Despite popular belief, H-1-B visa holders in the United States are among the highest-paid workers, according to new evidence. The median wage for all US workers in 2021 is expected to be over $45,000, with the top 10% earning more than $102,000.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the typical income for H1B employees among the top 10% of US wage earners in 2021 was around $108,000, more than double the median wage for all US workers. David J Bier, a research fellow at the Cato Institute in the United States, brought this fresh information to light.
The H1-B programme enables US firms who are unable to obtain necessary business skills and abilities from the domestic labour pool to hire eligible persons who are not otherwise authorised to work in the country. Over the years, Indians, particularly those in the information technology sector, have reaped the greatest benefits from this visa. Furthermore, IT firms have been at the forefront of receiving a big number of H1-B visas.
H1B visa opponents frequently argue that H1B employers “pay low wages.” This has never been true, but the most recent pay data demonstrate how absurd this argument is. H1B employees are well-compensated: their incomes are in the 90th percentile of all wages in the United States, putting them in the top 10% of US wage earners.
“In any honest appraisal of the meaning of those words, H1B workers are not poorly paid or “cheap” labour,” Bier wrote in a blog post.
For the first time since DHS began reporting H1B wages in 2003, H1B wages have risen over the 90th percentile. H1B wage increase has also outpaced that of all US workers, according to Bier. From 2003 to 2021, the nominal median H1B wage increased by 52%, whereas the nominal median wage for all US workers increased by only 39%. “If H1B firms could just pay whatever they want, as opponents argue,” Bier added, “these increases would not be happening.”
“DHS held its annual lottery last week to allocate the 85,000 cap-subject H‑1B temporary work visas for high skilled foreign workers. The exact number of entrants is not clear, but once again, demand for H‑1B workers far exceeded the cap.”
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