Full Employment for Engineers, Scientists

These figures from the National Science Foundation buttress the case for a higher limit on H-1B visas.

The overall unemployment rate of scientists and engineers in the United States dropped from 3.2% in 2003 to 2.5% in 2006 (figure 1), according to data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT).[2] This is the lowest unemployment rate measured by SESTAT since the early 1990s. It continues a trend of lower unemployment rates for scientists and engineers compared with unemployment rates in the rest of the U.S. economy.[3] Comparable unemployment rates for the entire U.S. labor force in 2003 and 2006 were 6.0% and 4.7%, respectively.[4] (See “Data Comments and Availability” for the definition of scientists and engineers and other variables and for notes on SESTAT.

James Sherk at the Heritage Foundation has authored a new issue paper that rebuts the arguments of those opposed to H-1B visas. The conclusion:

Contrary to the claims of immigration opponents, H-1B workers are highly skilled workers with vitally needed skills. H-1B workers are highly educated. Almost half have an advanced degree. The median H-1B worker earns 90 percent more than the median U.S. worker. They are in no way average workers.

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