5/26/2017 CNN Money
America’s workforce is changing.
Baby Boomers are retiring and U.S. birth rates are falling. With fewer native born workers coming into the job market, the country is becoming more reliant on immigrants than ever before to keep its labor force growing, according to the Pew Research Center.
Today, immigrants make up about 17% of the U.S. labor force — and nearly one-quarter of those immigrants are undocumented.
Without the current rate of both legal and undocumented immigration, Pew found that the total U.S. workforce would shrink dramatically over the next 20 years.
Not only would that have an impact on overall economic growth, but it would hurt certain industries that rely heavily on immigrant labor, too.
After the housing market collapsed, the construction industry lost many of its foreign born workers — many of whom moved back to Mexico and the Americas. Now, as construction ramps back up, home builders are having a difficult time staffing up.
Farmers are experiencing similar labor shortages, although many have said they’ve lost workers because of tougher enforcement of immigration laws that began during the Obama administration.