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November 27, 2006

Motivation for immigration

Between 1990 and 2000, North Carolina led all states in the percentage growth of the Hispanic population. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains why.

"In economics … we always go to two things: demand and supply. On the demand side in North Carolina, we were creating jobs. We have been creating jobs at a faster rate than the national economy, so we need people to keep coming to take those jobs," explains Dr. Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics.

"But on the supply side we have not seen the growth in workers, especially young workers age 18 to 30, at a high enough rate to keep up with those jobs.

"In fact," Walden adds, "the number of workers age 18 to 30 as a percent of the population has been going down in North Carolina. So this has created a gap. We have jobs being created for young people, relatively young people, yet we don’t have enough of them being generated internally, domestically, hence the demand for workers from outside, and in particular Hispanic workers.

"So if you look at the demographics of Hispanic workers, they are primarily young," he concludes. "So they are exactly filling that job gap that has existed in North Carolina."

Posted by deeshore at November 27, 2006 10:08 AM