Immigrants impact Tulsa economy

Tulsa has a lot of immigrants – legal and illegal – and they have an impact on the city’s economy, according to a report in New American Economy.

The report states that immigrants represent 6.7 percent of the population and accounted for 27.9 percent of overall population growth in the Tulsa area between 2010 and 2015. There were 4,047 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Tulsa area that generated $55 million in business income in 2015.

Mayor G.T. Bynum welcomes immigrants. Businesses benefit from paying lower wages to low-skilled workers from abroad.

“Our goal is to build an inclusive economy – removing barriers to small business growth by supporting an important segment of our community that contributes to Tulsa’s overall success,” Bynum said.

“One of the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s main priorities is to help our region grow the strongest possible workforce to meet local industry needs,” said Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber.

Additional claims:

  • The foreign-born population paid $135.2 million in state and local taxes and $252.1 million in federal taxes, and held $1.2 billion in spending power.
  • Growth in the foreign-born population accounted for 27.9 percent of overall population growth between 2010 and 2015, increasing the total housing value in the metro area by $600 million.
  • Immigrants are more likely to be of working age (16-64) than their U.S.-born neighbors. Nearly 85 percent of foreign-born residents were of working age in 2015, compared to 62 percent of U.S.-born residents.
  • Immigrants account for nearly 21 percent of construction workers, 14.4 percent of workers in the tourism and hospitality, and 14.2 percent of manufacturing workers.
  • In the fall of 2015, 1,934 students enrolled in colleges and universities in the metro area were international students.