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US needs more immigrants for economy to grow: JP Morgan strategist

Julia Limitone

The world’s largest economy isn’t growing fast enough, according to one market expert who believes the U.S. will soon face a major labor shortage. More immigrants, he says, can help make up the difference.

“The baby boomers have been retiring in huge numbers since 2012,” David Kelly of JP Morgan Asset Management told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. “The result of that is that over the next decade the working age population aged 18 to 64 is only going to grow by two-tenths of percent per year. And that just isn't fast enough to grow. We’re already at full employment, basically.”

Last year, the U.S. economy grew by 2.5 percent, below the Trump administration's 3 percent target, and last month U.S. employers added 164,000 jobs while the unemployment rate remained near a 50-year-low at 3.7 percent, according to the Labor Department.

Kelly said only having two-tenths of a percent growth in the working age population is also what employment growth will be, which means “3 percent [GDP] is a pipe dream.”

“We'll have a very hard time achieving 2 percent growth,” he said. “So just over this next decade as the baby boom retires, one policy choice we ought to look at is increasing the number of immigrants to sort of fill the pothole here caused by the retirement of the baby [boomers].”

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Kelly said 75 percent of immigrants who enter the U.S. each year are of working age as compared to about 64 percent of the native population.

“When you bring in more immigrants, you disproportionately bring in more workers, and actually workers is what the United States will need over the next decade,” he said.

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