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Are immigrants the answer to ongoing labor shortages?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2023 | Blog, Immigration

Some industries and occupations in Mississippi and other states suffer from ongoing labor shortages. According to a large-scale nationwide human resources study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than 70% of employers agreed that allowing more immigrants to work in the U.S. encourages economic growth and that increased immigration would not make it any harder for U.S. workers to find employment.

However, working within the country’s immigration system can become challenging to the point that employers become reluctant to hire individuals who do not have U.S. citizenship.

Reducing critical labor shortages

Many employers see immigrant workers as an economic growth driver, a solution to their struggles to fill jobs that remain unfilled by Americans and the key to hiring talent that makes America more competitive globally. If the U.S. has access to more foreign workers, it can fill critical jobs in industries currently experiencing shortages of available employees.

These industries include education, healthcare and manufacturing. Additionally, many immigrant workers are open to working in less popular or lower-paying occupations and industries such as agriculture, construction and hospitality, where companies struggle to find affordable workers.

Making America more globally competitive

Hiring foreign workers can help companies increase employee diversity while adding new perspectives to their operations. Some studies have shown that diverse teams perform more effectively and creatively at solving problems. Diverse worker populations can also enhance innovation, increasing productivity, new product offerings and other advantages.

Increasing the number of immigrants entering the country annually can lead to new businesses, more jobs and increased tax revenue, which helps expand the economy. These workers can also increase America’s talent pool, and existing companies can benefit from immigrants’ cultural backgrounds and language skills.

Immigration challenges

The U.S. offers limited visas for different worker types, making it challenging for U.S. companies to hire the skilled workers they need from other countries. Immigration policies also change periodically, creating uncertainty in hiring and retaining foreign workers.

Additionally, competition for top foreign talent from other countries such as Canada and Germany makes it more challenging to attract top employee talent, especially as these countries expand their quotas for the number of immigrants they can accept each year.

Immigrants can fill in workforce gaps, add diversity and innovation to existing companies and increase the country’s economic strength. However, the delays and uncertainties of America’s current immigration system continue to minimize access to these employee resources.

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