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Tech worker shortage is a myth

by on26 November 2014

Which is a female moth

US President Barak Obama will increase the number of US college graduates from abroad who can temporarily be hired by US corporations – apparently to ease the tech shortage. That has not satisfied tech companies and trade groups, which contend more green cards or guest worker visas are needed to keep tech industries growing because of a shortage of qualified American workers. 

However all that is based on a myth that there is a shortage of tech workers in the US.

Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University said that there is no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there is a shortage. He said that companies are simply being cheapskates and may not be able to find them at the price they want. He said it was similar to people claiming that there were no TVs out there because no one can get one at half the price. Salzman said that in cases of real shortages employers started offering more money, more people started becoming petroleum engineers, and the shortage was solved.

However, real IT wages are about the same as they were in 1999. Only half of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) college graduates each year get hired into STEM jobs. The fact that Facebook and Microsoft would like to have more, cheaper workers does not constitute a shortage.

Rochester Institute of Technology public policy associate professor Ron Hira, an EPI research associate and co-author of the book Outsourcing America said that the H-1B visa program, which is what industry groups are lobbying to expand, had “fragmented and restricted” oversight that weakened its ostensible labour standards. “Many in the tech industry are using it for cheaper, indentured labour.”

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