Ohio needs more immigrants to boost its economy

Policy experts said Ohio’s economy could benefit from more foreign-born people moving to this state because they are much more likely than native-born residents to start businesses, and immigrant-owned establishments employ about one in seven people who work for small businesses, reported the Springfield Sun News. 

But an analysis by the Dayton Daily News found the pace of growth of these groups in Ohio was slower than in most states, and immigrants still account for only a fairly modest share of the state’s workforce and small-business owners.

In the last 20 years in Ohio, the number of immigrant workers has more than doubled and the number of immigrant small business owners increased by more than 60 percent, according to a new report.

“By having a diverse community, it makes the community more stable and it brings different kinds of jobs to the area,” said Catherine Crosby, executive director of the Human Relations Council with the city of Dayton.

Between 1990 and 2010, the number of immigrant members of the labor force in Ohio grew by about 109 percent to 276,300 from 132,000, according to census data analyzed by the Fiscal Policy Institute, a New York-based nonpartisan think tank.

During the same period, the number of immigrant small business owners in Ohio grew by 60 percent to 10,000 people, and they now account for about 7.3 percent of the state’s small-business ownership, up from about 5.7 percent.

Immigrants are a large and growing part of the U.S. economy, but in Ohio they play a more modest economic role, said David Kallick, senior fellow with the Immigration Research Initiative with the Fiscal Policy Institute and lead author of the analysis.



About tanialara

Tania Lara has a vast experience working as a journalist in Mexico and the U.S. reporting in-depth about the economic contributions and realities of Mexican immigrants. This summer, she will be covering border issues and elections for the 21st Century Border Initiative blog. Her stories about complex cross border matters have been published in Spanish-language media outlets including CNN México, Expansión, and ¡Ahora Sí!, as well as the English-language newspaper The Austin American-Statesman.
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