Report links NH’s low immigrant population to tech labor shortage

One of the reasons New Hampshire has such a hard time finding tech workers is that the state doesn’t have enough immigrants, since immigrants make up nearly 25% of tech workers in the state. nationally, but just over 15% in New Hampshire.

The data comes from Technet, a national organization of technology CEOs and other senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovative economy. The group argues that more immigrants will mean more growth, nationally and in the Granite State.

In New Hampshire, this growth is more significant. Indeed, the state is sixth in percentage (10.3%) of workers employed in tech, and in the top five for growth in IT job openings and GSP tech share, based on 2020 figures.

In absolute terms, the $11.2 billion tech contribution to the state’s economy ranks 28th and the 72,000 tech workers 24th. Not bad for a small state.

You don’t need stats to know it’s hard to get such workers anyway, but here’s one anyway: The state’s STEM job to available worker ratio was 9.4 to 1 in 2014, and it has deteriorated over time.

This is where immigrants come in. Immigrants make up 6.4% of the state’s total population, but 7.1% of overall employment and 15.3% of the STEM workforce. But nationally, immigrants make up 24.3% of the STEM workforce. New Jersey is first, with 43.8%, and Massachusetts, with 29.6%, is fifth. New Hampshire also lags behind Connecticut and Rhode Island, but is right in the middle in the rankings at 25th.

(The data used by the report comes from the American Immigration Council, using census data. It uses the narrow definition of tech – the hard sciences, not including health and social sciences. If you add those fields in as well , immigrants make up a smaller percentage of the workforce – 19.2% nationally and 10.9% in New Hampshire.)

But you don’t need numbers to know that one reason is that the state doesn’t have too many immigrants: 82,700, about one-fifth of a percent of the U.S. immigrant population, though the state’s total population is approximately two-fifths of one percent of the total United States population. In other words, proportionally, the state has half of the immigrant population while the nation

“Immigrants are already making important contributions to the high-tech sector and the state’s overall economy,” concludes the New Hampshire section of the report. “It would be desirable to increase the number of highly skilled immigrants in the state to ensure that technology jobs can be filled, new jobs can be created, and the Granite State can truly realize its economic potential. ”

Michael A. Bynum