The H1B visa program has suppressed wages and eroded job increases

"...without immigration, wages could have been as much as 5% greater for technology workers."

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The H1B visa program has suppressed wages and eroded job increases — yet strengthened corporate profits — according to another report by a closely observed research group of economists. One potential caveat regarding the analysis, however, is the fact that it covered the period from 1994 through 2001. That timeframe also coincided with the ‘dot-com’ boom, a time when demand for technology employees surged.

The primary takeaway from the study was that without immigration, wages could have been as much as 5% greater for technology workers. Also, up to 11% more tech jobs would have been created, according to the study, that was ran by two professors from the University of Michigan economics division and a professor from UC San Diego.

“Immigration decreased prices and raised the output of I.T. products by between 1.9 percent and 2.5%, thereby helping consumers,” the NBER study ascertained. “Finally, firms in the I.T. sector additionally brought in significantly higher gains due to immigration.”

The researchers also noted that the rising profits tended to put tech executives and business leaders in the camp that consistantly called for more skilled immigration.

“High-skill immigrant labor increases I.T. sector gains,” the professors wrote. “It is then no surprise that Bill Gates and other I.T. executives lobby in favor of increasing quotas for high-skill immigrants.”

The Trump administration’s decision to stop expedited processing of H-1B visas could interrupt the plans of a large number of immigrant workers in a variety of businesses from technology to health care, immigration experts say.

The visas are given out by lottery and in high demand. It may take six months or longer to be reviewed. Authorities declared Friday that, by April 3, it will freeze the “premium processing” option, which ensures an application will probably be reviewed within 15 days. It costs $1,225.

President Trump has accused companies of abusing the H1B program as a way to employ foreign workers who take jobs away from Americans, at lower wages. The Trump administration says it is doing away with quick-turn processing so that it might sort via a large backlog of applications and make an attempt to “reduce complete H1B processing times.”