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H-1B Study (All you US Citizen IT Workers are TOAST!)
U.S. House Judiciary Committee Testimony ^
| September 10, 2002
| Dr. Norman Matloff
Posted on 11/13/2002 10:28:24 AM PST by dark_lord
Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage Due to an extensive public relations campaign orchestrated by an industry trade organization, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), a rash of newspaper articles have been appearing since early 1997, claiming desperate labor shortages in the information-technology field. Frantic employers complain that they cannot fill many open positions for computer programmers.
Yet readers of the articles proclaiming a shortage would be perplexed if they also knew that Microsoft only hires 2% of its applicants for software positions, and that this rate is typical in the industry. Software employers, large or small, across the nation, concede that they receive huge numbers of re'sume's but reject most of them without even an interview. One does not have to be a ``techie'' to see the contradiction here. A 2% hiring rate might be unremarkable in other fields, but not in one in which there is supposed to be a ``desperate'' labor shortage. If employers were that desperate, they would certainly not be hiring just a minuscule fraction of their job applicants.
Here is a table showing the actual number of job applicants hired for a variety of companies:
|American Management Systems
||2 to 5%
||less than 5%
|New England firm
|Red Hat Linux
Table 1: Percent of software applicants hired
In other words, there is no shortage of ``bodies,'' i.e. there is no shortage of experienced computer programmers. The problem is that employers are not willing to hire them. Employers are only willing to hire from three narrow categories of programmers:
* New or recent (within a few years of graduation) college graduates, who have cheaper salaries. Note, though, that even among new computer science graduates, fewer than half are hired as programmers.
* Foreign nationals on work visas, who have cheaper salaries.
* A relatively small number of experiencedprogrammers who have background in certain highly-specialized software technologies.
Dr. Matloff says: "Hiring managers have often complained to me that their firm's Human Resources Dept. screens out resume's of applicants who the managers feel qualified. HR apparently decides to screen out the applicants who are too expensive or too old - and then complains that there is a ``shortage'' of applicants...There does seem to be coordination among the HR departments of the various firms. The HR departments of the major firms in Silicon Valley hold monthly meetings, at which the firms exchange information with each other on policy, salaries and so on. (Personal communication from Paul Donnelly, IEEE-USA, June 30, 2000.)...All the firms hire an extremely low percentage of their programming applicants, due to the fact that all the firms overstate job requirements...Almost all firms aim for applicants having three to seven years (or two to eight) of experience."
He says: "It seems safe to say that experience may not be the most valued commodity, according to a survey of 200 IT managers nationwide conducted by InformationWeek Research in May. Though age wasn't specified in the question, only 2% of the managers said they would most likely hire a worker with 10 or more years' experience. Almost half-46%-preferred to hire a worker with four to 10 years' experience, while 26% said they would hire a worker with less than three years' experience, and another 26% wanted an entry-level worker or recent college graduate."
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; Technical
KEYWORDS: h1b; jobs; programmers; unemployment; uselessolderfolks
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In 2001, the number of new H-1B visas issued was up, while job openings were down. Clearly, American employers in 2001 were even more keenly interested in H-1Bs than in the past. This is apparently due to the fact that the economic tightening caused employers to have increased interest in hiring cheaper labor.
One firm, ADEA, even issued a press release in May 2001 in which it blatantly announced it would actively recruit such workers, in order to take advantage of their desperate status. Thus, although the numbers of H-1Bs hired may have been down, the percentage of new openings being filled by H-1Bs may have actually increased. Also in 2001, in the midst of a recession, Dun and Bradstreet admitted to (legally) laying off American workers and replacing them with H-1Bs. The firm also forced the American workers to train their H-1B replacments, a common action in such situations.
The number of new H-1B visas issued did fall in 2002, but that was simply a result of the precipitous drop in job openings that year, even relative to 2002. But again this did not mean employers were acting any more responsibly than before. Indeed, a rough analysis indicated that the percentage of new IT jobs filled by H-1Bs was increasing, not decreasing.
This says it all.
posted on 11/13/2002 2:21:18 PM PST
by A. Pole
According to YOU. According to everybody else in the world at least 90% of ALL applicants for ANY position will be rejected.
When people with the proper education, skills, and experience are not even called into an interview, when that employer proceeds to recruit junior H1-B personnel, when those employers state that a shortage exist where it doesn't, I'd there is a SERIOUS problem with this. It is NOT just me saying this, it is a vast range of people saying it.
Take your insults elsewhere, I'm TYRING to have a reasonable conversation here and your jag-off routine isn't cutting it.
If you want to claim to be a QA engineer or manager, you should expect to be held accountable for your statements. The statements that you made on that other thread indicated to me that you were no such thing. You try to persuade others with the argument that there are few qualified applicants, as if you actually know that to be true. How could you know that to be true if you yourself are not qualified to make that determination?
To: A. Pole
This says it all.
It most certainly does.
Man, that SHOULD have said;
I'd SAY there is a SERIOUS problem with this..
Skimmed quickly, bump for later read.
thanks for the post.
Spoken like someone who's never actually had to hire people. There's tons of things you look for in a resume. First is basic presentation how readable is the resume. Then you get into qualifications, which isn't just years of experience but how closely it relates to what's being done. Of course you also have to throw people out that are over qualified, everybody's got a budget to match if this applicant is going to blow your budget to pieces you simply can't hire them. And you've got to get PAST that stage to get called. I never had time to call 45 people and tell them I wouldn't be bringing them in for an interview. Hell I barely had time to call 5 people and schedule an interview. The more desperately you need to hire someone the harder it is to find the time.
As I started this off with, these hiring percentages give NO meaning to whether there is a shortage or not. Every business is going to have similar percentages of applicants hired. Hell even McDonalds rejects 90% of applicants. That's just how it is.
Everything I said on the other thread I stick to, and I invite people on this thread to check it out. Somebody already provided a link to zazona's page. The DB has TONS of apparent duplicates. These duplicates COULD be from the original DOL database, they COULD be from whatever procedure zazona is using to make the copy, or the COULD be from the procedure they're using to grab the data for user queries. If you don't know that then it's YOU that is LIEING about your supposed experience. Any query of this database will show these duplicates and further investigation will show that there's no procedural reason for these (ie you'll see multiple identical applications for 30 H1Bs from 1 company and another company with a single application for 100, clearly demonstrating that 30 is not the single application cap). You're "explanations" ran the gamut from terrorism to accusing me of being a shill. My explanation is simple: the DB sucks, I place no blame but I do say the company PRESENTING the data bears responsibility for explaining the problems to those querying it.
I DO know there are few qualified applicants because I've gone through the hiring process from both sides. Now stop this abusive insulting crap and start acting like a reasonable adult. The owners of this site have requested people not drag arguments from one thread to the other, they've asked people to be respectful and not start flame wars. Right now you're in violation of all three of these requests. Grow up, chill out, and stop being such a cry baby.
posted on 11/13/2002 2:40:48 PM PST
thanks for posting on this;
I'm also for lowering the minimum wage to zero and rescinding a lot of EEOC and OSHA regulations so the labor market can govern itself.
Perfect idea if combined with complete abolishment of welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits etc ... Borders should be completely open so Americans will have to learn to became competitive with Chinese, Indians while the business can relocate across the world. And who knows, maybe some more indolent people will move out of the country (to Europe or Canada for example).
What the heck? Let market governs EVERYTHING! Let auctions replace the silly and wasteful elections - the most successful are the most qualified to rule. Army, police should be privatised and let them be based on profit. Justice system can be made much more efficient if based on a fee system - O.J.s of this world instead of paying lawyers will be able to purchase the favorable sentence without all the confussion. Roads should have toll-houses. Etc, etc ... </SARCASM>
posted on 11/13/2002 2:55:04 PM PST
by A. Pole
To: banjo joe
posted on 11/13/2002 2:55:45 PM PST
To: Free the USA; Tancredo Fan; Marine Inspector; Ajnin; agitator; Sabertooth; Tancred; Spiff; ...
posted on 11/13/2002 2:59:05 PM PST
To: Clinton Is Scum; norton; Under the Radar; Slip18; Teacher317; NorseWood; cynicom; realpatriot71; ...
posted on 11/13/2002 3:02:27 PM PST
The fact that a number of HR directors get together and share salary information, opens them up to charges of collusion to price fix. That may be a clumsy way to state it, but they are doing something that my industry has avoided. The proper way to obtain salary data is to ask third parties to conduct salary surveys for them. This way the HR directors could not be charged with discussing and setting salary policy amongst themselves. I believe this is something that could open them up to litigation if the right party were to challenge.
To: dark_lord; All
This add was running in the Washintonpost this past sunday. It appears that they are exclusively fishing for H-1B visa employees who they can exploit instead of Ameican citizens.
This is the ad:
MORTGAGE - Expanding co. in Silver Spg. looking for H-1B visa holders. Will sponsor new candidates or continue to sponsor from other financial fields, strong English skills a must. Spanish or Portuguese a plus.
Isn't this against the law to specifically seek out foreign workers instead of American citizens? Anybody, any thoughts on the legality of this? I find it hard to believe in the hot Washington dc real estate market that they cannot find Americans to fill this job. It appears that they are not advertising to fill a specific job since the ad is so vague, it seems more likely that they are seeking out H-1B's specifically. Some type of scam, maybe? Scam Immigration lawyers?
posted on 11/13/2002 3:10:22 PM PST
To: A. Pole
How to Underpay H-1B Workers
One of the canards H-1B supporters use is the claim that H-1B is not used to depress wages because the law requires employers to pay the prevailing wage. Yet, whenever the government releases salary figures for H-1B programmers they are significantly less then what Americans make. The following is a real example of how the system can be manipulated to pay H-1B workers significantly less than Americans.
In 2001 Bank of America (BofA) in Charlotte, NC "outsourced" its Human Resources (HR) functions to a company called Exult. As part of the arrangement, the Bank of America employees supporting these functions were made Exult employees.
At the end of 2001, Exult announced it was "outsourcing" its computer programming work to two "H-1B bodyshops", HCL and Hexaware. Unlike in the previous "outsourcing", the existing employees were fired and replaced by foreign H-1B workers. The American BofA/Exult employees were forced to train their replacements in order to collect a severance package.
The affected employees had very specialized skills in that they worked with PeopleSoft and Oracle. The lowest advertise salary we found in the Charlotte for PeopleSoft programmers was $65,000 and the highest was $115,000. This range is consistent with the reported salaries ($70,000-$90,000) of the BofA/Exult employees who lost their jobs.
Companies who wish to import H-1B workers are required to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor showing that they are, in fact, paying the H-1B workers according to the law. Keep in mind is that the law only allows the Department of Labor to ensure that the LCA form is filled out correctly. The Department of Labor does not validate the prevailing wage.
Attached below is an LCA filed by HCL for some of the H-1B replacements at BofA/Exult. The salary for the H-1B workers is $39,184, about half of what the people they replaced made. So how can HCL claim they are paying the prevailing wage?
The first step used here in the wage depression process is to call the H-1B workers generic "systems analysts". So instead of using the
higher-than-average wage for the specialized skills of Oracle and PeopleSoft, the employer uses the wage for systems analysts as a whole.
The LCA says that the employer used OES (The Bureau of Labor Statistics "Occupational Employment Survey") to get the prevailing wage. OES put the mean salary for "systems analysts" in Charlotte, NC at $60,150, a figure significantly greater than what the H-1B workers were
The Department of Labor provides an additional service to assist employers to depress wages in their on-line LCA system. There, employers can get a prevailing wage for Level 1 ("Beginning level employees") workers and Level 2 ("Fully competent employees") workers, which in this example are $41,246 and $69,618 respectively. So now the employer claims the H-1B workers are "Beginning level employees" and uses the lower wage as the prevailing wage.
The law only requires H-1B workers to be paid within 95% of the prevailing wage. The employer takes 95% of $41,246 and comes up with a wage of $39,184. Thus, the company is paying the H-1B workers about half of what the workers they replaced made.
Even if the law is not being violated, note that HCL is paying these supposedly "highly-skilled" and "best and brightest" employees the lowest wage it can possibly get away with, right down to the last dollar.
posted on 11/13/2002 3:15:18 PM PST
1) H1B workers can't speak English. They have grave difficulties in communicating with colleagues, users, and the public.
2) H1B workers suck. They can't get the job done without serious handholding.
3) I have never met an exception to (1) and (2) and I've worked with a lot of them.
Businesses that rely on these are making a huge mistake and will pay for it eventually by going down the tubes.
posted on 11/13/2002 3:15:54 PM PST
bump for later
posted on 11/13/2002 3:17:00 PM PST
The first company I was with had H1Bs, they kicked butt. 3 of the 5 best programmers I've ever worked with were H1Bs (the two worst were Americans raised in France and Sweden). Communication wasn't an issue, most bug discussion are in tech-talk anyway what accent it has doesn't matter too much.
Like so many things in life, especially those that revolve around personalities, your milage may vary.
posted on 11/13/2002 3:19:55 PM PST
Between H-1B visas, sending work out of the country,moving complete American business's out of the country and illegals taking American's jobs, many people have lost their jobs, having a hard time finding a new job and many more are going to be in the same boat.
The more people they can put out of work in America and make their existance dependant on the largesse of the state, the faster America will approach a state where the people will have to give up soverenity and join the world government just to survive.
People do not learn from history.
Every time someone starts doing something that was tried and failed, they think they are smarter than the one's
that failed and won't "make the same mistakes".
A lot of the people and pols are just in it for the money and power and prestige and don't care.
They think also that they are so smart, they will be included in the rulership when the dust settles.
And then there's the people who, as long as no one takes away their Lexus, their Sony,their drugs, their booze, their dildo, they will give up any semblance of freedom.
No one in government is going to stop what's happening.
No President is going to reverse what has been done over the last couple centuries.
Anyone who thinks they will is living in a dream world.
Anyone who can think three moves ahead should be able to see.
posted on 11/13/2002 3:21:58 PM PST
for 20 years I wanted the repubicans to take over. Now I have a different dream about taking over the government.
The only way I'll stay in programming is if my small business selling the software I made succeeds. Testing & DeBugging Now!
I've been through two very large learning curves since I started 8 years ago. I was past 35 when I started, didn't even know I was too old. But I got a chance to work on a job where 10 people before me had failed. I was a rookie, but I built that very large database application from scratch for a good sized company that now runs itself on the work I did. Even with that success I've probably spent more time working without pay in learning mode than I have for pay.
My conclusion now is that the market is sick. There's no demand for my labor now despite my accomplishments, if I were to switch to a language and skill more marketable, then I'd be competing with h1b's and the situation wouldn't change much. No way am I going another learning curve for a chance to grovel in this market.
I wonder if George Bush will support my household and the other household I've supported through these years with this very heroic effort I've made to build a programming career. I wonder if George Bush will serve as a reference to help me get my old career revived.
What this h1b policy has done to over a million american men is as terrible and rotten as you can imagine. A society that disrespects and destroys its own men and their families by extension in this manner is a sick society.
We have ways of dealing with people like these republicans who gave us this policy. The republicans don't know it, but their mortal enemies have been created with this policy and these enemies will march until they achieve victory.
Everything I said on the other thread I stick to, and I invite people on this thread to check it out.
Ok, let's check it out..
Somebody already provided a link to zazona's page. The DB has TONS of apparent duplicates.
It has been demonstrated on that thread that it is common for companies to submit multiple applications with the same job title and start date. There are NOT necessarily any duplicates, no matter what you attempt to say to the contrary.
These duplicates COULD be from the original DOL database, they COULD be from whatever procedure zazona is using to make the copy, or the COULD be from the procedure they're using to grab the data for user queries.
An exact copy is a FILE copy, not a database record copy. You DO know the difference don't you? If there were query errors, they'd be consistant across queries which use the same search criteria. Again, this is not the case. Of course, you should know that too.
If you don't know that then it's YOU that is LIEING about your supposed experience.
Do you know what the acronyms UT, IT, and ST signify? What about regression testing, what is that?
Any query of this database will show these duplicates and further investigation will show that there's no procedural reason for these (ie you'll see multiple identical applications for 30 H1Bs from 1 company and another company with a single application for 100, clearly demonstrating that 30 is not the single application cap).
Why doesn't someone ask the DOL what it means? It IS their data in case you forgot that simple fact.
You're "explanations" ran the gamut from terrorism to accusing me of being a shill.
No, I said that fraud is rampant in the immigration system, as that is what the GAO had found. It is the GAO that said that this leaves the door open to terrorism. I simply explained that "extra" work visas could be sold on the blackmarket. ONE of the possibilities is that a terrorist COULD easily purchase one of these visas. I didn't say that "terrorism" is the CAUSE of these so-called duplicate records, which is what you consistently insist that I said.
My explanation is simple: the DB sucks, I place no blame but I do say the company PRESENTING the data bears responsibility for explaining the problems to those querying it.
You CONSISTENTLY attempt to discredit the data. That is why I suspect your motives here are far removed from an innocent curiosity or sincere interest in the validity of the data. Your ONLY motive appears to be to discredit the information in ANY manner possible.
The owners of this site have requested people not drag arguments from one thread to the other, they've asked people to be respectful and not start flame wars.
I'm simply not buying your qualifications as a QA engineer. Hey, maybe you ARE a manager, as I HAVE seen a few of them that shouldn't have had the position they did. There are also administrative positions that require little or no knowledge technically, but rarely is that true in QA. I'm not trying to start a war, I'm simply stating my observations. If you simply gave your opinion, perhaps I'd give you a pass on your prior assertions. BUT, you are indicating to all of us that you are involved in QA. What IS it exactly that you test?
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