Cushman & Wakefield Analyzes Implications of U.S. Immigration Policy

“Legal, foreign-born workers fill 31 percent of buildings/grounds maintenance jobs and a quarter of construction positions. Limiting their access into the U.S would exacerbate the shortage of workers these sectors already face.” – Revathi Greenwood

The Trump administration is currently debating several changes to U.S. immigration policy. Cushman & Wakefield released a study on how those shifts could impact commercial real estate and corporate occupancy, specifically.

Known as the RAISE Act, the proposed legislation would impose:

  •     A reduction in total legal immigration over the coming decade.
  •     A change in how immigrants are prioritized and granted access to the U.S.
  •     A hard limit on the number of refugees allowed to enter the country each year (50,000).

“Certain industries such as ours are likely to be disproportionately impacted by these proposed changes,” noted Cushman & Wakefield’s Revathi Greenwood, Americas Head of Research. “Legal, foreign-born workers fill 31 percent of buildings/grounds maintenance jobs and a quarter of construction positions. Limiting their access into the U.S would exacerbate the shortage of workers these sectors already face.”

Further, since 2000 the number of foreign-born workers employed in the U.S. has increased by 42 percent, with management/professional occupations representing the fastest-growing category over that time (+75 percent). An estimated 3.5 million foreign-born residents work in the management and business field – a main driver of office demand.

Gateway Cities and Beyond

Just under half of all U.S. population growth in 2017 will be due to immigration.

“Historically, immigrants have been drawn to gateway cities in the U.S. in addition to a handful of other large coastal cities. Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia are the five cities with the largest immigrant populations,” said Cushman & Wakefield Economist Rebecca Rockey, Head of Forecasting, Americas. “Not only do immigrants make up nearly one-third of the populations in these markets, but for some of them, immigration has driven population growth there in the two decades from 1995-2015.”

However, immigrants are beginning to move away from the…

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