Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New study proves H-1B visas not needed

Rich Silicon Valley executives have lobbied for immigration reform, arguing that they cannot hire the engineers they need. Others (including this blog) have pointed out that their argument violates the simple economics of supply and demand, and they are just seeking cheap labor. Now the NY Times reports:
Although certain kinds of engineers are in short supply in the United States, plenty of potential candidates exist for thousands of positions for which companies want to import guest workers, according to an analysis of three million résumés of job seekers in the United States.

The numbers, prepared by a company called Bright, which collects résumés and uses big data tools to connect job seekers with openings, enter a contentious debate over whether tech companies should be allowed to expand their rolls of guest workers. In lobbying Congress for more of these temporary visas, called H-1B visas, the technology industry argues there are not enough qualified Americans. Its critics, including labor groups, say bringing in guest workers is a way to depress wages in the industry.

Many economists take issue with the industry’s argument, too. One side points out that wages have not gone up across the board for engineers, suggesting that there is no stark labor shortage. Another counters that unemployment rates in the sector are minuscule and that in any event, H-1B workers represent a tiny fraction of the American work force.

“I didn’t expect this result,” said Steve Goodman, Bright’s chief executive.

Bright is based in San Francisco, and it makes money in part by placing qualified candidates with recruiters and, according to Mr. Goodman, employs workers using H-1B visas. “We’re Silicon Valley people, we just assumed the shortage was true,” Mr. Goodman said. “It turns out there is a little Silicon Valley groupthink going on about this, though it’s not comfortable to say that.”
Zuckerberg and others are selling out American interests for a very slight decrease in their payroll costs.

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