Foreign IT pros in USA get paid more than Americans - study
H-1Bs 'can't be driving down US pay' insist analysts
Foreign IT professionals working in the States on H-1B visas don't cause a reduction in pay for Americans, according to a new study - because they actually get paid more than US citizens with similar qualifications, not less.
According to a survey of "more than 50,000 IT professionals in the United States" analysed by Sunil Mithas and Henry C Lucas of the University of Maryland, H-1B workers "earn a salary premium" compared to Americans with similar "human capital attributes" - eg qualifications and experience. The study covered the period 2000-2005.
The two business profs say that the cap on numbers of H-1B visas causes "supply shocks" in the US IT employment market, with lower, fully-utilised caps pushing up the premium paid by employers for foreign workers.
They argue for larger numbers of visas to be issued, saying that too-low caps motivate companies to relocate offshore where they can hire the foreigners they want without paying the H-1B induced premium.
The two profs contend that perceived damage to Americans' career and earnings prospects from the numbers of foreigners allowed so far cannot be real. They say that their research "provides indirect evidence that visa and immigration policies so far have not had any adverse impact on the wages of American IT professionals due to any relatively lower compensation of foreign IT professionals".
Their paper Are Foreign IT Workers Cheaper? U.S. Visa Policies and Compensation of Information Technology Professionals can be read here (subscription required). ®
H1-B is flawed
The H1-B is an extremely flawed program and all of my anecdotal evidence says that they aren't paid equally to citizens and push down wages. I don't want guest workers in my country. The good ones learn a lot and take their knowledge back to their home countries. The bad ones serve almost as indentured servants (you can't easily quit as an H1-B) and raise resentments towards "foreigners".
We should get people with excellent skills who want to move the USA and make a permanent commitment to our country. Let's make reforms that give preference to those with skills we need and make it easier for them to get green cards and get on the path to citizenship. If a company wants to pay to help some of these skillful people come over, great. However, there is nothing stopping them from leaving the company that brought them over the day after they arrive, so they better make sure the pay and benefits are commensurate with market rates. I'm happy to compete with global talent on an equal basis - it makes us all better.
My mothers friend was from India.
He came here many years ago on H1B -VISA then after so many years living here he finally became an American citizen and got his job converted to full time.
Then his employer came to him and told him to train 5 other people from India and they would replce him and he would get very substantial bonus when they will let him go.
so he refused and he was fired.
This happend in Virginia and his situation has been in an article in the Washington Post.
Yep..... No matter how hard you succeed in american life Many companies here will still just want to chew you up and spit you out no matter your race. Once you become American you become worthless in the eyes of american employers.
There are lies, damn lies and statitstics
I'd argue that the study is flawed.
As an IT professional in the States, I can say that from personal experience, that the study is bunk. How did they compare IT professionals to determine that they were paid a premium over 'similarly skilled' US workers?
I can think of several things as to how they made a 'paper' study and not actual skills and expertise.
I know many foreign IT workers who have 'exaggerated' their skills so while they look good on paper, they are pretty much worthless.