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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

H-1B VISAS AND THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

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by Chris Musillo



The US Department of Labor reported on Friday that the unemployment rate fell to
7.8%,
 which is the lowest rate since the recession started.  This rate is still historically
quite high
.  T
he unemployment rate never exceeded 8 % between 1984-2009.





Many question why the US should allow H-1B visas if many US workers are out of work. 
The answer is that H-1B visa usage is a microeconomic phenomenon, not a
macroeconomic one.





H-1B visas are used by industries
in short supply
.  These industries
include IT, science, engineering, and healthcare.  Not coincidentally, these industries are expected to have
continued demand
for workers in the future. 





The Brookings Institute says that the occupations with the largest supply
vacancies
are:


1. Computer Occupations


2. Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners


3. Other Management Occupations


4. Financial Specialists


5. Business Operations Specialists


6. Sales Representatives, Services


7. Engineers


8. Information and Record Clerks


9. Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and
Sales Managers


10. Supervisors of Sales Workers



US high school students ought to be preparing for these jobs if they want to be adequately employed when they reach adulthood.  Until then, American
companies will search around the world for talented workers to fill these
supply shortages. 






One bogeyman in the H-1B debate has always been that H-1B
workers are only used to tamp down US wages and supplant American jobs.  As we have argued
many times in the past
, there is little evidence that this is actually the
case for at least two reasons.





For one, if the H-1B program was being used to reduce wages
and displace American workers, we would see H-1B workers spread across many
industries, instead of concentrated in just a few industries.  But we don't see that.  We see H-1B workers concentrated in just a few industries   





Also, we would see more consistent annual H-1B usage by US
employers.  The incentive to reduce
workers' salaries is likely greater in a recessed economy, not less.  However, when the economy was in its weakest
state, there were many fewer H-1B visa petitions filed by US businesses.





Critics of the H-1B system should acknowledge that the H-1B
system does what was designed to do.  It
provides needed workers in industries where workers are needed.  It is not a macroeconomic policy, but a
microeconomic one.  The national
unemployment rate has little relevance.



Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.  You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. P Henry's Avatar
    an "analyst". Companies now depend on imported foreigners because they don't want to pay an American a living wage so they hire lobbyists to try to persuade the public to ignore its collective common sense. The author would like the U.S. to open the floodgates to foreign workers at a time of massive unemployment for Americans. Does that make sense?How wonderful it is to be an American tech worker these days with traitorous shills spewing lies under the guise of "journalism". Knowing that their only crime was wanting a living wage, the unemployed tech worker languishes while corporate giants like Microsoft embrace the 21st century coolies, the h-1b workers.

    Let's examine the techniques fraudsters like this author employ to try and convince the public to abandon its collective common sense. The first one is to accuse Americans of stupidity andor laziness when compared to third world visa holders. This con fails miserable when facts bear out that Americans are simply better at their craft than their foreign replacements, after all Apple is thriving without h-1b workers while Microsoft is coming off their worst quarter ever. Another example is IBM which has had one disaster after another orchestrated by these supposed "genius" h-1b workers (ask the City of Austin Texas about their bill collecting system).

    The second technique is even more laughable than the first but it is the one that the paid cheap labor charlatans are now most aggressively pursuing. The one involves the now famous "tech worker shortage". Indignant paid shills have inundated the print media with stories of how this mythical tech shortage will destroy America's future and how the citizens of this great country will pay a heavy toll in a tech-centric future. Of course, they never mention actual numbers and facts to back up their breathless arguments but I have couple that will easily refute it. According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, since 1999, there were enough H-1B visas issued for employers to have filled 87 percent of the net new IT jobs created with guest workers. You'd think these cheap labor traitors would want to throw American tech workers the crumbs of new IT jobs, the 13 percent, simply to keep up appearances. No, these paid shills won't be happy until foreign workers get 100 percent of all new IT jobs.
  2. P Henry's Avatar


    How wonderful it is to be an American tech worker these days with traitorous shills spewing lies under the guise of "journalism". Knowing that their only crime was wanting a living wage, the unemployed tech worker languishes while corporate giants like Microsoft embrace the 21st century coolies, the h-1b workers.

    Let's examine the techniques fraudsters like this author employ to try and convince the public to abandon its collective common sense. The first one is to accuse Americans of stupidity andor laziness when compared to third world visa holders. This con fails miserable when facts bear out that Americans are simply better at their craft than their foreign replacements, after all Apple is thriving without h-1b workers while Microsoft is coming off their worst quarter ever. Another example is IBM which has had one disaster after another orchestrated by these supposed "genius" h-1b workers (ask the City of Austin Texas about their bill collecting system).

    The second technique is even more laughable than the first but it is the one that the paid cheap labor charlatans are now most aggressively pursuing. The one involves the now famous "tech worker shortage". Indignant paid shills have inundated the print media with stories of how this mythical tech shortage will destroy America's future and how the citizens of this great country will pay a heavy toll in a tech-centric future. Of course, they never mention actual numbers and facts to back up their breathless arguments but I have couple that will easily refute it. According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, since 1999, there were enough H-1B visas issued for employers to have filled 87 percent of the net new IT jobs created with guest workers. You'd think these cheap labor traitors would want to throw American tech workers the crumbs of new IT jobs, the 13 percent, simply to keep up appearances. No, these paid shills won't be happy until foreign workers get 100 percent of all new IT jobs.
  3. Test Test's Avatar
    "The answer is that H-1B visa usage is a microeconomic phenomenon, not a macroeconomic one [because it targets specific occupations]"

    You could say the same thing about a tax on blue eyes. It's microeconomic, only because it's discriminatory. (And as discriminatory and unconstitutional as it sounds, a tax blue eyes would benefit MOST of the American populace.)

    You're not much of an economist if you don't think you're abusing the terms "macro" and "micro" in this context. Microeconomics is the study of small effects within the economy--the effect of a specific tax or price increase, for example--not a term be abused by describing the many benefits of screwing over a small number of people.
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