Immigrants may fill workforce voidby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — As Americans get older, there's growing concern about the economic impact of this aging group. Business and immigration leaders say new immigrant workers will likely help fill this workforce void.
Demographic figures show that the median age in Minnesota -- and the U.S. -- has been rising for years as baby boomers age. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there's been a 22 percent jump in the population of people who are 85 and older, and a 40 percent increase in the number of people in their 50s.
State demographic figures also show that the number of 18-to-24-year-olds is no longer growing in Minnesota.
Tom Stinson, the state economist, says migrants are going to play an important role in the future growth of the state's labor force.
"Some of the migrants are going to come from other states. Some are going to come from other countries. But wherever they come from, it's going to be important for Minnesotans to focus on making sure that we make the fullest use of the skills of that new workforce," Stinson said.
Stinson said developing a new workforce, whether it's U.S.-born or not, should be the state's number one concern in the next decade.