Not Lost in Translation: The Growing Importance of Foreign Language Skills in the U.S. Job Market
Published by the New American Economy, March 2017
A report released today by New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan coalition of more than 500 mayors and business leaders who support immigration reform, includes new data that emphasizes the critical need for language skills in the workplace, including the fact that the number of jobs aimed at bilingual workers more than doubled from 2010 to 2015, growing to 630,000. Moreover, employers added jobs at a much faster pace for bilingual individuals than they did for workers overall. This report provides valuable insight into how the demand for bilingual workers has grown at both the state and national levels, and cites new evidence that proficiency in more than one language will be among the most important skills a job seeker can demonstrate. Specifically, the report found the demand for bilingual workers is rising; employers are increasingly looking for workers who can speak Chinese, Spanish and Arabic; sectors such as banking and healthcare have particularly strong demand for bilingual workers; and there is a growing need for bilingual workers at both the lower and higher ends of the skill spectrum.