Few public policy topics generate as much impassioned debate as immigration. While arguments abound regarding the motivations for and efficacy of these policies, there are nonetheless many possible consequences of their implementation. This study focuses on only one specific question: What is the economic impact of immigrants on job creation and economic growth and development in Nebraska and the Omaha Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). To that end, using the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data for the sample periods 2015 to 2019, this report quantitatively assesses this economic impact. While much of the focus in this study is on the total international immigrant group, with particular attention is paid to those immigrants from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean Findings indicate a substantial economic impact from these immigrant groups from a variety of perspectives. For example, immigrant labor in the construction, food services, and animal slaughtering and processing generate substantial impacts. In the Omaha MSA, this employment generated $7.9 billion in production and 37,271 jobs. The Latin American and Caribbean born group generated $5.2 billion in production and 26,261 jobs. In Nebraska, total foreign born employment generated $22.0 billion in production and 94,409 jobs. The Latin American and Caribbean born group generated $16.1 billion in production and 79,516 jobs. Whatever the policy outcomes regarding immigration become, a recognition of these groups’ economic contributions must be kept firmly in mind.
Decker, C. (2021). The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Immigrant Populations on Nebraska and Omaha: Evidence from the 2015-2019 American Community Survey. OLLAS Report #16. Office of Latino/Latin American Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha. https://doi.org/10.32873/uno.dc.ollas.1017