In what might come as a surprise to many, a new report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) has found that a higher percentage of illegal immigrants are part of the labor force than the overall population.
According to the report, illegal immigrants had a 70 percent labor participation rate in 2014; the overall population only had a 62.9 percent participation rate that year.
It should be noted that this is a more recent phenomenon. Over the past 20 years, the rate of illegal immigrants in the workforce has increased by about 10 percent, while the rate of the overall population in the workforce has steadily fallen.
Illegal immigrants were found to be most likely to work in farming, followed by construction, food preparation, production, and transportation.
The study also found that America’s roughly 11 million unauthorized immigrants do not take jobs from working Americans.
BAML notes that illegal immigrants and legal workers differ in terms of “occupation choices and skills,” and emphasizes that “immigration has a positive effect on the average wage of US-born workers overall.”
The study also looked at future policy proposals for either limiting or increasing the chances of illegal immigrants to find jobs in the U.S.
It was determined that the labor force would shrink, GDP would fall, and debt-to-GDP levels would rise should the government curtail the ability for illegal immigrants to work in the U.S.
The opposite would be the case should a relaxing of the current rules take place.