DAYTON, OH, MARCH 15, 2022 – A new report, New Americans in Montgomery and the City of Dayton, by New American Economy — now the American Immigration Council — in partnership with the City of Dayton Human Relations Council (HRC), underscores the crucial role immigrants play in the community’s labor force, business creation, and STEM innovation.
Between 2014 and 2019 the Montgomery County population decreased by 0.5%, while the immigrant population grew by 21.6%. Without growth in the immigrant population, the total population in Montgomery County would have decreased even more, by 1.3%. In 2019 alone, immigrants in Montgomery County held $562.4 million in spending power, and paid over $144 million in federal taxes and over $75 million in state and local taxes. Despite making up 4.8% of Montgomery County’s overall population, immigrants represent 8.3% of manufacturing workers, 8.2% of hospitality workers, and 7.7% of transportation and warehousing workers.
The new report was awarded to the City of Dayton as part of the Gateways for Growth Challenge, a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and/or technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities. The report will be presented at a special event at the Dayton Metro Library Main branch at 2 pm ET on March 19th, during which community members will offer commentary and discuss the next step: a county-level strategic planning process to welcome New Americans to Montgomery County. You may also attend virtually at: https://daytonmetrolibrary.webex.com/daytonmetrolibrary/j.php?MTID=me36cfb67ed8d360be98724ea68cc253c. Following this launch, the report will be widely disseminated to county and municipal leaders, civic organizations, and residents.
“The HRC applauds the volunteers who joined us to work with the American Immigration Council in producing this report,” said Erica Fields, executive director of the City of Dayton HRC. “The report emphasizes how significantly New Americans have contributed to the economic and social well-being of Montgomery County. In addition to the beneficial economic impacts highlighted by the report, new Americans enrich local culture, raise educational quality and outcomes in schools, increase the safety and security of county neighborhoods, and contribute to overall well-being in many ways.”
“This report shows the crucial role that immigrants in Montgomery County play in powering key local sectors and creating jobs both in the county and across the state,” said Mo Kantner, director of state and local initiatives at the American Immigration Council. “By welcoming foreign-born residents with a unique range of skills, Montgomery County can make an important investment in the community’s future.”
“As one of our first Certified Welcoming cities, Dayton continues to be an example for how communities can effectively harness the talent of immigrants to create greater prosperity for all residents,” said Molly Hilligoss, network director of Welcoming America. “We’re thrilled that the Gateways for Growth Challenge can be part of making Dayton and Montgomery County an even more welcoming place for the future.”
The new research report, New Americans in Montgomery County and the City of Dayton finds:
- Immigrants are helping Montgomery County meet its labor force demands. Although the foreign-born made up 4.8% of the county’s overall population, they represented 6.0% of its working-age population and 5.8% of its employed labor force. They represented 8% of food service workers, 7.7% of transportation and warehousing workers, and 6.1% of healthcare workers — all critical industries that have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Immigrants are helping Montgomery County meet its rising labor in STEM and key industries. Immigrants accounted for 10.9% of the county’s science technology, engineering, and math workers.
- Immigrant households support the federal safety net. The foreign-born contributed over $74 million to Social Security and over $19 million to Medicare in 2019.
- Immigrants play a particularly significant role in Montgomery County as entrepreneurs. In 2019, immigrants represented 7.1% of the business owners in Montgomery County in 2019, and about 1,100 immigrants worked for their own businesses and generated $38.9 million in business income.
- Immigrants in Montgomery County help create or preserve local manufacturing jobs. Immigrants strengthened the local job market by allowing companies to keep jobs on U.S. soil, helping preserve or create 1,200 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere by 2019.
Read the full research brief here.