Untapped Talent: The Costs of Brain Waste among Highly Skilled Immigrants in the United States

Untapped Talent: The Costs of Brain Waste among Highly Skilled Immigrants in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. By Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, James D. Bachmeier. December 2016.

While the United States has long been a top destination for the world’s best and brightest, it has fallen short when it comes to fully tapping the skills and training of these newcomers. As a result, nearly 2 million immigrants with college degrees in the United States—one out of every four—are relegated to low-skilled jobs or are unable to find work. This skill underutilization—often referred to as brain waste—comes at a significant cost to families and the U.S. economy: College-educated immigrants employed in low-skilled work miss out on more than $39 billion in wages. And as a result, federal, state, and local governments lose out on more than $10 billion in unrealized tax receipts, according to this study, which offers the first-ever estimates of the economic costs of brain waste. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 47 pages, 1.17 MB].

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