Sunday, March 30, 2008

April -- H-1B -- Fools

The National Science Foundation has published a document entitled, "Science and Engineering Indicators 2008." One very interesting point for 2006 was that Computer-related and Writers occupations in H-1B workers with a Bachelor’s degree, earned on average, $400.00 more per year than those with a Master’s degree.

The document also states:
"In 2006, 44% of those receiving new H-1B visas in computer-related occupations
had master's degrees, and a little more than 1% had doctoral degrees."

"In 2006, 51% of new H-1B recipients were in computer-related occupations, including 48% in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services occupational category of "occupations in systems analysis and programming," which includes many S&E occupations, such as computer scientist, and technician occupations, such as programmer. "

"Over two-thirds of the slightly more than 110,000 recipients of H-1B visas in 2006
are in S&T [Science & Technology] occupations."

"Total 2006 new H-1B visas approved: 113,593."
Checking the numbers, the computer-related H-1Bs would total 57,932 and 44%, those with Master’s degrees were 25,490 H-1Bs. With only a little over 1% with Doctoral degrees, the Bachelor’s and Master’s holders were significant samples and comparative in number.

2006 Computer-related occupations H-1B Average Salaries:
Bachelor’s Degree = $56,000.00
Master’s Degree = $55,600.00
2006 Writers occupation H-1B Average Salaries:
Bachelor’s Degree = $37,900.00
Master’s Degree = $37,500.00

What happened in FY 2006, that drove salaries down for Master's degree holders in Computer-related & Writers occupations? This was the first year of the 20,000 visa, U.S. postgraduate degree exception to the H-1B program. The FY 2006 application date was 4/1/2005, admission commenced on 10/1/2005.

. 20,000 cap exemption for U.S. masters and higher. Up to 20,000 aliens with masters or higher-level degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education will be exempt from the H-1B cap each year. Petitions for such individuals that are filed after the 20,000 exemptions are granted will be counted against the cap. Note: this does not impact the general exemption from the cap for individuals employed by institutions of higher education; that exemption remains. Effective date: March 8, 2005. [Sec. 425]. [Note: No further details of how this will be implemented have been announced.]

Restating other information taken from the NSF document, computer-related H-1Bs were 51% (57,932 ) of 113,593 H-1B approved, but computer-related H-1Bs were 68.16% of the 85,000 non-exempt H-1B cap.

The NSF hasn’t published detailed S&E graduation statistics since 2003, but the "Science and Engineering Indicators 2008" report did leak a little information on 2005 graduation data.

I guess that Bill Gates used the CRA – Taulbee (partial) educational studies and must not have been aware of this good news from the NSF when he recently addressed Congress:

Gates: "If the problem with High Schools is one of quality, the issue at our Universities is quantity, our higher education system does not produce enough top scientists and engineers to meet the need of the U.S. economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we are adding over 100,000 new computer related jobs each year, but only 15,000 students earned bachelor degrees in Computer Science and Engineering in 2006 and that number continues to drop." (3/12/2008 -- video 04:14)

The "100,000 computer related jobs each year" depends upon how you look at the data.

Computer related employment growth (BLS - OES)
2001 = (-92,870)
2002 = (-42,090)
2003 = 86,800
2004 = 238,880
2005 = 21,690
2006 = 114,190
Total = 326,600
Avg. per year = 54,433

From the immigrant's point of view, the tragedy of the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, are the backlogs they have created in the Employment based (EB) greencard system. If 100% of the foreign S&E graduates were accepted into the EB program, they would only consume 52% of the 120,120 visas available per year to First through Third preference categories.

(EB 1,EB-2,EB-3s are recaptured

The declining permanent residence and citizenship options for S&E graduates are depicted in NSF figure 3-61.

click to enlarge image

Here is some recent pro-H1-B information that claims there is a labor crisis in the American S&E labor pool. The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) has published a study entitled, "TALENT SEARCH : JOB OPENINGS AND THE NEED FOR SKILLED LABOR IN THE U. S. ECONOMY."

The NFAP takes a subjective look at the job openings from various advertisements for talent from large corporations for Dec. 07 and Jan.-Feb. 08. When we look at the data objectively, we find that the BLS Unemployment rate for college graduates 25 and over, is quite similar to the vacancy rate for the Top 30 corporations in the NFAP list.

In terms of employment, the size of each company, compared to vacancies (53,636), the vacancy rate is only 2.27%. The vacancy rate is very close to national unemployment data. Is it somehow the responsibility of our Government to ensure that corporations experience a 0% vacancy rate?

Series Id: LNS14027662
Seasonal Adjusted
Series title: (Seas)
Unemployment Rate – Bachelor’s degree and higher, 25 yrs. & over
Labor force status: Unemployment rate
Type of data: Percent
Age: 25 years and over Educational attainment: College graduates

Unemployed College Graduates

December 2007 = 2.2% (972,000)
January 2008 = 2.1% (953,000)
February 2008 = 2.1% (944,000)

Defining the problems associated with economic immigration:
Immigration and the housing meltdown are interrelated -- the pool of qualified buyers has been depleted with excessive demand for housing and excessive supply of labor in relation to employment growth. The government's solution? Throw more immigrants at the problem.

Corporations are asking for immigration increases commensurate with the size of the population, but our natural resources and infrastructure capabilities, increase at a more static rate. Thus, the fixed immigration rate is the correct immigration policy.

The H-1B and L-1 visas have damaged the more desirable Employment based greencard system. Due to over-subscription, employers cannot offer the greencard path as part of the initial employment offer.

The H-1B and L-1 are unique from all other non-immigrant visas, these non-immigrants are not required to maintain a relationship with the home country. Per diem costs for the employer are eliminated, these types of visas are hyper-competitive because employers are not required to pay a housing allowance -- in addition to the full wage.

The H-1B and L-1 visas have caps. The Employment based EB have quotas. The quota system is to encourage diversity in AMERICA, just because a country has a larger population is of no concern to American immigration policy.

USCIS does not keep departure information on non-immigrants, this could easily be accomplished with a swipe card-issued at customs to be kept with the passport. Allowing work-related non-immigrant visas, without keeping departure statistics is not good policy and a good argument against raising any current caps or quotas.

National Science Foundation: "Science and Engineering Indicators 2008"
Chapter 2. Section: Higher Education in Science and Engineering
Chapter 3. Section: Global S&E Labor Force and the United States

National Foundation for American Policy:

No comments: