H-1B CAP UPDATE: 25,300
The Fiscal Year 2012 (FY2012) H-1B cap season began on April 1, 2011.Since April 1, a mere 25,300 H-1B cap-subject Petitions have been receipted by USCIS as of August 12, 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 30,000 H-1Bs through August 1, 2010. In FY 2009, there was about 47,000 H-1Bs receipted in by USCIS through September 1, 2009. For the prior three fiscal years (FY 2006-08), the H-1B cap was reached on the very first day of filing.
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.