“In today’s global economy, businesses require employees who can serve customers in a variety of languages,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of New American Economy. “This research highlights the growing need to attract and promote a multilingual workforce among both foreign- and U.S.-born talent.”
Because the U.S. public education system largely ignores language training, this implies a need to constantly import foreign workers – who grow up with multiple language skills.
This also implies that U.S. permanent residents with multiple language skills are likely to be in demand, depending on the language and the work position.
As noted here previously, nearly all students in the EU start learning English around age 6 to 7. And students in 20 of 29 countries there are required to study a 3rd language, typically starting about age 10. Research indicates it is best to start learning languages when young – but the U.S. typically does not start until age 15 or 16 and most students receive only 2 years of language study.
A side effect of these trends is that workers with international experience, including those who are foreign born, or who have foreign born family (and hence first- or second-generation native language skills), are likely to be in significant demand in the U.S.