The Real Goal of H-1B Visas is Driving Down STEM Field Salaries August 11, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Domestic Church, foolishness, General Catholic, It's all about the $$$, sadness, scandals, Society, suicide.
Many readers will recall that I was laid off from my job of 8 years (12, actually, but in two different stints) earlier this year. I have described my not only finding a new job, but one that actually allowed me to get a little uptick in pay, as miraculous. Not only did I find that job in record time (5 weeks), but the fact that I didn’t have to take a pay cut after leaving an unusually high paying employer (Fujitsu) was beyond amazing. Your prayers, I am convinced, made all the difference. I shall forever pray for you – I pray.
One thing I was frustrated by during my job search – and I’ve kept looking around just a tiny bit since – is how little salaries in my profession had gone up since the last time I was on the market in 2006. They had remained totally flat, if not decreased a bit. I found many companies unwilling to pay a senior, highly skilled mechanical engineer, with very strong CAD and analysis skills, more than the same amount a year they were offering 10 or 15 years ago. I had a lot of contacts with HR people or hiring managers that got positively peeved when I told them my salary requirements, and I fired back more than once that they were basically paying under $50k a year in 2006 dollars for that $75k salary they were so proud of (when you factor in inflation).
So I was fairly interested to see this news report, and especially the attached graph, that shows how salaries among computer programmers and IT types have actually FALLEN since 2002 in constant dollars, and I can say that software engineers and IT folks have it better than more “old school” engineers like mechanicals.
Meanwhile, barely 2/3 of those with STEM degrees are actually using their degree in their present employment, and the unemployment rate of STEM types has nudged upwards over the years.
All of which proves that the much vaunted STEM shortage is really a fabrication. Or, they never quite finish the sentence…….many corporations, including ones headed by astonishing wealthy individuals (Microsoft, Facebook, Google, etc), do have a shortage of STEM workers…..at the very low salaries they want to pay.
That is why, as the article below notes, H-1B visas tend to go to very young, inexperienced workers, making them cheaper still.
Leaching off last week’s DNC Convention, tech industry-behemoths Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon hosted a mini-conference amidst the gathering elite aimed at building awareness of the supposed lack of tech-education among America’s youth. The policy-push comes off Microsoft’s ‘National Talent Strategy’ hatched a few years back; an initiative which the company’s own general counsel apparently admitted was nothing but a ‘manufactured crisis’ really geared to serve the industry’s H-1B immigration agenda. Indeed, if America really did have an ‘education crisis’ in the STEM-fields, why do so many of the hundreds of thousands of H-1B professionals imported here every year come from places that do far worse educationally than we do?
The H-1B program was created in 1990 following claims from the then-brand new tech lobby that American professionals with sufficient tech-skills were in short supply. Twenty-five years on, that labor market-shortage has apparently still not been corrected with the industry spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year lobbying Congress to import more and more tech-professionals from abroad. …….
……..Recently, the Immigration Reform Law Institute obtained government records showing that between FY2013 and May of this year, almost one million H-1B petitions for imported white collar-workers were approved by DHS officials. And of all those successful petitions, a whopping 70 percent went to white collar-workers from India. This isn’t exactly surprising. BigTech loves Indian workers; not only because English is India’s national language, but because the workforce there is young (and therefore cheap). Unsurprisingly then, according to DHS-data almost three-quarters of petitions awarded to professionals in 2011 went to those aged between 25 and 34—Gender discrimination’s also likely. Although DHS says it doesn’t track gender-data, one labor association’s estimated that at least 80 percent of H-1B petitions go to men.
For a very long time, I shied away from believing that corporate titans and captains of industry were really as greedy as they are often portrayed as being. But that reticence is becoming harder and harder to maintain.
I don’t mean to sound like a grousing populist man of the people, but I have recent and direct experience of seeing how wages in my profession, the one I was promised by parents, teachers, professors, and counselors alike would always be in high demand and was a “sure bet,” have stagnated if not retreated in constant dollars. I have seen how many long time professionals of eminent capabilities have not been as blessed as I have been, and are still desperately searching for engineering employement 6, 12, 18, even 24+ months after being laid off. Or if they do find employment, it is most often contract-based with no benefits and at a significant cut in pay. And I have seen far too many companies gut their R&D investment, placing short term profits over long-term viability.
Once again, it is little wonder Trump is as popular as he is. It’s not only the blue collar types that are being crushed, it’s a great many white collar professional types, too.