New Maryland and Michigan fact sheets: Immigrants can help meet demand for middle-skill workers

By Michael Richardson, January 04, 2018

Two new fact sheets from National Skills Coalition highlight the important role that immigrant workers play in filling middle-skill jobs in Michigan and Maryland.

While immigration settlement patterns differ substantially between the two states, in both cases, immigrant workers will be vital to helping the states meet the demand for middle skill workers and respond to local industries’ talent needs.

To meet these demands, states will need to ensure that their talent-development pipelines are inclusive of the many immigrants who are poised to benefit from investments in their skills: 41 percent of adult immigrants in Michigan and 39 percent in Maryland have not gone beyond high school in their education.

Maryland: A Quickly Growing Immigrant Population Meets an Ambitious Postsecondary Goal

Maryland has a steadily growing immigrant population. The state has seen its foreign-born population more than double from 6.6 percent in 1990 to 15.2 percent today.

Immigrants in Maryland are much more likely to be of working age: 80 percent are between the ages of 18-64, compared to just 60 percent of native-born residents. Maryland immigrants also have a substantially higher labor force participation rate: 72.7 percent of adult immigrants in Maryland are in the labor force, compared to 65.3 percent of native-born adults

The state has recently established an ambitious goal for postsecondary attainment: By 2025, Maryland aims to increase the percentage of state residents between twenty-five and sixty-four years old with a postsecondary degree to 55 percent. Meeting this goal will require investments in skill-building for all Marylanders, including those born abroad.

Learn more in our new fact sheet: Middle-Skill Credentials and Immigrant Workers: Maryland’s Untapped Assets


Michigan: A Large Immigrant Population is Part of the Middle-Skill Solution

Michigan is home to approximately 652,000 immigrants, who comprise almost 7 percent of state residents. As a result, they make up a vital role in Michigan’s labor market. This role will continue growing as the immigrant population increases; already, the share of immigrants in the state’s population has increased by 74 percent from 3.8 percent in 1990 to 6.6 percent today.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) responded to the growing importance of the state’s immigrant workforce by establishing the Michigan Office for New Americans (MONA) by executive order in 2014. A primary role of MONA is to build and strengthen relationships between immigrant workers and the state’s public workforce system.

The demand for middle-skill workers is anticipated to remain strong in Michigan, with 50 percent of new job openings expected to be at the middle skill-level. In order for Michigan to capitalize on this demand and draw on the full talents and abilities of their residents, the state will need to invest in the skills of native-born and immigrant workers alike.

Learn more in our new fact sheet: Middle-Skill Credentials and Immigrant Workers: Michigan’s Untapped Assets.