High-Skilled Workers and Twentieth-First Century Innovation: The H-1B Program's Impact on Wages, Jobs, and the Economy
This paper serves as a short primer on the H-1B visa program and relies on data and analyses from sources such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and The Brookings Institution to "debunk the most prevalent myths" about the program.
For instance, the report finds that H-1B workers do not harm job opportunities for, or depress the wages of, native-born workers. On the contrary, overall wages in high-demand STEM fields are growing, and H1-1B-driven increases in STEM workers were associated with increases in the wages of U.S.-born counterparts. Moreover, H-1B workers are generally paid more than their non-H-1B counterparts within the same occupations for workers with similar experience. Furthermore, highly skilled immigrants complement their native-born peers rather than substituting for them as evidenced by the low unemployment rate in the STEM fields, which garner two-thirds of all successful H-1B applicants. The paper urges expansion of the H-1B visa program, an increase in permanent visas for STEM workers, and strengthening STEM training for native-born workers to meet 21st-century demands.
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Immigration Policy Center. (2014). High-Skilled Workers and Twentieth-First Century Innovation: The H-1B Program's Impact on Wages, Jobs, and the Economy. Immigration Policy Center. Washington: DC.Retrieved from: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/just-facts/h-1b-program%E2%80%99s-impact-wages-jobs-and-economy