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5/23/2012
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U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns

Tech-industry backed group says U.S. is losing the global battle for tech talent to countries that welcome skilled workers with open arms. But not everyone is convinced of a talent shortage.

Earlier this month, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced a bill, the Securing the Talent America Requires for the 21st Century (STAR) Act, that would reserve 55,000 green cards for foreign students enrolled in graduate level STEM programs at U.S. institutions.

To offset those visas, the so-called green card diversity lottery would be eliminated.

They study's authors said special visas should also be created that would allow workers to be employed in specific areas of the country where demand for certain skills is the greatest.

"To remain a global leader, America should recruit immigrants with the right skills to fill jobs where they are needed," said former Toronto mayor David Miller, who consulted on the study. "Countries like Canada encourage regions and businesses to identify skills needed in their local labor markets. In a global competition for talent, this approach ensures that immigrants with the right skills for the economy are chosen."

Not everyone is convinced that the U.S. is facing a tech worker shortage. Ron Hira, a public policy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, has said that claims of an imminent talent crunch are trumped up by tech companies looking for cheap, controllable labor. Hira declined to be interviewed, but provided InformationWeek with a copy of written testimony he gave to a Senate judiciary subcommittee last year.

Hira noted that Microsoft, one of the nation's largest tech employers, announced layoffs of 5,000 workers in 2009. "This was a substantial share of its workforce and according to its most recent filings Microsoft's workforce in the U.S. still hasn't come back to its 2009 levels," Hira said.

"The typical H-1B worker merely has ordinary skills, skills that are no better than American workers who are currently unemployed or underemployed," said Hira.

Earlier this year, IBM laid off about 1,900 workers, according to Alliance@IBM, which advocates on behalf of Big Blue employees. The group claims that since 2005, IBM has reduced its U.S. headcount by about 30%, from 133,789 employees to 94,000 today. The numbers have not been confirmed by IBM, which has discontinued its practice of reporting employee headcount by country.

Still, those people who believe it should be easier for tech workers to enter and remain in the country insist that immigration reform is essential if individual locales and the nation as a whole are to remain globally competitive.

"New York City is beginning to lose jobs to foreign competitors with business-friendly immigration policies," said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. "Our city's business leaders agree with Mayor Bloomberg that immigration reform belongs at the top of the national agenda."

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.)

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NoGig
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NoGig,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/4/2013 | 7:50:37 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Everyone here knows the "skilled labor shortage" is a LIE. There are absolutely no supporting facts. And indeed the US has an abundance of professionals with every skills, education and intelligence for all available jobs.

Yet, in politics FACTS are not reality. And indeed massive expansion in outsourcing and unlimited green cards for foreign STEM graduates -- regardless of US employment -- has now advanced from committee and onto the Senate floor. And this after Sen. Orrin Hatch stripped even minimum worker protection for the benefit of massively profitable and foreign-owned outsourcing firms.

Anyone who thinks that their career is not directly at risk is just plain foolish.

Yet RIGHT NOW our voices are being drowned under a tsunami of cash and lobbying by corporate and foreign interests. If YOU are not actively WRITING YOUR CONGRESSMEN, then just put a gun to your head.

YOU need to be writing strongly and ceaselessly if we are to overcome the hundreds of millions corporations are spending to buy our government.

Write your Congressmen -- NOW.
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2012 | 5:23:27 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
look who's behind the Partnership for a New American Economy, here's their site:
www.renewoureconomy.org

of course, it's exactly who you would think would be behind it, spouting off their bullshit. Microsoft, the communist mayor of L.A. pro-H1b types, etc, etc, etc. - complete with all of their made-up "facts" and "studies" to prove that letting in scab workers is the best possible thing for America...yeah right...

Here's their site for comments:
www.renewoureconomy.org/contac...

Ramon S
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Ramon S,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 2:42:19 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
If there is a shortage then the best way to counter is to reduce or entirely drop tution from STEM programs while at the same time remove all the clutter from STEM programs. No other country has so many non-subject courses in their university curricula as the US. Undergrads in other countries do not take history or biology courses when in engineering programs. It is a total waste of student's time and money. The US government, industry, and universities can fix this issue within a matter of weeks if they really wanted to, but it is cheaper to get foreign workers that are better trained and can be kicked to the curb after a few years. It all comes down to staying competitive long term or make a quick buck. Take a guess as to what the focus is in an environment driven exclusively by quarterly numbers.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 4:36:27 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
We need another political party in America!
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 4:21:11 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Yes, these Republicans especially are good at lying. They bring in professional liars from Madison Avenue to lie for them professionally. They know that if you tell propaganda enough that people will believe it. They government is good enough at it that they lead the way with business right behind them. It is high time that we stop getting victimized by them!
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 4:17:46 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
I have 2 master degrees in technology and cannot find a job for a year and a half, and they are considering bringing people in? Are they insane? I spent good money to get those degrees and for them to try to pull the rug out from under our feet is the utmost in hypocrisy. The IT people need to get together and form unions of professional societies that do not take this crap from business or the government who screws the American people over just as bad. It is time that we straightened them all out and stopped them from turning this into a country like where these foreigners come from. Companies are spoiled rotten now and should be shown that there is no such thing as a free lunch with labor!
TSRL
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TSRL,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/26/2012 | 1:03:39 AM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
I fully agree with the fact that there is no lack of technical talent in the US. We have more than enough, but they are interested in a reasonable salary, not slave wages with no benefits.

By the way, one thing that most of these high tech companies don't seem to grasp is that the bulk of their market is right here in the US. If you keep giving the jobs to imported workers who buy nothing but the bare minimum to subsist (and I have seen this time and time again), eventually these companies will go out of business for lack of paying customers.

So how about using a little legal judo in this case? Let's have a significant number of out of work US techies apply for a bunch of positions with the companies who are giving "courtesy interviews" to make peace with HR. They know full well that the position has already been filled by an imported worker (at a rock bottom salary of course). Once we have all been turned down, we file a class action suit against the company for false advertising and anything else that a talented lawyer can think of.

Of course we need to make sure that the level of the asked for damages easily exceeds the "savings" that the company will accrue with the imported worker. These companies need to have an incentive to keep Americans employed and the Almighty Dollar seems to be the only thing that they really understand. If enough of these class action suits are filed, maybe, just maybe, these companies will come to their senses.
ucorda911
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ucorda911,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2012 | 7:16:02 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
There is no shortage of skilled American workers. There is a shortage of CHEAP skilled American workers.

What employers are doing is driving down wages as much as they can. They could care less if this country loses its core technical competencies.

Working in the technology industry will be like picking vegetables in the fields: no American wants to do it because it is hard work and pays nothing.

rlawson346
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rlawson346,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/25/2012 | 3:34:40 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
Shortage shouting is an IT industry tradition. It's absolute nonsense. If there is a deficit of skills, it is because of corporate decisions to offshore jobs and transition remaining American workers into analyst type positions (claiming that hard tech skills are commoditized skills).

Corporations are dependent on exploiting foreign workers, and they are able to suppress wages because they can limit foreign workers access to the general labor market (a near monopoly on their labor) while American workers can negotiate for better wages and benefits because of their ability to sell their labor to the highest bidder.

Indentured servitude and the implied or direct threat of deportation goes a very long way in the negotiating process. Don't fool yourself - the H-1b program is a form of indentured servitude and it is an insult to the free market.

The H-1b visa program needs to be abolished once and for all. It's created a second class group of workers and has reduced earning potential in STEM careers. It's no wonder college students are showing less interest in STEM degrees, and of those who get STEM degrees half still pursue other professions.

If there is a shortage of skills, only 28% of IT workers polled received any form of IT training last year as a benefit. That is just shameful. These guys have some serious chutzpah asking for more foreign workers for a shortage they created, if it exists at all, and most won't spend a dime on training their own employees.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone claiming a shortage and expecting the government to provide foreign (docile) labor while investing nothing in building these skills can go jump in a lake.
GDtechexec
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GDtechexec,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/24/2012 | 9:16:32 PM
re: U.S. Tech Worker Shortage Looms, Study Warns
This study is biased and pushed by foreign outsourcing companies like TCS and Infosys who make over 35% profit at the expense of US employees. They have caused a US wage drop and increased unemployment. With exaggerate resumes, people on B-1 visitor visas tax free, they look like a less expensive alternative to US companies trying to save money. However in the long run they get poor service, loose their good employees to incompetent foreigners and will soon be looking for other alternatives.
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