A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas: Economic and Fiscal Benefits and Costs, Volume II
A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas: Economic and Fiscal Benefits and Costs, Volume II presents an analysis of immigrants' impact on the Arkansas economy and on state and local budgets through their purchasing power, business creation, business cost savings, spin-off jobs and overall contribution to economic growth. It also provides a detailed accounting of Arkansas immigrants' direct and indirect tax contributions, along with fiscal costs associated with public education, healthcare and corrections.
Immigrants make up a small but fast-growing share of the total Arkansas population. They also make up significant shares of workers in major industries such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture, where they contribute to the state's economic competitiveness and tax base. The children of immigrants — who are overwhelmingly U.S.-born — comprise a large share of the state's total child population and are thus important to future population growth and labor.
The report finds that the growth of Arkansas' immigrant population has been driven mostly by a need to replace workers who have retired or moved on to other sectors especially in manufacturing. The indirect effects of immigrant spending included an estimated 36,100 spin-off jobs and $1.3 billion in additional labor income in 2010. The report notes that without immigrant labor, the state's annual manufacturing wage bill could have been as much as $52 million higher.
The authors surmise that, given the aging of Arkansas' native-born population, maximizing economic opportunities may depend critically on investing in the skills of the immigrant workforce.
Appold, S. J., Johnson Jr., J. H., and Kasarda. J. D. (2013). A Profile of Immigrants in Arkansas: Economic and Fiscal Benefits and Costs, Volume II. Little Rock, AR, and Chapel Hill, NC: Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and university of North Carolina.