Immigrant Workforce Report

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Under the leadership of Humphrey School of Public Affairs Dean Eric Schwartz and Office of University Economic Development Executive Director Maura Donovan, The Committee on Minnesota Workforce and Immigrants commissioned a study by associate professor Ryan Allen to provide a well-researched foundation for such discussions. The Committee on Minnesota Workforce and Immigrants is a diverse group of stakeholders from the state, University and private sectors who formed to discuss the current and future role of immigration in meeting the needs of Minnesota’s workforce.

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    Immigrants and Minnesota’s Workforce Report
    (2017-01) Allen, Ryan; Committee on Minnesota Workforce and Immigrants; Office of the Vice President for Research
    The purpose of this report is to describe a range of important factors in understanding the demographic changes underway in Minnesota, with particular attention to evolving trends related to immigrants and refugees, and what role these changes will have on the state’s workforce. Six broad themes related to population change and the workforce of Minnesota: 1. In the coming decades, the population of Minnesota will likely grow at a pace that is significantly slower than growth rates from previous years. 2. The population of Minnesota will grow older and more racially diverse in the future, but these changes in the population will not be equally distributed around the state. 3. It is probable that Minnesota will be dependent upon immigrants for future population growth. 4. The proportion of the foreign born in Minnesota’s population has changed dramatically over time, and currently represents a variety of racial and ethnic groups with varied human capital backgrounds. 5. Projected population changes in Minnesota will likely result in a substantial increase in the immigrant population in the state in the future, but the proportion of immigrants in Minnesota’s population will almost certainly lag the proportion of immigrants in the U.S. population by a significant margin. 6. Without a substantial increase of migration to Minnesota in the future, the state’s labor force will likely grow much slower than it has in recent years. This will make filling job vacancies more challenging in the future.