Saturday, June 1, 2013

AFL-CIO: American high-tech workers not in shortage

Companies want a massive expansion of visa holders so they can pay them less.

By Richard Trumka, USA Today
May 28, 2013

Policy proposals from multinational corporations often come with slick, poll-tested rhetoric. It is always worth digging deeper.

And the more you dig into the idea that we need to hugely expand the number of employer-based temporary worker visas for tech companies, the more you uncover the truth: This is about powerful companies pursuing lower wages. [...]

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Current and proposed high-skilled guestworker policies discourage STEM students and grads from entering IT

By Hal Salzman, Daniel Kuehn, and B. Lindsay Lowell, Economic Policy Institute
May 30, 2013

In 2011, the number of high-skilled (i.e., possessing at least a college degree) guestworkers was estimated to be equal to between one-third to one-half of new job openings filled by all college graduates in the information technology (IT) sector. However, a new analysis finds that in 2011, the number of college-educated guestworkers under the age of 30 in IT was equal to two-thirds of all the 166,000 new college-educated IT job holders under the age of 30. At a time when Congress is proposing to dramatically increase the number of skilled guestworkers available to IT and other industries, it is important to consider the adverse impact of increasing the guestworker flow on U.S. college graduates just entering the workforce and on those in school making plans for their future.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the country’s largest skilled guestworker program (H-1B) is primarily used to fill “entry-level” positions. Thus, recent graduates in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields seeking an initial foothold in the IT job market are competing directly with young college-educated guestworkers for these entry-level positions. [...]

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