The coronavirus pandemic has radically altered the U.S. workforce. Many people have lost their jobs, while others have had to continue to go to work despite the serious health risks. Some sectors within the U.S. economy, however, have been able to shift toward working remotely. And immigrants working in the information technology sector have once again proven essential throughout this transition.
Data compiled by New American Economy highlights the significant impact immigrants have made in maintaining the digital economy across the country. Immigrants have helped technology adapt to ensure industries and people remain connected during these unprecedented times.
On the national scale, immigrants comprise a significant portion of the rising IT economy. The IT sector in the United States employs close to 6 million people. As of March 2020, immigrants make up one in four IT employees across the country.
Many of the nation’s critical industries employ immigrant IT workers who have helped transition to technology-based infrastructure over the last few months.
Immigrants in the Healthcare Industry
Over 33,000 immigrant IT personnel manage electronic medical records and healthcare services such as virtual doctors’ visits. This has made healthcare accessible to patients through telemedicine.
More than one in seven IT employees in healthcare facilities are immigrants. Not only do foreign- born people provide imperative IT support, immigrants play other vital roles throughout the healthcare industry. Among all physicians in the United States, about 30% were born outside the country, as well as one out of every six nurses.
Immigrants in Retail Trade
In the retail trade, 61,000 immigrants helped to respond to the recent influx in online shopping. This comprised over 25% of all U.S.-based IT personnel in the industry.
Of the IT workers in pharmacies processing online orders for medications, 33% are foreign-born. And immigrants make up 12% of IT workers processing online orders for grocery stores and 40%of those supporting digital management for online shopping.
Immigrants in the Education Sector
Roughly 41,000 immigrant IT workers have supported professors and students since March 2020. This has been vital during mandatory transitions to remote education. Immigrants have been critical in creating new virtual platforms for classrooms, as well as solving technical issues for those working from home.
At colleges and universities across the country, over 28,000 immigrants make up nearly 16% of all IT workers in higher education.
Immigrants in Emergency Response and Internet Services
State governments responding to emergency situations during the pandemic utilize the expertise of 34,000 immigrant IT workers when helping communities in need. One out of every eight IT employees in public administration are foreign-born.
The information industry employs 59,000 immigrants, over one quarter of the nation’s IT workers, who develop the increasingly relied upon digital platforms for numerous industries and personal use alike. Of the IT employees ensuring internet services are accessible, about 42% are immigrants.
The Trump administration’s latest travel ban and its rumored expansion could have a devastating impact on many industries in the United States. Since our shift to a primarily virtual economy, immigrants have demonstrated the critical role that they play in commerce and the digital workplace. Immigrants help to fuel our country’s prosperity through innovation, entrepreneurship, and diverse viewpoints. They will play an equally crucial role in our economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
FILED UNDER: covid-19, technology industry immigration