Do Rising Job Vacancies Mean Tech Needs the H-1B More Than Ever?

There are more than 1.2 million active vacancies for computer-related jobs in the United States, up 15 percent from six months ago. The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) argues that gap illustrates the need for the H-1B, but critics of the visa would likely disagree. 

“Even if one adopts a zero-sum approach, there are more than 20 times as many job vacancy postings in computer occupations today as new H-1B petitions typically used by companies in computer occupations each year,” NFAP wrote in a new policy brief. “Companies have an ongoing need for more highly skilled professionals to grow, and an insufficient number of available workers slows growth in the U.S. economy.”

Here’s the organization’s breakdown of the job-vacancy data:

“Restrictions on employing high-skilled foreign nationals remain significant,” the brief added. “In March 2021, employers filed 308,613 H-1B registrations for cap selection for FY 2022 for only 85,000 H-1B petitions (65,000 plus a 20,000-exemption for individuals with an advanced degree from a U.S. university) … That means over 72 percent of H-1B registrations for high-skilled foreign nationals were rejected even before an adjudicator evaluated the application.”

However, critics argue that the current H-1B system remains fundamentally flawed. “Current H-1B implementation promotes usability at the expense of filling skills gaps and protecting workers,” Dr. Ronil Hira, an associate professor at Howard University, said in his statement before a House Judiciary Committee in July. “As a result of these choices, the majority of H-1B workers are competing with, rather than complementing, the US workforce. Their hiring and employment are adversely affecting the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. Further, the lack of adequate protections mean H-1B workers are frequently subject to exploitation.”

In other words, critics don’t feel that the H-1B is the right tool to fill vacancies, and many of the companies utilizing the visa might use it to undercut the salaries of existing workers. Much will hinge, of course, on the Biden administration’s new visa policies—and whether it chooses to embrace things such as wage-based visa distribution. 

21 Responses to “Do Rising Job Vacancies Mean Tech Needs the H-1B More Than Ever?”

  1. Active jobs in all website together will not reflect the above numbers. Do a google search for any job. ex QA with selinium or UFT etc.

    H/L,Refugee,Illegal importing, quick green cards (US still not yet processed all 2019 tax returns because lack of staff due to covid but able to process eb2, eb3 green cards at a rapid pace) etc entirely a seperate political, network and business, that process will not stop and shortage of people always a standard reason to continue the business.

  2. I’ve been applying everyday more than 10 job positions a day, I don’t get any interview. They usually send this type of e-mail: “After carefully reviewing your background, we have identified other candidates whose qualifications more closely match our needs at this time”. It is for C# and I have more than 10 years of C#, they don’t even call me for a interview.
    I’ve been receiving this type of response very often. For my point of view, there is no need and no demand.

  3. Jake_Leone

    The reality is that half the H-1b visas go to Offshore Outsourcing companies. These companies don’t innovate, they only copy jobs and move them to India.

    Increasing the number of H-1b visas, will simply mean more H-1b visas going to Offshore Outsourcing companies, and more jobs leaving the United States.

    And the Offshore Outsourcing companies don’t remove innovative jobs. That would be impossible for them, when their whole business model is to copy existing jobs, they simply don’t/can’t do innovation. So more H-1b visas will simply mean that well scripted jobs in account, HR, support, and DB Admin will be going India, and all the tax revenue will disappear from those jobs,

    …and the demand for H-1b visas will grow as the H-1b continues to move the entire U.S. economy Offshore, to India, thanks to this massive misallocation and goofed up system we have (a brain-dead random chance lottery) for distributing this Federal business assistance program, known as the H-1b visa.

    No, what we need is for H-1b visas to be allocated by salary. In the first year of such a program, the Offshore Outsourcing companies would stop using the H-1b visa (because they pay the lowest salaries). In the second year, every single Silicon Valley company would get an H-1b visa for every single H-1b application. Every student on OPT, wanting to convert to an H-1b visa, would be able to convert to an H-1b visa.

    Right now, because Offshore Outsourcing game the system and stuff more than half the H-1b applications. Silicon Valley companies have only a 1 in 4 chance of winning an H-1b visa for their candidates. OPT students face similar odds.

    The only group that was opposed to this Trump change were immigration lawyers. Changing to a salary based allocation of H-1b visas would kill off 75% of their business, and all of their repeat business. If you ask any immigration lawyer (and I have debated this change with several on the net) they will LIE and tell you it is a bad idea to change to a salary based allocation of H-1b visas, but that is bald face lie.

    Those same lawyers are wrongly confusing Silicon Valley board rooms, into thinking it was a bad change. But it was the greatest single change ever and it would allow Silicon Valley companies to get the talent, they are publicly saying they want.

    But the reality is likely far more sinister. Business doesn’t really care about hiring the best and the brightest with the H-1b visa. If they did, businesses would have lobbied the government for decades to get the Offshore Outsourcing companies out of the H-1b program. The real reason is that Silicon Valley want to violate the Nash principle, and simply want to HOG everything. The same way, these guys hog fuel inefficient private planes and waste energy right and left, but preach the opposite philosophy in their public face. They are greedy liars.

    And Immigration lawyers are working not in the best interest of their clients or their Silicon Valley companies by opposing this change (to a salary based allocation). Silicon Valley is content to lie and whine forever about H-1b visas, so long as the Offshore Outsourcing companies are keeping salaries down for the common tech workers. That saves these companies billions of dollars, and that is why they were willing to pay Joe Biden and Democrats 100 million dollars to keep the status quo. And still whine, like idiots, for the right to import hundreds of thousands of more workers.

    You can’t tell me that this isn’t true. We have the evidence from Facebook’s own employees when they talked with Federal Investigators. Facebook and the rest of Big Tech don’t need more qualified applicants, they already find 30+ (out of hundreds of resumes received) qualified tech innovators per job ad they openly advertise. What they need is the status quo which gives the an indentured workforce that can’t leave forever until Green Card day.

    Facebook, 2600+ counts of discrimination against fully qualified tech workers in order to protect the jobs of lesser qualified foreign tech workers (by Facebook’s own admission to Federal investigators). These 2600+ counts occurred over just a 1.5 year period.

    These Big Tech companies and Immigration lawyers will lie all they can to protect their greedy and dishonest business practices. But they knew they could not lie to Federal investigators, without facing a Federal Obstruction of Justice charge. And the information contained in that indictment of Facebook is the only information you can trust to be true.

  4. Job postings are a foolish measure of the employment situation. When a company plans to hire cheap foreign labor they are, in most cases, required to advertise the job. Each of those job postings represents a job that is not available to an American citizen. There are many reasons to advertise a job that does not exist. For example when a new project is under consideration but no decision has been made to actually do the project. In such a case the response to the advertisement gives insight into the wage and availability of workers with the needed skills. Any job posting that lasts for more than 30 days is likely a job that does not exist.

    The primary use of the job postings data is to lobby for more cheap foreign labor.

    • They can advertise those jobs anywhere to satisfy the requirement that they advertise the job opening. It’s my understanding that it’s not illegal to place the ad for someone with 10 years of C++ in North Bugtussle, Idaho Picayune Times and then, when nobody responds, hire the H1-B folks they wanted all along. There needs to be much more scrutiny of who is being hired via these visas. There’s an enormous level of abuse in the program.

      • jake_leone

        A great example of this is where the SF Chronicle offered to place the Facebook Foreign worker PERM job ads (1st step in Green Card certification), onto the Chronicle website, For Free. Facebook refused that free offer, and instead buried the job ads in just consecutive Sunday print editions of the Chronicle.

        And further, Facebook refused to accept resumes sent by Email for those jobs. Instead the resumes had to be sent, by stamped letter, to a law firms offices.

        This is all documented in DOJ indictment of Facebook on 2600+ counts of discrimination, which is available on the DOJ website.

      • jake leone

        Yes, they do fake job ads in printed want-ads only, making them as obscure as possible. And they force resumes to be submitted by stamped letter only (sent to an immigration lawyer’s office).

        They are a job postings, but STEM/IT workers use the Email and Internet postings, not Sunday editions.

        Facebook is accused of 2600+ counts of discrimination against U.S. citizens because they use these tactics to protect foreign workers from better qualified (by Facebook’s own admission to Federal investigators) local STEM/IT workers.

        A significant percentage of job postings can therefore be written off as only there to protect a foreign worker during the PERM process. Or as jobs meant only for foreign workers who can be tied to the company for years during the Green Card process.

        Keep in mind, Facebook’s 2600+ counts of discrimination took place over just a 1.5 year period. That’s a rate of 18,000 per decade. Facebook only has 30,000 engineers. It’s as if half the engineering job ads, by Facebook, can be written off as being part of a fake Green Card PERM process.

        The same game plan is used by immigration lawyers working for all of Big Tech. As such, you should probably remove 25%-50% of the job ads from consideration.

        Weed out those jobs ads, and then we can have a statistic that is worth something. As it stands, counting job ads without removing these fake job ads, is basically just industry propaganda, and using it as a way to justify more H-1b visas, is a huge mistake for our economy.

    • Jake_Leone

      All we have ever needed to do was to do what-ever it takes to NOT give H-1b visas to Offshore Outsourcing companies.

      Just doing that, would double the number of H-1b visas available to tech originating companies.

      Silicon Valley barely uses 1/3 of the H-1b visas.

      Medical and Research H-1b visas have always been unlimited.

      For decades we have wasted h-1b visas on Offshore Outsourcing companies, that do absolutely ZERO innovation. Offshore Outsourcing companies that remove millions of jobs from the United States. We have never NEEDED to assist such efforts with a Federal handout of an indentured worker visa.

      Further, we should limit the number of retries for a Green Card to 2. And require all PERM jobs ads to be placed on any Free website that is available to the company sponsoring the foreign worker for a Green Card. And companies must be required to take and honestly consider resumes that are sent via Email from local workers. Email submissions that would have invalidated every Facebook PERM application, had they told the Federal government about them, before the Federal investigation compelled the truth from Facebook.

      By making those changes to the Green Card system, companies like Facebook would give Americans an honest chance to compete for local STEM/IT jobs. Until then, slaves are always more valuable than Freemen.

      Consider the case of Frances Haugen, who flat out said on National TV that Facebook lies to the public about its internal processes. Multiply that mentality by every Tech company, because they all lie. And you will be forced to realize we cannot listen to the whining lies of the tech industry in regard to thier fake-up moan saga for unlimited foreign workers.

      What they want, what they have always really wanted was a bunch of indentured servants, with no rights what-so-ever to leave the company start a competing company.

      What really made Silicon Valley great, isn’t those whining slave mongers, who can’t stand Free market capitalism (which includes free labor, see the no poaching case).

      What made Silicon Valley Great was that people could leave their employer and start competing businesses. And in doing so, enjoy the full reward and motivation that comes with an equity stake for the engineering class of your company’s workforce.

  5. I am 63 years old with 40 years of experience as a developer. 30 years as an Oracle pl/sql developer. I have applied for numerous jobs and get rejection letters almost immediately without even an interview. I am told there are other candidates with better qualifications but I believe it is due to my age. If they are so hard up for hiring people why aren’t they giving everybody at least an interview. I truly enjoy working and my son is in the military and won’t be settling down permanently until I reach 70 so I intend to work up until that age. I have been told to put only the last job on a resume so it looks like I am younger but that is just not right. Maybe I should to test that theory. The US should be hiring from within not outsourcing, there are plenty of us with years of experience that can get the job done.

      • That’s great if you have an ACTIVE security clearance. But what if you don’t? I’ve had clearances before — back in the days when if you left a company where you had a clearance your clearance ended the day you left their employ — but wouldn’t be able to apply to anything on that site because I have no current clearance.

    • @Kathy, I can fully relate to your post as I am just 2 years older than you. Our experience and knowledge of the I.T. Industry needs to be heard by federal policy makers.
      Case in point, the H1B1, when it was first implemented in 1990, allowed for an H1B1 candidate to work up to 3 years on a project for a U.S. based company. What if that company hired an H1B1 candidate instead of waiting a couple of more months for a U.S. Graduate or a woman coming off of maternity leave? Now, that graduate or woman has been displaced for at least 3 years. There’s no chance of them getting back into the industry.
      My most recent experience with Fiserv showed that they had 100 Cognizant contractors on staff, where 90 of them were in India working at 1/3 the rate of their onshore staff. Could you afford to live on 1/3 the salary that you’re used to making? I can’t!
      The H1B1 is a horrible business model as it no longer gives companies the financial incentive to upskill their employees through corporate technical training and it actually decreases the income tax revenue stream with lower salaries.
      Robert Reich has a series of videos speaking on this subject.

  6. you must be kidding me; there’s no shortage of tech workers I know people at junior level that have applied for hundreds of jobs without much luck, instead they get calls from Indian run companies that are the 3rd party hiring and staffing doing nothing but managing their labor and getting a paycut … here is a what these opportunities look like
    “ I’m reaching out because currently we are hiring IT/Banking /Supply Chain /Networking/Healthcare/Mechanical/Electrical/Industrial Engineering professionals.
    Type of positions: Full Time/Part Time/Contract.
    We are an E-verified company & if you want to stop your unemployment days, we will “Issue the Offer letter”.

    We can provide you assistance for CPT / OPT / H1B Sponsorships.
    Location and travel requirements: All over in the USA, Relocation flexibility is an added advantage but not mandatory.
    Eligibility: Fresher & Experienced, both are applicable.
    We don’t add any extra experience to your resume during the marketing process.
    By weekly payment $30-$35 / hour on W2 no benefits or paid vacation”

    I encourage you to report any abuse or illegal activity regarding H1B to USCIS and DOJ, it’s time we take control of the abuse on the tech workers.
    https://www.uscis.gov/report-fraud/uscis-tip-form

  7. The problems with H1B’s are mirrored in the problems IT faces with US citizens: onboarding and education. I have years of experience working with H1B’s going back to when they first began. Some are excellent, even superb and very experienced. Many have become good friends of mine.
    Language is a problem that is underestimated in the required skill set. When we are working remote, good speaking and language skills become more important. But even some meetings inhouse are made more complicated and long when one or more members cannot speak English (the language of business) well.
    Skills are another. We face a knowledge gap especially in platforms that are not only greatly misunderstood by even the best managers, but those same skills in both the US skill market and the foreign market, lack basic experience that holds back onboarding or just lets them slip through and cause slowdowns. Often I see 3 or 4 H1B’s working together on the same issue, that many times has to come to a more experienced “mentor” who solves the problem. Some companies have gone to the extent of training and appointing mentors to assist the development teams with not only tech skills, but language and culture.
    It is especially infuriating to see a team of full-time developers and business agents, all in one room, all in one company, and all started with the HIB program. And they are all full-time employees.
    Why can’t we spend some of that infrastructure package on training for US citizens at the college level, and in some of the better tech training outfits? We are already up against displaced analysts, managers, and programmers who were never trained in mainframe, for instance, or even Unix platform languages. For as much as we give foreign workers a leg up, we should also give our own people a leg up too. India and China gambled their education schools on technical skills (STEM if you will). We don’t even have engineering schools teaching those skills that are still over 50% of the industry in IT: namely, as an example COBOL and mainframe technology in general. I read an ad for one of the consulting firms of foreign origin, that said: “India is the land of the mainframes.” How did it get that way? From India, China, and the Philippines taking the gamble to teach those skills when we were still dealing with ancient terms like “legacy” and “state of the art” and filling our classrooms with C, C++, and Java. All at the cost of staple platforms that are still running code today at volumes the distributive languages (I just named them) cannot even process unless they are a GUI interface.
    I am not against foreigners coming in at all, and I have worked with gifted H1B’s, but when I hear the term “highly skilled” as an ad for a foreign firm, I cringe because the terms hardly apply.

    • “India is the land of mainframes”? That would explain why so many U.S. tech workers are migrating to India for tech work at a rate greater than Indian tech workers are migrating to the U.S. for tech work! NOT!!!

      “Sexy Sadie, what have you done? You’ve made a fool of everyone!” Lennon/McCartney 1968. (Read the Wikipedia article on “Sexy Sadie” to understand the reference.)

    • Jake_Leone

      You need to read the DOJ indictment of Facebook, regarding 2600+ cases of discrimination against Americans all to protect foreign workers from local competition during the Green Card perm process, it is online at the DOJ.

      In that indictment, Facebook’s own HR employees provided the evidence that now looms over Facebook. That evidence was provided to Federal agents with the threat that any lie or deception will carry a Federal Obstruction of Justice charge. The same charge that landed Martha Steward, a billionaire at the time, in jail.

      In that indictment Facebook told Federal investigators that for every STEM/IT job it puts on its own jobs website, it receives hundreds of applications (~200). Of those 200, and by Facebook’s own admission, it finds 30 or more that are fully qualified for the STEM/IT jobs that are posted, and Facebook would hire the 29 or so they turn away, if they actually had the jobs.

      Now pay attentions to this. Facebook NEVER forwards the resume of the 29+ STEM/IT workers they turn away (per job ad), to the hiring managers involved in the foreign worker Green Card Perm process. EVEN THOUGH by Facebook’s own admission to Federal investigators, the local STEM/IT workers they turn away ARE BETTER QUALIFIED than the foreign workers Facebook protects from actually having to compete for their job (against the better qualified local workers), during the Green Card PERM process.

      Facebook is supposed to actually consider the resumes of all qualified applicants, during the Green Card certification process, but they don’t (By Facebook’s own admission to Federal investigators).

      They actively discriminate against local (American citizens). And Facebook hides the PERM job ads in 2 Sunday print additions of the SF Chronicle (and refusing the Chronicle’s free offer of the Chronicle to place those job ads on the Chronicle website). Facebook does not place these foreign work certification job ads on their own web site, either. They only accept resumes mailed by stamped letters that are sent to a Law Firm’s address.

      They do this to protect foreign workers from failing the Green Card Green Card perm process, which would happen nearly all the time, by Facebook’s own admission, if Facebook allowed American’s to know about the jobs and then to have a fair competition for those same jobs.

      Why does Facebook protect foreign workers in the Green Card process?

      Because a Foreign worker is tied to the company, forever, until they actually get their Green Card. That can take decades for people from India.

      But it is, by Federal Statute, against the law to discriminate based upon nationality, you are not allowed to consider immigration status as a valid reason to prefer foreign workers by that same Federal law.

      Keep in mind, similar cases involving this kind of discrimination are settled for 100,000$ per violation. Facebook did this 2600+ over just the 1.5 years the investigation covered, that’s a 260 million dollar case.

      And all the evidence came from Facebook’s own HR people who were unwilling to lie to Federal investigators.

      But all the Big Tech companies are doing this same thing, because they all have the lawyers that follow the same Fake/PERM process, which discriminates against people of U.S. nationality in favor of foreign workers. Because a foreign worker can indenture themselves to the company.

      And being able to indenture yourself makes you a valuable commodity in Silicon Valley. Read the No Poaching case and you will learn that CEO’s are willing to risk Jail Time to keep workers tied to the company.

      But such tactics damage innovation, because most of Silicon Valley’s visible/profitable innovation comes from workers leaving the company and starting their own competing business. But Companies don’t have to worry about worker stuck waiting for a Green Card, they will never leave their job. Hence the massive preference for foreign, and the massive discrimination against U.S. citizens, all for reasons involving ethnic discrimination against Americans. And that Americans, no matter how well educated, can never have the ability to compete against an indentured foreign worker. Because American citizens are bound by the 13th amendment, which bars slavery and indenturement.

      And also created a completely Free Market for labor (you know modern Capitalism). Silicon Valley CEO’s actually hate that aspect of the Free Market and would just as soon do away with it.

      There are additional problems, such as the Brain Dead H-1b lottery. Which is mostly gamed and won by Offshore Outsourcing companies. Companies that do nothing but remove millions of ordinary jobs to India. Why on Earth we allow that can only be explained by the 100 million dollars given by tech to the Biden campaign.

      But please, be fully aware, the problem isn’t because Big Tech cannot find enough workers. Facebook admits it finds 30+ fully qualified STEM/IT candidate for every job it advertises. And we know that only because Federal agents asked them about this and the employees were too afraid to lie.

      These companies will lie massively to the public about this issue, and for dishonest reasons. But when push comes to shove, and they face a Federal charge if they lie to Federal investigators, that’s when they start telling the truth. And that truth can be learned from the Federal indictment of Facebook for discrimination against people of U.S. nationality, which is online and available to the U.S. DOJ right now.

  8. Jake_Leone

    Anyone who is interested in making the H-1b program work for America (except immigration lawyers and the Biden administration, who could care less) will tell you that changing to a wage based allocation of H-1b visas would help the U.S. economy immensely.

    I have to say, with this anemic recovery (just like the anemic recovery we had under Barack Obama). The next election has an easier chance of going to the Republicans. Why not prevent that, and implement the change to a salary based allocation of H-1b visas? The only reason why not, is because Silicon Valley lawyers are steering the guidance of corporate campaign contribution, for the INCREDIBLY SELFISH purpose of keeping the idiotic brain dead H-1b visa lottery.

    With a wage based allocation of H-1b visas, the Offshore Outsourcing companies would be pushed out of the program altogether. This would save millions of U.S. jobs in the coming years. The Biden administration, by leaving the Brain-Dead random chance allocation of H-1b visas, has created the conditions where millions of low level.well scripted, jobs in accounting, support, HR, DB Admin can be easily outsourced to India.

    But the Biden administration has suspended the the change, for the next 2 years, and has given no guidance. Years that are critical for America and Americans seeking alternate employment, moving from jobs that involved contact with other people, to beginning jobs in software development and support, that can be done remotely.

    The Biden administration is doing the will of the immigration lawyers, who with great fraudulence are violating their fiduciary responsibility to see to their client’s needs first. The clients of the immigration lawyers are tech companies and foreign workers seeking to convert from OPT to and H-1b visa. The OPT workers see the problem, and have filed a suit to get rid of the Brain dead lottery.

    But the board rooms of many Tech companies are filled with lawyers, who are wrongfully saying this change (to a salary based allocation of H-1b visas) is a bad idea. It is a great idea for all of Silicon Valley. But the lawyers have a huge influence on corporate policy, no matter how backward and idiotic that policy is.

    If the Biden administration ever implements this change (but they never will I can assure you), the H-1b business of immigration lawyers around the country would drop by 75% in the first 2 years. The repeat business (where a worker has to reapply, because they couldn’t get one in the previous years) would completely disappear. And for immigration lawyers that is something that can never happen, even if it cost millions of jobs here in the United States.

  9. George Del toro

    dear all,

    beyond the H-1B, the US can for sure lure and bring back expatriate Americans. They can work immediately, because they don’t need visas, and they can do the same stuff any other person (US or not) can do.

    thank you,

  10. I don’t have any concrete proof. But many times companies don’t bother to update and delete the position once it fills. Sometimes, companies will post bogus jobs and have no intention to fill them. So data does not paint the whole picture.

  11. Jake_Leone

    They do fake job ads in printed want-ads only, making them as obscure as possible. And they force resumes to be submitted by stamped letter only (sent to an immigration lawyer’s office).

    They are a job postings, but STEM/IT workers use the Email and Internet postings, not Sunday editions.

    Facebook is accused of 2600+ counts of discrimination against U.S. citizens because they use these tactics to protect foreign workers from better qualified (by Facebook’s own admission to Federal investigators) local STEM/IT workers.

    A significant percentage of job postings can therefore be written off as only there to protect a foreign worker during the PERM process. Or as jobs meant only for foreign workers who can be tied to the company for years during the Green Card process.

    Keep in mind, Facebook’s 2600+ counts of discrimination took place over just a 1.5 year period. That’s a rate of 18,000 per decade. Facebook only has 30,000 engineers. It’s as if half the engineering job ads, by Facebook, can be written off as being part of a fake Green Card PERM process.

    The same game plan is used by immigration lawyers working for all of Big Tech. As such, you should probably remove 25%-50% of the job ads from consideration.

    Weed out those jobs ads, and then we can have a statistic that is worth something. As it stands, counting job ads without removing these fake job ads, is basically just industry propaganda, and using it as a way to justify more H-1b visas, is a huge mistake for our economy.