Migration and Migrant Labour in the Gig Economy

Topic: Economics
Words: 372 Pages: 1

New York has been a critical destination for immigrants arriving in the United States for decades. Nevertheless, scholarly research on the interaction of the gig economy and labor mobility is limited (Van Doorn et al., 2020). According to a recent FWD (2022) study of U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the state’s immigrant population has ceased rising during the preceding decade, and this drop has significantly affected the city’s economy. The study topic aims to investigate the issue of immigration into New York City. The research question is, “How does the current influx of immigration in New York City affect their economy?”

The study is crucial as it will provide insights into the impact of immigrants on the economy and current legal policies and issues. Court and Cerron (2022) suggest that according to the most recent available data, undocumented immigrants account for seven percent of all occupations in New York City. This number includes one-third of construction workers and almost a quarter of dishwashers, chefs, housekeepers, and cleaners. They contribute to an underground economy in a metropolis that relies on immigrants to operate building sites, restaurant kitchens, delivery businesses, and child-care facilities (Court & Cerron, 2022). Immigrants comprise thirty-seven percent of New Yorkers but forty-four percent of the workforce (Court & Cerron, 2022). Moreover, seventy-eight percent of illegal employees were employed or looking for employment, compared to sixty-five percent of native-born New Yorkers.

Having a job record before being granted asylum or authorization may also harm migrants’ cases since it breaches federal law. For instance, asylum applicants are not eligible for work permits for at least 180 days after submitting their application (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2022). In October 2022, the Biden administration launched a new program that provides humanitarian parole to select incoming Venezuelan migrants, creating a legal road to work for around 24,000 asylum applicants (Zak, 2022). Nevertheless, for other migrants, obtaining a legal work permit might take years. To boost its economy in the coming decades, New York must make the state a more appealing destination for immigrants while also providing more possibilities for immigrants living there (FWD, 2022). Hence, the research will address the influence of immigration and what actions could be taken to improve the New York economy.


Van Doorn, N., Ferrari, F., & Graham, M. (2020). Migration and migrant labour in the gig economy: An intervention. SSRN.

FWD. (2022). New York needs pro-immigrant policies to bolster its population and economy. FWD. Web.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (2022). The 180-day asylum EAD clock notice. USCIS. Web.

Zak, D. (2022). Explainer: Venezuela parole program and Title 42 expansion. Immigration Forum. Web.

Court, E., & Cerron, E. (2022). NYC’s 20,000 migrants are fueling the city’s underground economy. Bloomberg. Web.

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