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New Data Supports Plan To Grow Immigrant Workforce

Michael Keating

Cincinnati City Leaders, who've already created a task force to attract immigrants, are welcoming news that Ohio's immigrant population is growing.

A new report by the Partnership for a New American Economy finds Ohio's immigrant population grew by 2.5 percent between 2010 and 2014, and Cincinnati companies applied for and got the third most H-1B visas in Ohio. It's estimated that for every H-1B visa that's granted, it creates 1.83 jobs for U.S.-born workers. The H-1B program is capped at 85,000 visas a year for private sector employers.

The importance of STEM

In 2014, immigrants made up 13.9 percent of STEM workers even though they encompassed just 4.2 percent of Ohio's population. Science, technology, engineering and math fields are expected to grow 37 percent faster than the U.S. economy, adding 800,000 new jobs. Of foreign-born workers employed in Ohio, most are software developers and doctors. In 2016, more than one-in-four physicians in Ohio graduated from a foreign medical school.

Sixty-seven percent of immigrants working in Ohio are between the ages of 25-64. That compares to 51.6 percent of the native-born Ohio population.

The spending power of immigrants

  • Hispanics spent $1.3 billion in Ohio in 2014.
  • Asian immigrants spent $4.9 billion in 2014.

The report says there are 4,7216 undocumented entrepreneurs in Ohio making $64.4 million.  Agriculture was the most popular job for entrepreneurs, followed by accommodation and food, waste management and construction.
In 2014, undocumented workers earned $1.5 million. State and local taxes total $67.6 million. Federal are 129.9 million.