New Data Shows Immigrants Are 40 Percent of Business Owners in Dallas County

Immigrants in Dallas County accounted for 31.2 percent of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers

DALLAS, TX Immigrants accounted for 40 percent of Dallas County’s business owners in 2017, according to new research from New American Economy (NAE) in partnership with the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce. In addition to their financial contributions, which included paying $2.8 billion in federal taxes and $1.3 billion in state and local taxes, the report highlights how immigrants fill crucial workforce gaps. Immigrants made up 24.5 percent of the area’s population, but represented nearly one third — 32.1 percent — of its working-age population. Additionally, immigrants had an outsize impact on key industries vital to the economic stability of Dallas County. Immigrants accounted for 31.2 percent of Dallas County’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 65 percent of construction workers, 41.3 percent of manufacturing workers, and 40.5 percent of hospitality workers. Dallas County immigrants also helped strengthen the local job market by helping to preserve or create 29,457 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2017. 

The report was released at the event “Civics for Business — How Immigration Impacts the Business Community,” hosted by the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce. At this conference, NAE State Organizer Chelsie Kramer moderated a panel featuring Juan Carlos Cerda, Outreach Manager of Texas Business Immigration Coalition; Angela Lopez, Immigration Attorney at Cowles & Thompson; and Jim Baron, CEO of Blue Mesa Grill. 

Key findings include: 

  • Immigrants make significant economic contributions to the economy. Alongside the $2.8 billion immigrants paid in federal taxes and $1.3 billion in state and local taxes, immigrants contributed $1.9 billion to Social Security and $483.5 million to Medicare in 2017.
  • Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. In 2017, 86.6 percent of  immigrants in Dallas County were of working age, in contrast to 59.3 percent of the U.S.-born population, helping to fill employment gaps across industries. They represented 31.2 percent of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 65 percent of construction workers, 41.3 percent of manufacturing workers, and 40.5 percent of hospitality workers.
  • Immigrants are creating jobs in Dallas County. In 2017, Dallas County was home to 48,228 immigrant entrepreneurs with a total business income of $1.2 billion. Immigrants represented 40 percent of all business owners in the county.

“The NDCC is pleased to partner with the NAE in promoting sensible immigration solutions and at the same time host a “Civics for Business” Forum which will unveil new data on the impact of immigration on Dallas County. We’re expecting a large audience to hear from a stellar group of panelists on a topic of significant interest in the community,” said Ken Malcolmson, President and CEO of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce. 

“Immigrants are playing a key role in driving growth in Dallas,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “As business owners, taxpayers, and workers in the county’s most important industries, it’s clear that immigrants are an integral part of the county’s success story. This report reinforces why local leaders from business, government and civil society have a vested interest in smart immigration policy in the county, in the state, and nationally.”

The report is based on NAE’s analysis of microdata from the 2017 American Community Survey. See the full report, New Americans in Dallas County, here.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…