That story turned out to be far from abnormal; it was literally the tip of an iceberg, an orgy of cronyism in which a handful of companies lobby the US government to allocate H1B visas so that they can get cheaper workers, foreign companies lobby to provide those visas to workers in those countries and displace American workers. Meanwhile, we have national programs to push STEM education to provide graduates for jobs in the US - that are being taken by H1B visa imports.
On one side, we have national programs to convince US kids to major in STEM programs to produce the "next generation of scientists and engineers" while on the other hand we import these H1B visa holders to fill the very jobs we're trying to get American kids to prepare for. Don't forget the workers who were in those jobs, were replaced by H1B visa holders, and are now either unemployed or underemployed. The Fed.gov is creating unemployment and misery for generations to come. It's easy to understand Gates, Zuckerburg and those CEOs: the more of these H1B visas the Fed.gov allows, the more they can suppress wages and the more candidates they can choose from. It's, unfortunately, also easy to understand the Fed.gov; they get money from Cognizant, Wipro and the like. In the case of our administration, already concerned that Americans have too much of the world's wealth, it's even easier to see a motivation to send that wealth overseas. [Note: this is from 2016. SiG]With that background, this week's Machine Design story shows the shoe on the other foot. Foreign companies are hiring engineering talent out of the US. Is it possible the big picture might be engineers from low income countries move into the US (on H1Bs) while US engineers move overseas on whatever the equivalent law is there?
So while it's true that the illegal immigrants hold down wages for low end jobs (how could they not?), and conservatives rightfully try to change that, we also have the wages of hardware and software engineers, as well as IT workers and other STEM careers being held down by the H1B visa industry (again, how could they not?).
However, the skilled job market is growing. Deloitte —an audit, consulting, and financial advisory company—published that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will become available from 2015 to 2025, and about 2 million of them will go unfilled due to a skills gap.While Germany is an “economic and engineering powerhouse”, the other country they specifically mention is New Zealand. The Kiwi projects they mentioned are major construction projects, not systemic growth in their engineering sector.
“Getting people interested in these careers is challenging—especially young people,” says Bruce Hamm of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY). “Historically, over the last few decades, we’ve had so much manufacturing leave New York because of offshoring; we were one of the rust belt states. The fact that modern manufacturing has changed the whole equation hasn’t penetrated to the public, the schools, the kids, or the parents for that matter.”
Germany, a strong economic and engineering powerhouse, failed to find 1.1 million skilled workers and professionals in the third quarter of 2017. In an economic upswing, there is a shortage of young talent to meet the high demand for labor. Now German companies are urgently looking for talent from all over the world.
Still, the US is 4x the population of Germany (total population, not engineers) and 67x the size of New Zealand, so Germany could make a dent in the US job market but it's hard to imagine New Zealand could. I don't really imagine a large percentage of people want to make that sort of migration, anyway. (Wait... I might have to think about New Zealand.) The US still has the (alleged, reported) shortage of high-skilled workers that leads to trying to import (and grow new) engineers here.
A published report from the Public Policy Institute of New York State Inc. states that, “While shortages in professional skills were most pervasive, employers reported that STEM-specific skills and qualifications were the toughest to find. Almost a quarter of executives reported ‘high difficulty’ finding candidates with the necessary scientific, engineering, and technical skills. Half reported moderate or high difficulty finding candidates skilled in using technology, and close to 30 percent reported moderate or high difficulty finding candidates with other STEM skills such as data analysis and applied math.