TALLAHASSEE, FL – A new report released today by FWD.us, authored by Rick Harper, Ph.D., of Economic Consulting Services, outlines the severe harm that the implementation of mandatory E-Verify would inflict on Florida’s economy, hurting businesses and employers across the state. The report makes clear the serious consequences were Florida to implement mandatory statewide E-Verify before significant federal-level immigration reforms, detailing the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in growth and revenue statewide. The report outlines how multiple counties across South and Central Florida would be particularly hard-hit, with devastating economic consequences for key industries, including the hospitality, tourism, and agricultural sectors.
“Florida’s economy is one of the strongest in the nation, but we can’t afford mandatory E-Verify – our economy and businesses will suffer with the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and billions in lost revenue and growth, not to mention the devastating harm to Florida families,” said FWD.us Florida State Director Ted Hutchinson. “Legislators in Tallahassee should focus on reforms that build our state’s economy up and keep families together, not policies that hurt our workforce and burden businesses with wasteful costs.”
“The analysis makes clear that the impact on Florida’s economy will be negative and quite substantial,” added Dr. Rick Harper. “Florida consistently demonstrates one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country; the tight labor market in the current economic climate and demographic trends mean that Florida must be able to count on a workforce to meet the significant demands of its booming economy. E-Verify would force otherwise productive workers out of Florida’s economy, at a cost of roughly $11 billion in earnings, 253,500 jobs, and approximately $1.25 billion in state and local tax revenues each year. The effects would be far-reaching and widely felt among native-born U.S. workers and immigrant communities alike.”
Key Findings from the Study
- E-Verify would cost the state’s economy some 253,500 jobs, $10.7 billion in earnings, and $1.25 billion annually in state and local tax revenues. This is after accounting for lost earnings, such as worker remittances to home countries, and lower wages paid to workers. These job losses are equivalent to about one to 1.5 years of normal Florida job growth.
- These changes would disproportionately affect the tourism, construction, and agriculture industries due to their traditionally heavier employment of undocumented workers relative to other sectors.
- The losses would be felt most acutely in the 16-county South Florida region, where earnings would diminish by $6.2 billion, 145,862 jobs would be lost, and local and state tax revenues would fall by $756 million.
- Large losses would also occur in the 15-county Central Florida region, where losses would include $3.0 billion in earnings, 72,997 jobs, and $366 million in local and state tax revenues.