Immigrants Are More Hopeful and Optimistic about the U.S. Economy

RL12-15-2015According to a New Study Conducted on Behalf of Express Employment Professionals by Harris Poll, 47% of Immigrants Say U.S. is Heading in the Right Direction Compared to 34% for US-Born Citizens.

Express Employment Professionals recently released new survey results indicating that most U.S. residents believe the U.S. economy is headed in the wrong direction. However, in comparing immigrants to U.S.-born citizens, immigrants are significantly more positive and optimistic about the state of the economy, their own finances, and their personal prospects for a bright future.

While 34% of native-born citizens say the U.S. economy is heading in the right direction, a higher percentage of immigrants, 47%, say the economy is heading in the right direction.

The results are from a new, comprehensive online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Express in October 2015 that gauges personal goals, attitudes and beliefs on a variety of topics among a representative, cross section of U.S. residents. Additional survey reports about the importance of learning English and attaining the American Dream will be released in the coming days.

“This thorough survey shows that people who immigrated here have tremendously positive attitudes and are optimistic about not only our country’s future, but also their own personal circumstances. Immigrants have high hopes to succeed and they want to become a part of this nation’s workforce,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

IMMIGRANTS MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THEIR & THE NATION’S FUTURE THAN U.S-BORN CITIZEN

Immigrants are significantly more likely than people born in the U.S. to think:

  • Their personal economic situation will get better in the next year: 35% for immigrants versus 27% for U.S.-born. For both groups, most said their personal economic situation stayed the same in the past year.
  • The future of the U.S. is very bright: 57% of immigrants agree versus 47% for U.S.-born citizens.
  • The next generation will have better opportunities than they did, 58% of immigrants agree compared to 47% for U.S.-born citizens.
  • The next generation will have access to a high-quality education that will prepare them for a bright future, 67% of immigrants agree compared to 56% for U.S.-born citizens.
  • The next generation will have better opportunities than they did, 58% of immigrants agree compared to 47% for U.S.-born citizens.

The survey also showed that immigrants are more willing than native-born Americans to start their own businesses to achieve the American Dream. Fifteen percent of immigrants said they had already opened their own businesses compared to 13% of U.S-born citizens, while 62% of immigrants said they were somewhat or very willing to open their own business, compared to 57% of U.S.-born citizens.

Fifty-two percent of immigrants said they were somewhat or very willing to work two or more jobs to achieve the American Dream, compared to 47% of U.S.-born citizens.

At the same time, immigrants were more open to accepting public assistance, such as welfare. Forty-three percent of immigrants said they were somewhat or willing to accept welfare compared to 37% of U.S.-born citizens.

 

Survey Methodology

Study by Harris Poll

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals from Oct. 5 – 21, 2015, and included 2,043 U.S. adults aged 18 or older from the general population and an oversample of 781 foreign born U.S. residents age 18 or older. In total, 866 foreign born U.S. residents were surveyed, of whom 59% identified themselves as Hispanic, 12% as European, 11% as Asian and 18% as other.

Data is weighted to be representative of the general U.S. population and U.S. residents who are foreign-born.

Results were weighted as needed for age by gender, education, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Totals may not equal the sum of their individual components due to rounding. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

 

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