Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
News
6/8/2012
02:28 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013

Work visas last year did not run out until late November, an indication that tech-industry hiring is picking up.

10 iPad Cases For Summer
10 iPad Cases For Summer
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
In a development that's likely to add fuel to calls for an expansion of the H-1B visa program, U.S. government officials said this week that the supply of the work permits is nearly exhausted for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

As of June 1, the government had issued 55,600 standard H-1B visas out of the annual allotment of 65,000, according to United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). The feds also issued 18,700 H-1B visas reserved for graduates of advanced degree programs in the U.S., out of 20,000.

USCIS began accepting the applications on April 1.

Ted Ruthizer, an attorney who co-chairs the business immigration group at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel in New York, said that last year the supply of H-1B visas was not used up until late November. "One could say this is a harbinger of better economic times," said Ruthizer.

"Companies downsized in the wake of the recession; now they're coming back to where they were or are even ahead--particularly in the IT area but not exclusively," said Ruthizer.

[ Do you outsource or are you considering it? Tell us what you think about the issue and get a chance to win a 16GB Apple iPad: InformationWeek 2012 Outsourcing Survey. ]

Ruthizer said rising demand for H-1B visas is making it difficult for U.S. companies to import workers with specialized skills in areas such as technology and finance. The number of available H-1B visas "is artificially low," said Ruthizer. "It's a number that was pulled out of a hat in the 1990s. It’s way out of whack with the size of the economy now."

Executives at a number of major tech companies, including Microsoft, Freescale Semiconductor, and Autodesk, recently have called for Congress to increase the number of H-1B visas made available each year.

Industry lobby group Partnership for A New American Economy last month released a study that claims the U.S. will face a shortage of 224,000 tech workers by 2018 unless immigration rules are loosened.

But the issue is contentious. Critics of the H-1B program, such as Rochester Institute of Technology public policy professor Ron Hira, have said that unemployment remains high in the tech industry and more visas are not needed.

At a time when cybercrime has never been more prolific and sophisticated, budgets are being cut. In response, IT is taking a hard look using third-party services--outsourcing--to meet security challenges. Our Making The Security Outsourcing Decision report outlines the various security outsourcing options available. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Number 6
50%
50%
Number 6,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2012 | 8:53:45 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
Look up Dr. Peter Capelli's recent research and his new book to see where several problems lie. [I submitted a similar comment previously but it's awaiting moderator approval, I assume because of a link to a Time article by Capelli.]
Number 6
50%
50%
Number 6,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2012 | 8:42:50 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
This should be required reading for anyone who says the H-1B cap needs to be lifted:

http://business.time.com/2012/...

Or Dr. Capelli's new book "Why Good People Can't Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It."

But then that would mean making decisions based on research and data, and we can't have that, can we?

Certifiable
50%
50%
Certifiable,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2012 | 5:59:42 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
From: http://www.informationweek.com...

[To make matters worse, major news publications have falsely claimed that the H-1B program requires employers to demonstrate there's a shortage of U.S. workers before hiring an H-1B worker. The Department of Labor's 2006 Strategic Plan puts it bluntly: "H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of the foreign worker."]

With sloppy news reporting like this, corporations can keep spinning whatever version of "US labor shortages" they want. Yet salaries for IT people rose an anemic 1 - 2% in 2011, according to Information Week's 2012 Salary Survey! With US IT salaries basically stagnant, where is the US IT labor shortage? When anything is truly in short supply, prices (wages) MUST rise quickly and/or greatly UNLESS there is access to another supply (global outsourcing/other labor markets, H1B's, etc.). Until this basic economic tenet is repeated over and over in the media, corporations will get away with their version of the "truth".

jleone940
50%
50%
jleone940,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/12/2012 | 3:29:41 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
When even Yahoo is making 90,000+$/year, in profit, for each employee, you can see that spin doctors are the ones creating a fake worker shortage, in order to avoid having to increase wages and hiring.

Yahoo is keeping a low profile, so that the next CEO can claim a big turn around, and get a big bonus, Yahoo is massively profitable already, anyone on Main Street would be raising salaries to attract more employees, if they made 90k profit/year per employee. Yahoo, on the other hand, is laying off 2,000+ employees this year. The reason is simple, you don't get a big CEO-bonus by keeping profits already insanely high. You get a CEO-bonus only by increasing profits, hence the drive to pile more work on a smaller workforce, in order increase profitability. A typical bean-counter's logic, and what you should expect from their recently terminated CEO with just an accounting degree, who stole the title of "Engineer", and was fixing to heist more. Well Scott, you can't get an Engineering degree from Faust, you have to earn it.

The answer clearly is to let the market raise salaries and wages, let's stop the massive corporate welfare program that is the H-1b visa. This will allow more of that unused profit (most of which sits in overseas bank accounts) to come back to the United States.

These Visas create a situation where workers are in competition for jobs, essentially creating an artificial Job-Suppliers market.

We need to move the economic competition, from worker-against-worker, back to the CEO-to-CEO level. When workers compete, you get unemployment. But when tech CEO's compete, you get hiring.

Apple, had an incredibly competitive CEO for about 14 years. And look what happened, Steve Jobs worked night and day, middle of the night, for his company, and his company grew immensely, in both profit and in hiring.

It is time that Corporations grow up and realize that there is more than one way to attract employees. Yes it takes work to interview local candidates. It is harder than finding an indentured servant, using an agency abroad. But our IT corporation have grown weak and flabby when it comes to interviewing and hiring. Yet they are reaping massive profits because they are dependent on a huge government handout.

This handout is also given to Outsourcing companies that actively discriminate against and marginalize U.S. engineers. See Don Tennant's interview of an actual InfoSys HR manager for more information on this. And Outsourcing companies are using the H-1b visa to facilitate the removal of millions of U.S. Jobs, no country on this Earth, except the United States, would be so idiotic as to allow this situation to occur let alone persist.
GBARRINGTON196
50%
50%
GBARRINGTON196,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2012 | 9:47:21 AM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
Well, I'm 2 months away from retirement, and I feel I can tell the truth as I see it. I'm not trying to be racist or controversial, I am trying to provide a dispassionate analysis of the current situation from my perspective.

I've worked with a lot of H1B employees from India, and I think I can safely say that if this is India's best, they're going to have some problems in the future.

Don't get me wrong, as with any group of people, there are some standouts who I am proud to stand next to as a co-worker. But the simple truth is the majority of them are average, at best. Couple that with language and cultural issues, and they add marginal value and really complicate the manager's job. Their biggest advantage is that they not only work cheap, but you can intimidate them into working long hours with no overtime pay. Useful for well defined tasks on a very short timeline, not so great for tasks that require initiative. (Culturally, they come here pre-intimidated, and assuming that thought is not a part of the job description).

From what I've seen, the ones who stand out would have eventually made their way to the USA on their own. They are spiritually, Americans already. H1B is a convenient shortcut for them, but offers us nothing in acquiring their services. H1B simply isn't the boone or the bane of our industry, it just is, and it isn't going away.
John80224
50%
50%
John80224,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/11/2012 | 8:47:57 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
"Industry lobby group Partnership for A New American Economy"

Nice to see a little more accurate description. I've always seen this group listed as though they're some unbiased independent research group just trying to help the country out.

One thing I never see is these companies equating a supposed shortage to anything other than a need to import more workers, which not so coincidentally happens to also be a cheaper, shorter term and more leveraged alternative to actually PARTNERING with AMERICA and developing the talent domestically. Can immigration be a piece of the puzzle? Absolutely, but the puzzle has more than one piece. Funny these groups never see it that way.
Leo Regulus
50%
50%
Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/11/2012 | 7:45:53 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
No, we probably really don't need these folks from other lands - and, Yes, they probably water down our own job market and salaries. But the case could be made that we may be depriving other countries of their best talent. Thus giving us an edge in the international marketplace. Is there anyone up to doing an in-depth study on this?
ssamuelson061
50%
50%
ssamuelson061,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/11/2012 | 6:26:18 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
Actually, if the program wasn't being abused, there would be plenty of H1-B visas available. So, stop abusing the program and you'll fix your problem.
Tronman
50%
50%
Tronman,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/11/2012 | 6:16:49 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
The bad news is that anti-American corporations have replaced 55,600 Americans with foreigners and another 9400 are due to be replaced. The good news is that after those 9400 have been replaced, no more can be...at least this year.
lacertosus
50%
50%
lacertosus,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/11/2012 | 3:48:19 PM
re: H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted For 2013
It's true that we have a shortage of qualified candidates to fill tech jobs, but throughout my 10 year professional career, I haven't seen qualified personnel being imported. It really boils down to cheap labor and for the most part it's on the job training.

My argument is that we should hire Americans that lack the needed experience and offer them on the job training.

Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Transformative CIOs Organize for Success
Trying to meet today’s business technology needs with yesterday’s IT organizational structure is like driving a Model T at the Indy 500. Time for a reset.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government, May 2014
Protecting Critical Infrastructure: A New Approach NIST's cyber-security framework gives critical-infrastructure operators a new tool to assess readiness. But will operators put this voluntary framework to work?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.