Friday, October 5, 2007

Myth: Labor Shortage in Computer and Math

Misinformed, or simply telling lies? Bill Gates and others are selling fairy-tales.

Google Video: Bill Gates before the U.S. Senate
Youtube Video: Robert Hoffman Oracle/CompeteAmerica debates Ron Hira on CNBC

2005 and 2006 H-1B and Educational data is not yet available for Computer and Mathematical Occupations, yet growth in the labor force, up-to 2004, still far exceeds employment growth totals to May 2006.

Note: Computer and Mathematical occupations shed 160,190 existing jobs between 2000 and 2002. During this employment contraction, 165,229 computer-related H-1Bs were approved for initial employment. 2000 -- 2002 domestic job losses (160,190) and job losses due to H-1B replacement/displacement workers (165,229) caused reserves in the labor force of 325,419 Computer and Mathematical professionals.

The graph below shows additions to the labor force (permanent resident Math and Computer Science BS degrees awarded plus H-1B initial employment approvals) compared to employment growth since 1999. (click image to enlarge)

Note: Over 97% of all H-1B initial employment approvals are also approved for continuing employment and a recent Duke University study indicates that some 500,000 of these workers are seeking permanent resident status. Statistically, the unpublished numbers of departing H-1B workers are insignificant.

In the graph below, I've removed the H-1B data to determine if the domestic educational system would have serviced workforce requirements of Math and Computer Science employment.

Below, we can again note the workforce reserve of 160,190 idle Math and Computer Science workers displaced in the 2000-2002 employment contraction. Furthermore, the educational data does not include, B.S. degrees awarded to foreign students enrolled in American colleges, postgraduate degrees, A.S. degrees, nor vendor certifications. (click image to enlarge)

As of 2002, the domestic educational system has clearly resumed servicing the industry's Math & Computer Science employment needs.

The high employment levels in 2000, were most likely the result of the Y2K buildup, 2001 employment levels were still a bit high due to the Dot-Com bubble. Also, in 2002, Microsoft's first stable, IP based - LDAP enabled, operating systems were becoming fully implemented. (Windows 9x burned gazillions of administration hours.)

The 325,419 professionals displaced in 2001-2002 are simply out of luck, if the H-1B program continues, students studying Math and Computer Science will find that careers in these occupation(s) are temporary, future generations will refuse to study these disciplines without better employment prospects.

In the unlikely event that substantial domestic job growth is experienced, in Math and CompSci. we have 1999 as an example.

Somehow, Mathematics and Computer Science occupations grew 11.93% in 2000 (312,730 jobs) while the NSF 1999 Employment Characteristics survey reported unemployment at 1.2% for all degree levels.

Unemployment statistics represent only individuals who have been recently employed or are seeking employment in an occupation, unemployment statistics do not represent every person with education, training or expertise in an occupation.

Citing unemployment statistics as a reason to dilute the domestic labor force is dishonest.

Avg. Math and CS job growth 2000 -- 2006 = 65,160

Avg. Math and CS unemployment 2000 -- 2005 = 128,167

Employment Data:
BLS - OES 15-0000 Computer and Mathematical employment levels

1999 Unemployment survey:

National Science Foundation/Science Resources Statistics Division,
1999 SESTAT (Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System

2000 -- 2005 Unemployment data:

Educational Data:
NSF Educational Statistics

H-1B Data:


Anonymous said...


Weaver said...

Thanks anonymous,

care to elaborate?

Dragon Horse said...

Lou Dobbs chimed in tonight and mentioned some studies you might want to check out:

Anonymous said...


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