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Infographic – Skilled Immigrants Fill Computer Jobs

Skilled visas chart

Click on image for full-size view (USCIS, Statista)

27 June 2020. President Trump this week issued an executive order suspending new visas for a range of foreign workers, including those entering under the H-1B program for skilled specialties. This weekend’s infographic shows a large majority of H-1B visas fill temporary jobs in computer-related fields, with most workers well-paid and highly educated. The business research company Statista compiled the data from a report by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, for fiscal year 2019 that ended in September 2019.

According to USCIS, two-thirds (66%) of H-1B visas in FY2019 were filled by people in computer-related jobs, far outpacing architecture, engineering, and surveyor positions accounting for 10 percent. Other specialties including medicine, health, mathematics, and physical science jobs ranged from 3 to 6 percent.

Other data in the USCIS report show all H-1B visa holders in FY2019 had at least university bachelor degrees, with nearly two-thirds (65%) holding graduate or professional degrees. In addition, H-1B visa holders were paid a median annual salary of of $98,000.

The president’s order cited the economic downturn from the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason for suspending H-1B visas, saying “under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.”

Business leaders, however, weren’t buying that argument. Thomas Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and often a Trump ally, said in an organization statement, “Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back. Restrictive changes to our nation’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth, and reduce job creation.”

And Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted, “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.”

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