There is an extreme shortage of skilled workers to fill open job vacancies for computer professions in the U.S., and yet employers are finding it is quite difficult to obtain high-quality foreign national employees through H-1B temporary visas. Some critics claim that these visas keep U.S. workers from getting these good, high-paying jobs, but there are twenty times more computer jobs available than there are new H-1B approvals for companies.
Computer jobs were plentiful before the pandemic, and now there are even more of these jobs available. There has been a 15% increase in the number of computer jobs available in the last six months. There are actually over a million computer jobs available, and yet companies are only allowed to file for 85,000 new company-sponsored H-1B petitions. Typically two-thirds of company-sponsored new H-1B visas are for computer jobs. This means there are far more jobs available in the computer profession than there are H-1B visas, and this is assuming a set number of jobs even though the people obtaining these jobs often create jobs for other people.
The H-1B visas are vital, being the primary way for highly skilled foreign nationals to obtain long-term work in the United States and thus have a chance of becoming U.S. citizens.
The unemployment rate is quite low in computer and mathematics professions. Also, major companies are posting thousands of computer jobs. This shows the great demand for these professionals, and a lack of these workers could hurt the economy. But, there is a low annual limit on H-1B petitions, so many companies are unable to employ the highly skilled foreign workers they need.
H-1B petition limits are low even though these visa holders do not hurt American workers. In fact, they seem to lower unemployment rates and increase the earnings of college graduates. Additionally, with more than a million open positions for this industry, many American employers are struggling to continue while finding it impossible to grow their workforce appropriately.
These shortages can make it difficult for companies to grow and operate flexibly while competing with companies in foreign markets. It may also lead some companies to simply relocate to a more open labor market to acquire the workforce they need.
Once employers do hire an H-1B worker, their difficulties may not stop there. These employers still face a difficult process completing the Form I-9 and maintaining it properly to present to inspectors upon demand. The easiest way to do this is to use an electronic I-9 management tool. This makes it easy to fill out I-9 forms consistently and maintain them properly for review at any time.