New Data Shows Immigrants Contributed $920 Million to Longview’s GDP in 2017

Immigrants accounted for 11.8 percent of all entrepreneurs in the Longview Metropolitan Area

LONGVIEW, TX – Immigrants contributed $920 million to the GDP of the Longview metropolitan area in 2017, according to new research from New American Economy (NAE) in partnership with the Longview Chamber of Commerce. In addition to their financial contributions, which included paying $46.9 million in federal taxes and $29.0 million in state and local taxes, the report highlights how immigrants fill crucial workforce gaps. Immigrants made up 7.8 percent of the area’s population but are 48.4 percent more likely to be of working-age population than their U.S.-born counterparts. Additionally, immigrants had an outsize impact on key industries vital to the economic stability of Longview. Immigrants accounted for 29.8 percent of construction workers, 29.2 percent of agricultural workers, and 17.3 percent of manufacturing workers. Longview immigrants also helped strengthen the local job market by helping to preserve or create 775 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2017. 

The report was released as a part of the webinar “Virtual Coffee Conversation: Immigration Reform,” hosted by the Longview Chamber of Commerce. During this webinar, NAE State Organizer Chelsie Kramer discussed the findings of the report with Kelly Hall, CEO of the Longview Chamber of Commerce.

Key findings include: 

  • Immigrants make significant economic contributions to the economy. Alongside the $46.9 million immigrants paid in federal taxes and $29.0 million in state and local taxes, immigrants contributed $920.7 million to the local area GDP and earned $351.4 million in income.
  • Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. In 2017, 88.6 percent of immigrants in the Longview metro area were of working age, in contrast to 59.7 percent of the U.S.-born population, helping to fill employment gaps across industries. They represented 65 percent of construction workers, 41.3 percent of manufacturing workers, and 40.5 percent of hospitality workers.
  • Immigrants are creating jobs in Longview. In 2017, immigrants in the Longview metro area represented 11.8 percent of all business owners in the county, with a total business income of $25.7 million.

“Now is the time for peacemaking. It is time to unpack the real issues that prevent us from creating sensible immigration reform solutions” said Kelly Hall, President and CEO of the Longview Chamber of Commerce. “Understanding the tensions, knowing the Longview MSA data, and hosting opportunities for healthy dialogues will help our trade area gain clarity on this important issue.  The Longview Chamber is looking forward to working with the NAE to bring reasonableness to these discussions.”

“Immigrants are playing a key role in driving growth in Longview,” said Chelsie Kramer, Texas State Organizer 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 region’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 Longview, here.

About New American Economy

New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan organization founded to educate, empower and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and cultural leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. NAE makes the case for smart immigration reform in four ways: 1) we use powerful research to demonstrate how immigration impacts our economy, 2) we organize champions at the grassroots and influencer levels to build support for immigration, 3) we partner with state and local leaders to advocate for policies that recognize the value immigrants add locally, and 4) we show immigrant contributions to American culture through film, food, art, sports, comedy, and more.

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…