GENESEE COUNTY, MI – Immigrants paid more than $100 million in taxes in Genesee County in 2017, according to new research from New American Economy (NAE) in partnership with the City of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver‘s Office and the International Center of Greater Flint. In addition to their financial contributions, like $25.4 million to Social Security and $8 million to Medicare in 2017, the report highlights how immigrants helped to offset population losses in Genesee County. Between 2012 and 2017 the total county population fell by 2.1 percent, but the immigrant population grew by 6.5 percent, helping to prevent further losses.
The report also highlights how immigrants fill crucial workforce gaps, and had an outsize impact on key industries vital to the economic stability of Genesee county:
- Immigrants made up 2.3 percent of the area’s population, but represented 2.8 percent of its employed labor force.
- Immigrants accounted for 3.6 percent of Genesee County’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers, 4.5 percent of healthcare workers, 3.9 percent of hospitality workers, and 3.2 percent of education workers.
- Immigrants made up 4.1 percent of Genesee County’s entrepreneurs, and also helped strengthen the local job market by helping to preserve or create 435 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2017.
Read the full research brief here.
The report was released at a reception in recognition of Welcoming Week, taking place in Flint from September 13 – 22. The report was produced after the International Center of Greater Flint, in partnership with the City of Flint, won the 2019 NAE Gateways for Growth national challenge award, which includes tailored research on the local immigrant population. Flint was one of 14 communities nationally to receive the award this year.
“The City of Flint is pleased to partner with the International Center of Greater Flint on this important initiative, Gateways for Growth. ICGF has taken the lead in our community to ensure that Flint is an inclusive and welcoming city for all people. Flint is one of three communities in the State of Michigan to receive this award. New Americans are a vital component of Flint’s rebirth, and revitalization. We look forward to the strategies and ideas that will come from this exciting initiative, to help move Flint forward,” said Mayor Karen Weaver, City of Flint.
“ICGF strives to make Flint a VIBRANT, and WELCOMING global community and to increase the prosperity of the region by encouraging, building and sustaining strong multicultural relationships,” said Phyllis Sykes, Executive Director, ICGF.
“Immigrants are helping to offset population decline in Genesee County, staving off the loss of tax dollars and jobs, both of which are essential for the county to thrive,” said Mo Kantner, Associate Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “If Genesee County continues to welcome immigrants, the economy, workforce, and entire community will reap the benefits.”
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.