The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 6.17 million jobs open for hire in the United States right now—that’s more than ever before in our country’s history.
While the number of open jobs sounds great, it’s also a sign that employers aren’t finding the skilled workers they need.
The gap between what employers need and our workforces’ skills should worry everyone. Our economy is made up of individuals working to provide goods and services. If there aren’t enough skilled workers to meet the demand for these jobs, the economy grows at a slower pace, companies suffer, and Americans lose out on opportunities for more growth and job opportunities.
When companies can’t find labor in the United States, some of them are able to hire immigrants seeking economic opportunity from overseas. Last year, according to CNN, companies employed 27 million foreign-born workers. These workers fill a range of skill levels, in a variety of industries. What they share is a willingness to contribute labor in a way that grows our economy, increases tax revenue, provides goods and services for U.S. consumers, and increases economic opportunity for other American workers.
Bringing people from other countries doesn’t hurt America. It benefits us all. Immigrants fill the jobs our current workforce is not equipped to handle. As a result, goods and services are distributed more efficiently and companies grow.
Because immigration increases economic efficiency, both immigrant and non-immigrant workers benefit from higher wages. According to a 2016 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine,several studies have found a positive impact of skilled immigration on the wages and employment of both college- and non-college-educated.
Skilled workers from other countries help our businesses grow and our economy run more efficiently. When unfilled positions grow into the millions, our economy is hurt by a lack of the workers we need. That hurts everyone who counts on a healthy and growing economy. When everyone is contributing and creating value, everyone benefits from more opportunities.
It seems great to hear that there are many open jobs in the United States, but we should also realize it’s a tragedy that our economy is not fulfilling its full potential. We need to reform our antiquated immigration system and implement new policies to bring needed workers here to fill those gaps and contribute. Doing so would increase everyone’s prosperity and increase opportunities to achieve the American dream.