It is a well-known fact that Maine is the most aged population in the country. This reality, combined with the fact that many of our youth are leaving the state, makes it imperative to our economic future that we ensure a stable workforce population to provide employees that will support our businesses and the economic health of our communities.
According to An Open Letter from 1,470 Economists on Immigration, sent to the President and congressional leaders earlier this year, the influx of immigrants and refugees into the economy brings with it:
- Entrepreneurs who start new businesses that hire American workers;
- Young workers who help offset the large-scale retirement of baby boomers; and,
- Diverse skill sets that keep our workforce flexible, help companies grow, and increase the productivity of American workers.
- Immigrants are far more likely to work in innovative, job-creating fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math that create life-improving products and drive economic growth.
The economic impact of immigrants and refugees is already apparent in Maine. New American Economy, a bipartisan think tank, said in a July 2016 article: “When nearly 1,000 Somali refugees began relocating to Lewiston in 2001, many people worried that the new immigrant population would be an undue burden on the city services and finances.
Fifteen years later, the opposite has proven true. New businesses, a growing local economy, a declining crime rate, and a younger, more diverse population are all playing a significant role in Lewiston’s economic and cultural renaissance.”
Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services is here to welcome New Mainers and to help them build a future for themselves, and for our state.