Migration Policy Institute
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The skill underutilization of college-educated immigrants in the United States who are either stuck in low-skilled work or cannot find jobs imposes significant costs on immigrant families, government, and the broader U.S. economy. How much? Providing the first-ever estimates of this skill underutilization, also known as brain waste, MPI researchers find the tab runs to the billions of dollars in forgone earnings and resulting unrealized tax payments for federal, state, and local governments.
Nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants in the United States are stuck in low-skilled jobs or are unemployed—a phenomenon known as brain waste. In this brief video, MPI researchers discuss their key findings on immigrant skill underutilization and the resulting billions of dollars in unrealized wages and forgone federal, state, and local tax receipts.
2016 saw the emergence of a "whole-of-society" approach to the refugee crisis, with a number of new actors, including many from the private sector, engaging with humanitarian protection issues in creative ways. This engagement and the energy and diversity of these partners, in the tech sector and beyond, creates both opportunities and challenges for governments and more traditional civil-society organizations.
Skill Underutilization Costs College-Educated Immigrants More Than $39 Billion in Forgone Wages Annually
WASHINGTON – The United States has long attracted some of the world’s best and brightest. But nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees are relegated to low-skilled jobs or can’t find work. The result of this brain waste? More than $39 billion in forgone wages annually and $10 billion in resulting lost tax payments, according to Migration Policy Institute (MPI) researchers.
With many countries in East Asia facing unfavorable demographic shifts in the form of aging populations, low fertility, and shrinking workforces, governments in 2016 continued to explore immigration as a potential policy solution. However, a tradition of cultural homogeneity and wariness among publics about increased immigration is leading policymakers to test the waters with very small steps.
In stark contrast to a Europe that is erecting new barriers and reinstituting border controls, other regions around the world are moving toward greater mobility for intraregional travelers and migrants. Regional blocs in South America and Southeast Asia have been working to ease intraregional movements of workers, and the African Union in 2016 launched a new biometric African passport.
Across the United States, nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees are unemployed or stuck in low-skilled jobs. This skill underutilization, also known as “brain waste,” varies significantly by state. These fact sheets offer a profile of these highly skilled immigrants and estimate their forgone earnings and resulting unrealized tax receipts in seven key states: California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees in the United States—one out of every four—are employed in low-skilled jobs or unable to find work. This report explores this skill underutilization, often referred to as brain waste, and offers the first-ever economic costs of underemployment for immigrants in the United States: More than $39 billion in forgone wages and a resulting $10 billion in unrealized tax receipts.
Donald Trump has made a series of postelection statements suggesting he may backtrack on several campaign pledges on immigration, including building a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border and deporting all 11 million unauthorized immigrants. Still, his choice of top advisors points to a hard-line agenda. This Policy Beat article examines what some of the better known elements of Trump's immigration policy might look like.
The year 2016 was a notable one for the migration world, marked by ongoing displacement crises, political upheaval, and policy developments in countries of origin, transit, and destination. MPI experts highlight the biggest migration developments of the year in this countdown of the Top 10 Migration Issues of 2016.
WASHINGTON — With the most acute pressures of the migration and refugee crisis behind them, European countries now have the breathing space they need to think through the longer-term integration of these recent arrivals. Even as the crisis exposed deep cracks in the European project and further inflamed fears among some Europeans about the fast pace of societal change, some countries and sectors of society remain optimistic that newcomers will inject vital human capital into aging workforces.
With the seemingly endless flows of asylum seekers and migrants abated, at least for the present, Europe is now faced with the long-term and complex challenges of integration of these newcomers. This report examines the political, social, and economic contexts and immigration histories of European countries and how the current integration challenges are complicated by existing challenges of fragmentation and social unrest. Still, the authors find some cause for optimism.
MPI experts discuss their analysis of data on U.S. foreign- and native-born parents with young children, along with their findings from a field study of select two-generation programs that serve immigrant and refugee families. They explore the implications of WIOA and recommendations for successful program and policy design.
WASHINGTON – Addressing the needs of low-income parents and their children simultaneously via two-generation programs that weave together early childhood services with adult-focused programs such as English literacy or workforce training hold great potential to support the successful longer-term integration of immigrants and their children, a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report finds.
While Mexican women account for a significant share of migration flows to the United States, there has been little focus on their movement and effects on children in Mexico. This article, based on survey data of children in Puebla, Mexico, explores the impact of maternal Mexican migration on educational experiences and aspirations of the children left behind.
Two-generation programs that weave together early childhood learning with adult-focused programs hold great potential to break cycles of intergenerational poverty for low-income parents with young children. Little research has been done on how these programs succeed with immigrant families. This report studies select programs and offers analysis of the sociodemographic characteristics of U.S. parents with young children.
There has been much interest—and confusion—regarding the number of unauthorized immigrants who could be deported because of criminal records under the Trump administration. This commentary examines what we know about the number of unauthorized immigrants with a criminal conviction and traces how the U.S. immigration enforcement system has already been recalibrated to identify and remove this population.
Although the number of U.S. residents who speak a language other than English has grown in recent decades, the share of those who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) has fallen: 40 percent in 2015, compared to 44 percent in 1980—even as immigration rose rapidly. This article examines growing linguistic diversity in the country and sketches a profile of the LEP population, including size, location, and socioeconomic characteristics.