HIGH-SKILLED FOREIGN WORKERS NEEDED EVEN AS THE U.S. ECONOMY STALLS
Some may ask, why should Congress raise the H-1B cap at a time when it seems the U.S.
economy is stalling out or worse and when unemployment rates are on the rise. In response to this question it is important point out:
• While general macro economic indicators such as the unemployment rate appear to
be on the rise, this does not translate into a growing pool of highly-skilled workers
being available for high tech or other skill specific job openings.
• Studies show that foreign highly-skilled workers are an important stimulus to the
U.S. economy, whether as a major component of innovative entrepreneurs in the
engineering and technology sectors or as highly-skilled workers who create additional
U.S. worker positions within high-tech companies.
– Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates who has testified to Congress on numerous
occasions has noted that the pipeline of native U.S. engineers is not sufficient to
meet the needs of employers. In order to help meet these pipeline needs, fees in the
H-1B application process go towards National Science Foundation scholarships for
U.S. undergraduate and graduate students in science and math and funding for K-12
science and math programs, training programs for U.S. workers, and to visa
processing. However, employers have a current need for specific highly-skilled
workers that can only be met by providing increased H-1B visa numbers.
• Bureau of Labor Statics numbers show that jobs in the tech sector remain strong
with the average quarterly unemployment rate in 2007 around 2% (which is
considered full employment). Coupled with impending baby-boomer retirements,
these trends indicate that employment needs in the tech sector will continue to be
• The Labor Condition Application also provides protection for U.S. workers and the
Department of Labor is actively holding employers accountable to statements made
in their LCA’s by conducting more audits. Furthermore, an H-1B dependent
employer must state that they will not layoff any similarly employed U.S. worker
within 90 says before and 90 days after the date the petition for an H-1B employee is