The H-1B cap is probably a good barometer of what is happening in the economy, so tea leaf readers trying to figure out whether times are really getting better or not should take note. H-1B usage was anemic during the first several months after numbers became available in April. In past years, demand was so strong that the 65,000 H-1Bs were used up instantly and a lottery was instituted to handle the excess in demand. This year, not only were visas available after the first day, numbers were still available for nearly eight more months until USCIS announced that as of yesterday the numbers were used up. Use of the visas has accelerated dramatically over the last two months as employers are starting to become more concerned that they will have difficulty finding key types of professional workers over the next few months. That seems to be consistent with reports that employers are felling more optimistic about hiring. And it is further evidence that the market actually works. Employers quickly abandoned H-1B filing when US workers were readily available. Demand is only rising now that signs for hiring are much rosier.