Due to increased restrictions on immigration and travel, which began with the COVID-19 pandemic in the early months of 2020, the net inflow of immigrants into the United States has essentially halted for almost 2 years. By the end of 2021 there were about 2 million fewer working-age immigrants living in the United States than there would have been if the pre-2020 immigration trend had continued unchanged. Of these lost immigrants, about one million would have been college educated. The data on labor shortages across industries suggest that this dramatic drop in foreign labor supply growth is likely a contributor to the current worker shortages and could slow down employment recovery and growth as the economy picks up speed.
Giovanni Peri and Reem Zaiour, The Econofact Network, January 11, 2022
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