How Trump's immigration moves could damage the city's economy

President Donald Trump’s new harsh rules on undocumented (and documented) immigrants could cause enormous suffering, as many media reports in recent days have shown. They also could harm the national and New York economies in a fundamental way. No one...

How Trump's immigration moves could damage the city's economy

President Donald Trump’s new harsh rules on undocumented (and documented) immigrants could cause enormous suffering, as many media reports in recent days have shown. They also could harm the national and New York economies in a fundamental way.

No one knows whether the new rules instituted this week will result in a modest increase in deportations similar to what happened in the first Obama term or if it means an aggressive effort to send millions of immigrants back to their home countries. In either case, uncertainty alone is almost sure to deter people from coming to the United States.

The result, economists at Nomura Securities suggest in a report issued Thursday, is a sharp decline in the growth of the labor force, which includes people with jobs and those who are actively seeking them. Over three years, they estimate, additions to the labor force will decline by two-thirds as a result of the Trump plan. That will be in addition to the decline in the labor force resulting from baby-boomer retirement and other demographic factors.

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The economy will not be able to expand, because it needs new workers to do so. How Trump can square this with his plans to achieve 4% annual GDP growth is anyone’s guess, though this administration hasn’t shown much interest in dotting I's and crossing T's.

NYC Workforce Grows

YearWorkforce* 2010 3,935,000 2011 4,010,400 2012 4,054,600 2013 4,127,900 2014 4,187,300 2015 4,215,000 2016 4,155,800

*Seasonally adjusted number for December of each year

As the chart shows, the city's labor force has grown in the past six years, fueling the big jobs boom. Immigrants account for 46% of all workers in the city.

It isn’t just that immigrants made New York great again, as I wrote a few weeks ago, it is that New York needs newcomers to keep being great.

President Donald Trump’s new harsh rules on undocumented (and documented) immigrants could cause enormous suffering, as many media reports in recent days have shown. They also could harm the national and New York economies in a fundamental way.

No one knows whether the new rules instituted this week will result in a modest increase in deportations similar to what happened in the first Obama term or if it means an aggressive effort to send millions of immigrants back to their home countries. In either case, uncertainty alone is almost sure to deter people from coming to the United States.

The result, economists at Nomura Securities suggest in a report issued Thursday, is a sharp decline in the growth of the labor force, which includes people with jobs and those who are actively seeking them. Over three years, they estimate, additions to the labor force will decline by two-thirds as a result of the Trump plan. That will be in addition to the decline in the labor force resulting from baby-boomer retirement and other demographic factors.

The economy will not be able to expand, because it needs new workers to do so. How Trump can square this with his plans to achieve 4% annual GDP growth is anyone’s guess, though this administration hasn’t shown much interest in dotting I's and crossing T's.

NYC Workforce Grows

*Seasonally adjusted number for December of each year

As the chart shows, the city's labor force has grown in the past six years, fueling the big jobs boom. Immigrants account for 46% of all workers in the city.

It isn’t just that immigrants made New York great again, as I wrote a few weeks ago, it is that New York needs newcomers to keep being great.

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