Texas Needs the Workers! An Analysis of the Economic and Fiscal Impact of Undocumented Workers

The Economic Benefits of the Texas Undocumented Workforce

Click above to download an infographic summarizing the report findings (PDF).

The issues surrounding immigration are complicated (particularly in the case of the undocumented segment), but there is one incontrovertible fact: TEXAS NEEDS THE WORKERS!

The estimated number of undocumented workers in Texas today is approximately twice as large as the total number of unemployed persons in the workforce. Even if all currently unemployed persons filled jobs now held by undocumented workers (which is impossible for myriad reasons), the state would be left with a glaring gap of hundreds of thousands of workers if the undocumented workforce were no longer available. In a recent study, The Perryman Group took a balanced view of the economic benefits and costs of the undocumented workforce to Texas. The results indicate gains of millions of jobs and billions of dollars to taxing entities.

Undocumented Workforce Benefits to the Texas Economy
Total Expenditures Output
(Gross Product)
Permanent Jobs
Direct Net Benefits* $326.1 billion
per year
$144.7 billion
per year
1.2 million
*Based on the best available information regarding employment patterns of undocumented workers translated into overall measures of resulting output income, and spending based on the coefficients of the impact assessment model used in this analysis. Fully adjusted for the wage and productivity characteristics of the relevant population.
TOTAL Net Benefits, including multiplier effects** $663.4 billion
per year
$290.3 billion
per year
3.3 million
**Based on the total economic benefits of the undocumented workforce adjusted to net out costs such as education, social services, and health care.

Subtracting the costs from the total fiscal benefits yields an estimate of the net fiscal effect of the undocumented population. The Perryman Group estimates that the total net fiscal effect of the Texas undocumented population includes benefits of $32.9 billion each year, including

  • $20.1 billion to the federal government,
  • $11.8 billion to the State of Texas, and
  • $0.9 billion to local governments within Texas.

Restrictive immigration policy will cause substantial economic and fiscal losses. Our full report can be downloaded by clicking the button below.