Among President Joe Biden’s first actions in office was to bump up the number of refugees that will be allowed entry into the United States. In a series of executive orders, he laid the groundwork to increase the ceiling to 125,000 refugee resettlements annually — a potentially huge jump from the 11,814 refugees admitted in the last year.
The online Insider observes in this opinion piece — Biden’s plan to let more refugees into the country is a great way to drive the economic recovery after COVID — that refugees will be a resource for businesses springing back with the post-pandemic economy.
Why? Even now industry is struggling to find sufficient numbers of workers. An example: there are 27 open healthcare practitioner jobs for every unemployed healthcare worker; a gap only expected to grow as boomers retire.
Refugee workers are especially enticing to employers for a host of reasons. They’re in the US legally, can stay indefinitely, and are eligible to work immediately. As a group, refugees are more willing than others to relocate for work. Plus, they tend to stay longer in their jobs.
The article’s author, Gideon Maltz of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, concludes that a boost in refugee resettlement “will be good for the US economy — refugees earned more than $77 billion in household income and paid almost $21 billion in taxes in 2015. And it will be good for businesses that will add employees with resilience, dedication and loyalty.”