Partnership for a New American Economy Study on Economic Impact of Immigrant Businesses

The Partnership for a New American Economy released a new report, Open for Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Business Creation in the United States,” that highlights the steadily growing importance of immigrant entrepreneurs to the American economy and examines the ways in which immigrant entrepreneurs play a vital role in new business creation.  Key findings include that:

  • While the entrepreneurship rate of native-born Americans has slowly declined over the last 15 years, the entrepreneurship rate of immigrants has climbed by over 50 percent.
  • Immigrants started more than 28 percent of all new US businesses in 2011 – despite accounting for just 12.9 percent of the population – and are now more than twice as likely as the native-born to start a business.
  • While immigrant-started businesses tend to be smaller than those started by native-born Americans, they have a large collective impact on the economy.  Immigrant-owned businesses now employ one out of every 10 workers in privately-owned companies and contribute more than $775 billion in revenue, $125 billion in payroll and $100 million in income to the U.S. economy. 

To better understand who the new immigrant entrepreneurs are and in what regions and industries they make the most impact, the report also examines where immigrant business owners come from, what sectors of the economy they contribute to most, and which states are most affected by their contributions.  The report’s in-depth analysis reveals additional evidence of the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs to America’s economic growth in the coming years:

  • Over the past 10 years, immigrant business income grew by more than 60 percent, while income from native-owned businesses only grew by 14.4 percent, a rate not sufficient to keep up with inflation.
  • Immigrant-owned businesses are more than 60 percent more likely to export than non-immigrant owned businesses, and in recent years, exports accounted for about half the growth in the U.S. economy.
  • Immigrants start more than 25 percent of all businesses in seven of the eight-sectors of the economy that the U.S. government expects to grow fastest over the next decade (health care and social assistance companies, professional and business services, construction firms, retail trade, educational services, “other services”, and transportation and utilities).

The Partnership released this report today at two forums on “The Economics and Politics of Immigration” in the presidential campaign headquarter cities of Chicago, IL and Boston, MA.  Chicago’s forum, held at 8 AM this morning and cohosted by the Chicago Economic Club, included Partnership Co-Chair New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley, and was moderated by Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC.  At the Boston forum, which will be at 5:30 PM and cohosted by the New England Council, Mayor Bloomberg will be joined by News Corp. Chief Executive Officer and Partnership Co-Chair Rupert Murdoch in a discussion moderated by Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal.

The report is available here.

Special thanks to Jeremy Robbins in Mayor Bloomberg’s office for the information above.