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Immigrants play key role in North Texas workforce, economies, says new study

Working immigrants are a key part of North Texas industries ranging from construction, to tourism, to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), according to the findings of a new study.

And though they make up less than 19 percent of the population, the study reports, their role in the workforce — and, consequently, local economies — is critical.

The New American Economy study, Immigrants in North Texas, analyzes data from 2017 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, focusing on immigrants. It concludes immigrants represented 24.4 percent of the entire working age population and 29.4 percent of its STEM workers.

The findings also reveal a larger percentage of immigrants are able to work compared to American-born residents. Of the immigrant population, 85.6 percent were of working age in 2017, while 61.1 percent of naturally born citizens were of working age.

There were 1,386,114 immigrants living in North Texas in 2017, according to the study, including 301,843 homeowners. The study indicates immigrant households earned $43.8 billion, which after taxes became $33.2 billion.

Foreign-born workers made up 48.7 percent of the construction industry, the field employing the most immigrants, according to the study. Additionally, the study reports immigrants made up 32.8 percent of the administrative support industry, 30.9 percent of general services and 29.4 percent of both manufacturing and tourism, hospitality and recreation.

There were 575,350 undocumented immigrants in North Texas in 2017, according to the study. Of that group, 72.3 percent participated in labor and their employment rate was 96.7 percent.

Also, the study suggests there were 92,407 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, eligible immigrants and 96.2 percent were employed.

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