Print 119 comment(s) - last by rocketbuddha.. on Nov 28 at 6:15 PM

Microsoft wants 20,000 extra green cards per year too

Microsoft is willing to pay the U.S. government for additional H-1B worker visas, saying there aren't enough skilled Americans to fill its available job openings.
More specifically, it suggested that the government raise $500 million a year by tacking on an extra $10,000 fee for each newly created H-1B visa or $15,000 for each new green card. This money can then be used to offer better education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for Americans. Microsoft noted that not enough Americans are skilled in these areas to keep up with demand.

In addition to raising the number of visas offered, Microsoft wants the government to give 20,000 extra green cards per year.

H-1B visas allow foreign workers to come to the U.S. temporarily to work in their field. They can renew their visas every three years. Green cards, on the other hand, allow foreign workers to live in the country permanently. Currently, the government offers 65,000 visas a year, but in the past has seen numbers as high as 195,000.

Microsoft is one of the largest sponsors when it comes to H-1B visas. Ten percent of its 57,400 U.S. workforce are H-1B visa holders. From 2010 to 2011, it applied for about 850 visas annually for new employees on their very first H-1B visa. In 2011, Microsoft sponsored over 4,700 H-1B workers for green cards.

Many worry, however, that Microsoft is just looking for cheap labor. An issue is that Microsoft and other corporations don't need to prove that there aren't skilled Americans to fill these jobs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) even warned that there are "inadequate safeguards" that protect skilled Americans from being booted out of jobs for cheaper foreign workers.

"The biggest myth people have is that a company like Microsoft somehow looks to foreign workers as an easy supply to displace American workers," said Karen Jones, Microsoft's deputy general counsel for human resources. "We simply cannot find qualified Americans to fill these jobs."

An analysis of Microsoft's green card applications shows that 25 percent were entry-level workers and 61 percent were a step up as software engineers or marketing managers. Most hold technical jobs, but most also make fewer than six figures while many graduates usually demand over $100,000 annual salaries.

Source: The Seattle Times

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Ah, the fake "skills shortage"
By 91TTZ on 11/26/2012 4:14:08 PM , Rating: 2

"Whenever you see some business person quoted complaining about how he or she can’t find workers with the necessary skills, ask what wage they’re offering. Almost always, it turns out that what said business person really wants is highly (and expensively) educated workers at a manual-labor wage. No wonder they come up short."

I'm willing to bet that when you look at those H1B Visa employees and what they make, you'll find that they are overqualified for that pay rate. I've seen job ads where they basically want a $100,000 employee.... for $45,000. Since the "qualified" people will simply work at a place that's willing to pay them the free-market price, that leaves companies like Microsoft crying about a shortage of skilled workers. There's no shortage of skilled workers, there's just a shortage of skilled workers willing to work for the wage that Microsoft is willing to pay.

By YashBudini on 11/26/2012 4:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
Krugman pretty much destroys all the economic myths they are constantly spewed forth onto the public by the same group of highly biased propagandists (not fair not balanced). The Comedy Channel is mere icing on the cake.

You would think IT shops would be centrally located in places where IT people can be found in large quantities, but no IT shops often pop up in the worst economic areas, with equally low pay for the reasons you and Krugman mention, and they do get some people who choose to stay local and be exploited rather than move.

In a similar fashion you often see 2 types of car dealerships. Those that bargain, reduce their net gain per car, but sell far more cars, as opposed to the dealer that maximizes the profit per car but loses many deals. The former makes a lot of money, the latter thinks they succeed, when in fact they bite off their nose to spite their face, and they are oblivious of that fact as well.

RE: Ah, the fake "skills shortage"
By MadMan007 on 11/26/2012 9:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
I enjoyed the second article very much. Thanks.

RE: Ah, the fake "skills shortage"
By Florinator on 11/27/2012 11:08:21 AM , Rating: 1
I've seen job ads where they basically want a $100,000 employee.... for $45,000.

I call bullshit on that...

By YashBudini on 11/27/2012 1:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
I see them all the time, mostly in places that actually can get away with it. Ads like this don't survive long in a true capitalistic market where supply and demand are in effect.

RE: Ah, the fake "skills shortage"
By john80224 on 11/28/2012 9:21:28 AM , Rating: 2
I can't say about the adds but I've seen cases in LCA data from 2009 where there were programmers in California getting paid in the low 30's--20,000 less than national average for fresh out of college computer science.

By rocketbuddha on 11/28/2012 6:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference between Krugman's article and this.
Krugman is about Manufacturing and he is right on the mark.

This article is about H1B which right now is mostly software DDQIS (Design, Development, Quality Assuarance, Implementation Support). Not the same.

Basically since the US is a demand->supply society where in by bringing more supply you can reduce the costs it can potentially decrement the wages.

But based on my experience and observation, I have generally found with respect to IT across various companies, if you have the right talent and MORE IMPORTANTLY the RIGHT TECHNOLOGY AREA you can command very high billing rates.
For example in areas like ERP, Datawarehousing/Datamining people command far higher rates compared to what I can command at equivalent work designation. And in my team there are employees (US Based), Contractors (US based), H1B contractors as well as off shore contractors. It is a mix and match of resources with different skill sets.
Now companies would decide to outsource certain kinds of work to offshore. The various clients/employers I have worked normally keep the strategic development and products in-house or let me say in-location [aka employees] and more of support and maintenance work to off-shore contracting.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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