Friday, March 20, 2015

The Great Employment Giveaway

Subjects: H-1B visa, Immigration, Bachelors Degree, L-1 visa, O-1 visa, TN visa, Work years

Since 2000, USCIS starts the fiscal year by giving away about 1 million work-years, in advance, to skilled non-immigrant foreign workers. In the chart below, we see the actual visas granted by year; however, most of these visas do not expire yearly, the H-1B has a six year expiration, the L-1 intracompany-visa a 5 year for worker, or 7 year expiration for manager. The O-1, and TN visas are one year duration and can be extended indefinitely.

In the following chart, we see the same visas as above, combined as a group, with their expiration duration extrapolated. The work-years consistently remain at or above 1 million since the year 2000.

Generally, the skilled visas in question require a bachelors degree or equivalent, the following chart displays the yearly growth in employment levels for bachelors degrees and above, available from the BLS only in the 25 years and above age-group.  When comparing the chart above with the employment growth chart below, we see that from 2001 to 2014, has employment growth exceeded the linear of about 1 million new jobs only 6 times in those 14 years.

In 2008, employment levels for college graduates declined by 106,000.  During that same year 1.46 million non-immigrants were hired, thus, incumbent workers lost 1.56 million jobs.  In fact from 2007, to 2011, untold numbers of US workers and possibly temporary foreign workers lost million of jobs, due to the incessant importation of temporary worker.  Even though employment was growing, the flood of foreign workers made it impossible for separated workers to rejoin the workforce for several years.

This brings us to the data that started me wondering if there is a correlation to the addition of educated workers with worsening employment opportunities.  The chart below compares the percent of bachelor degree'd and above (again age 25 and older) with the percentage of bachelor degree'd and above within the entire civilian population.  In this data, there is no distinction between citizen workers and immigrants, but we see that around the year 2000, temporary foreign workers began to increase, while the opportunities for college graduates decreased.  Note that this is many years prior to the great recession.

Data sources:


Nonimmigrant Visas by Individual Class of Admission (e.g. A1, A2, etc.)*

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