Study: NJ reliant on immigrant work force

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - December 22, 2008 An analysis by the Eagleton Institute Program on Immigration and Democracy says that New Jersey's 1.7 million foreign-born population has no negative impact on the Garden State's economy overall.

Immigrants account for 20 percent of the state's population, but make up a higher percentage of the work force because more of them are of working age.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association's Chris Biddle says Garden State employers have long been dependent on the immigrant work force. He says many jobs would remain unfilled without immigrant labor.

The study finds immigrants contributing at both the highest and lowest ends of the economic spectrum. The foreign-born account for 40 percent of all advanced degree holders in New Jersey, and immigrants also occupy some of the lowest-earning jobs in the state.

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