’s baseline forecast,” the study finds.