H-1B CAP COUNT: 32,200
The Fiscal Year 2012 (FY2012) H-1B cap season began on April 1, 2011. Since April 1, a mere 32,200 H-1B cap-subject Petitions have been receipted by USCIS as of September 9, 2011. This is much lower than in recent years and likely reflects the fact that US employers are not hiring workers, including foreign-national workers.
To put this in perspective, in FY 2011, which began April 1, 2010, the USCIS has receipted about 38,000 H-1Bs through September 17, 2010. Many healthcare professions ordinarily qualify for H-1B status, including Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Therapists, and someRegistered Nursing positions.
For three years the H-1B demand has decreased. This is compelling evidence that H-1B workers are not used to drive down US worker's wages. If H-1B workers were used to drive down wages, H-1B demand would remain consistent in a decreasing economy, since US employers would still want to save money on salary expenses.