Visa Crunch

H1-B quota and COVID-19 travel curbs making it difficult to fill the 1.2 million job vacancies in the IT sector in the US

According to the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a nonpartisan policy research organization, there are more than 1.2 million distinct job vacancy advertisements in computer jobs in the United States as of September 6, 2021. According to its most recent analysis, which is based on data from Emsi Job Posting Analytics, this is up 15% from six months ago.

Companies that were already having trouble finding qualified employees faced an additional challenge when they were caught up in pandemic-related travel limitations. It was difficult to acquire a national interest waiver that allowed an H-1B beneficiary to go to the United States. To put the more than 1.2 million open job vacancy postings in computer occupations in perspective, corporations can only file for 85,000 new H-1B petitions per year—and computer vocations account for almost two-thirds of company-sponsored new H-1B petitions or 56,000 per year. Even if one took a zero-sum approach to jobs, that would suggest there are more than 20 times as many job vacancy postings in computer occupations as new H-1B petitions normally used by employers in computer occupations each year.

Sponsoring organizations filed 3.08 lakh H-1B cap registrations for fiscal 2022 (year beginning October 1, 2021), of which only 85,000 H-1B cap visas can be issued. According to the analysis, the H-1B annual limit has been reached every year since 2004. There are also likely to be many more openings than those advertised publicly. It goes on to say that there is no fixed amount of jobs and that people with high skills frequently create more employment for people with complementary skills. The fact that top employers of H-1B visa holders have many current job listings in computer vocations adds to the evidence that H-1B visa holders are not stealing employment from US employees.

As of September 6, 2021, Amazon had at least 20,000 job openings in computer vocations, Accenture had more than 19,000, and Apple had at least 5,700. Many employment openings for high-skilled roles in non-computer occupations, such as management analysts, operations managers, marketing managers, and others, were also available at these and other organizations. “Companies have a continuous requirement for more highly skilled professionals to develop and expand, and a lack of available workforce tends to slow growth in the US economy and stimulates businesses to move more work outside the United States,” said Stuart Anderson, executive director of NFAP.

“Computer jobs were already rising quickly before the pandemic, but it’s still remarkable to see a 15% increase in job posts from six months ago, following an 11 percent increase from the preceding 12-month period,” said Market Regents, a labor economist and senior fellow at the NFAP. “This is in line with the low unemployment rates in computer-related jobs. During the epidemic, companies need a lot of IT (information technology) skills to reorganize their organizations, and many of the adjustments would be long-term,” he added. According to research published by the National Foundation for American Policy in May 2020, “H-1B visa holders had no negative impact on US workers.” “On the contrary, data suggests that the existence of H-1B visa holders is linked to lower unemployment levels and quicker salary growth among recent college graduates.” According to the data, there is a considerable talent gap in the United States between the need for high-skilled technical labor and the labor force’s capacity to meet that demand.

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