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Technology & Innovation

America’s High-Tech Labor Shortage is a Myth

It is neither the case that there are too few programmers in America (programmer unemployment currently sits at an all-time high) nor is the education system failing to teach the necessary skills.

What’s the Latest Development?


Companies like Microsoft and Facebook, which are openly critical of the government’s immigration policy for limiting the number of high-skilled workers who can obtain visas, have to a great extent influenced the immigration bill currently before the Congress. “As written, it vastly increases the annual limit on H1-B visas, which allow corporations to bring employees with a bachelor’s degree to the U.S. from overseas for up to six years. Roughly half the guest workers who currently arrive through the program come for computer-related jobs.” Facebook has gone so far as to create a new political action group to fight for immigration reform. 

What’s the Big Idea? 

Despite the lobbying efforts of these companies, there is actually no shortage of high-tech American labor, argues Jordan Weissmann. It is neither the case that there are too few programmers in America (programmer unemployment currently sits at an all-time high) nor is the education system failing to teach the necessary skills (as evidenced by stagnant wages in the field). Critics of the new immigration bill call it a plan for cheap, indentured labor. “Companies frequently save money by hiring a young, less experienced immigrant instead of an older American who would command a higher salary.”

Read it at the Atlantic

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


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