New data shows San Jose’s immigrant household income increased by more than $4 billion in just one year

Immigrants were 39.6 percent of San Jose’s population but made up more than 60 percent of its manufacturing workers

New York Today New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan research and advocacy organization focused on immigration, released new data highlighting the significant contributions immigrants make to San Jose’s community and economy. The data shows that immigrants in San Jose are driving economic growth — the area’s immigrants took home more than $48 billion in household income in 2017, an increase of more than $4 billion in just one year. Immigrants are also supporting San Jose’s biggest industries as workers. In 2017, San Jose’s immigrants made up more than 60 percent of the workforce in agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and manufacturing. 

The research is part of NAE’s Map the Impact, an interactive map that quantifies immigrant contributions at the national, state, metro area, and congressional district levels, and across industries. 

Key findings for the San Jose metro area include: 

  • Immigrants pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. In 2017, immigrants in San Jose paid nearly $15 billion in federal, state, and local taxes and held more than $33 billion in spending power, supporting San Jose’s local businesses.
  • More than half of San Jose’s immigrants has a bachelor’s degree. In 2017, 23.6 percent of San Jose immigrants had earned a bachelor’s degree, and an additional 28 percent had earned a graduate degree, providing them with increased earning potential and potential for upward mobility.
  • Immigrants help fill workforce gaps. In 2017, more than 80 percent of immigrants in San Jose were of working age, compared to 57.6 percent of U.S.-born residents, and helped to fill employment gaps across industries.
  • Immigrants make an outsized impact on important local industries. Despite making up fewer than 40 percent of the area’s population, San Jose immigrants made up 61.7 percent of agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting workers, 61.2 percent of manufacturing workers, and 56.7 percent of professional, scientific, and technical services workers in 2017.

“Immigrants are integral to the fabric of San Jose, and they make an indelible impact on the local economy,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “If San Jose continues to show leadership in ensuring that all residents have access to pathways to success, the economic contributions of San Jose’s immigrant communities will continue to benefit everyone.”

Map the Impact shows NAE analysis of the latest data from the 2017 American Communities Survey. You can find the new version of the Map at maptheimpact.org.

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…