- Christopher Matthews
- Mar 9
The American workforce is shrinking, save for immigrants
The native-born U.S. workforce began to shrink last year, and the entire projected growth between today and 2035 will be driven by immigration, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.
Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
Why it matters: To get a sense of how an economy with a shrinking workforce performs, look no further than Japan. The size of its workforce peaked in 1998, and it has suffered through six different recessions since, compared to the United States' two. Not only is it harder to produce more wealth with fewer people, but the incentive for corporations to invest in the future is reduced when they know they'll have fewer potential customers tomorrow than they have today.