SAN FRANCISCO — Although certain kinds of engineers are in short supply in the United States, plenty of potential candidates exist for thousands of positions for which companies want to import guest workers, according to an analysis of three million résumés of job seekers in the United States.Groupthink in Silicon Valley, groupthink amongst the punditry, groupthink in the White House....
[T]he technology industry argues there are not enough qualified Americans [to fill tech positions]. Its critics, including labor groups, say bringing in guest workers is a way to depress wages in the industry.
Many economists take issue with the industry’s argument, too. One side points out that wages have not gone up across the board for engineers, suggesting that there is no stark labor shortage.
“I didn’t expect this result,” said Steve Goodman, Bright’s chief executive.
“We’re Silicon Valley people, we just assumed the shortage was true,” Mr. Goodman said. “It turns out there is a little Silicon Valley groupthink going on about this, though it’s not comfortable to say that.”
The Senate immigration bill, passed last month, nearly doubles the number of H-1B visas that companies can seek every year. Industry lobbied heavily for it, bulldozing efforts to add language that would force companies to try to hire an equally qualified American first.
The age of workers, which the study did not look at, may also play a role....[A]mong 32 technology companies surveyed, only six had a work force with a median age over 35. At Monster, the job search portal, the median age was 30; at Google, 29; and at Facebook, 28. The median age of American workers over all is 42.3 years old, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As if to underline the study’s findings, Mr. Goodman spoke from a conference room that looked out on decorated ping-pong tables, a liquor bar and tiki-themed snacks. Later that day, Bright was having a party, partly to attract new talent, he said, including foreign programmers here on H-1B visas.
Big Data Analysis Adds to Guest Worker Woes
By QUENTIN HARDY and SOMINI SENGUPTA
JULY 23, 2013, 10:23 AM
This part was interesting:
For a few job categories, like computer systems analysts, there are relatively few “good fits” among American applicants, Bright found. Computer systems analyst jobs, considered relatively low-skilled in the tech world, had four openings for every American candidate. For others, like high-skilled computer programmers, there were more than enough potential candidates in the United States, the company found.As I recall, there's a section in the Steve Jobs book where Jobs explains to President Obama that the workers they really can't find are skilled workers with Associate degrees.
I'll have to find that and post.
For the record, I had absolutely no idea there wasn't a shortage of engineers until Kitchen Table Math readers explained the world to me. I never questioned the narrative; I just took all the Silicon lamentations at face value.