The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Michigan


March 22, 2024


March 22, 2024

New research from the American Immigration Council shows that immigrants in Michigan made up over 8.0 percent of the state's workforce despite accounting for only 6.9 percent of the overall population. The new report, The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Michigan, highlights the contributions that professionally licensed immigrants make in high-demand occupations that require a professional or occupational license. 

Amid rising labor shortages and an aging state workforce, Michigan is facing increased demand for professionally licensed workers that internationally trained immigrants can help meet. For Michigan to remain competitive and address critical shortages in high-demand fields, the state must implement policies that not only attract and retain immigrant talent that is complementary to the U.S.-born workforce, but that also build career pathways for immigrants who already call the state home.    

  • Michigan’s workforce has a growing need for labor. From 2018 to 2022, the number of overall job postings increased by 33.5 percent. Removing barriers that prevent immigrants from entering the workforce will be crucial as the state’s population continues to age out of the workforce and the demand for labor continues to rise. 

  • Immigrants are helping Michigan meet its demand for healthcare workers. Immigrants represented 15.3 percent of dentists, 7.5 percent of registered nurses, 6.2 percent of home healthcare aides, 5.8 percent of nurse practitioners, and 5.3 percent of dental assistants and hygienists from 2015 to 2019. 

  • Immigrants are uniquely positioned to provide support across numerous industries. From 2018 to 2022, the number of healthcare worker job postings that required bilingual skills in Michigan increased by over 93.0 percent, and online job postings for social work and counseling positions that listed bilingual skills increased by over 100.0 percent. Internationally trained professionals often have multilingual skills, enabling them to fill those positions.  

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