Tech Worker Shortage, H-1B System Challenged

Friday Jan 8th 2010 by Staff

An AFL-CIO report refutes claims that the US has a shortage of science, engineering, and technology talent.

eWeek: In a report titled, "Gaming the System: Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the U.S.," the AFL-CIO takes aim at the idea that there is a shortage of homegrown technical workers that makes H-1B visas necessary.

According to the report, "Claims of shortages necessitating these programs, especially in the STEM fields, have been widely disputed and are not borne out by basic economic indicators. A Congressionally-mandated study released by the National Research Council found that, "the current size of the H-1B workforce relative to the overall number of IT professionals is large enough to keep wages from rising as fast as might be expected in a tight labor market. ... If a genuine labor shortage existed, wages in these fields would have risen dramatically in ways they have not."

The report also finds that employers often pay H-1B visa holders abusively low wages and took issue with the U.S. government for a lack of transparency about the visas.

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