A nationwide strike dubbed a “Day Without Immigrants” cast a spotlight on the role of foreign-born workers in the American economy.

The walkout at some businesses comes amid a feverish debate over undocumented immigration, foreign trade and President Trump’s temporary travel ban on people from several majority-Muslim nations.

Here are 10 key things you should know about the impact of immigrants on the U.S. workforce:

GROWING NUMBERS

There were about 26.3 million foreign-born people working in the U.S. in 2015, making up 16.7% of the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up from 15% in 2005.

…BUT FEWER ARE UNAUTHORIZED

The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. hit a seven-year low in 2014, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. An estimated 11.1 million immigrants were living in the U.S. illegally in 2014, down from an all-time high of 12.2 million in 2007.

WHERE ARE THEY?

States with the highest percentage of foreign-born residents in 2014 were: California (27%), New York (22.6%), New Jersey (21.7%), Florida (20%) and Nevada (19.3%), according to the Pew Research Center.

TAX CONTRIBUTION

Foreign-born households contributed $106.9 billion in income tax revenue in 2012, according to a George Mason University Institute for Immigration Research study.

HOW DOES INCOME STACK UP?

Foreign-born workers’ median weekly wages were $681 in 2015, about 18.6% less than native-born American workers, according to BLS.

SOME STRUGGLE 

About 17.7% of foreign-born residents lived below the poverty line in 2014, compared with 14.5% of U.S.-born residents, according to the Pew Research Center.

GENDER IMBALANCE

Women immigrants are less likely to work than women born in the U.S. Of foreign-born workers in 2015, about 58.3% were men, according to BLS. Of native-born workers, 52.2% were men.

RACE & ETHNICITY

Hispanics make up 48.8% of the foreign-born workforce, while 24.1% is Asian, 16.8% are white and 9.2% are black, according to BLS.

GROWTH ENGINE

Immigrants made up about 47% of the nation’s workforce expansion from 2004 through 2014, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

BIG BUSINESS BOOST

Immigrants or their kids started about 40% of Forbes 500 companies, including Google, Apple and Intel, according to the Stanford Immigration Policy Lab.

 

Source: USA TODAY