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Unemployment is on the rise.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New jobless claims rose more than expected last week and the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits has topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs.

Yet, there's still a huge market for bringing tech workers in to the US on employer visas.

- AP article continued -

The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time requests for unemployment benefits jumped to 667,000 from the previous week's figure of 631,000. Analysts had expected a slight drop in claims.

The 667,000 new claims are the most since October 1982, though the labor force has grown by about half since then. The four-week average of initial claims, which smooths out fluctuations, rose to 639,000, the highest in more than 26 years.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. added to the bad news Thursday, saying that it would eliminate about 12,000 jobs as it folds in the operations of failed savings and loan Washington Mutual Inc.

Microsoft has already announced layoffs, and is continuing to lay off US citizens, green card holders, and H-1B workers.

This is contra-intuitive thinking on the part of our elected representation in Congress and our business leaders. Wasn't the last Depression finally put to rest by full employment in the US? Every able-bodied man, woman and child had a job. Rosy the Riveter dominated the workplace in the US.  What happened to the full employment paradigm? Are we to believe that a new day has dawned? Is the solution to this economic apocalypse in putting US workers on the bench and replacing them with inexperienced workers who were brought in from overseas? The fact that explorers such as Columbus were able to reach the opposite side of the globe by circumnavigation is hardly proof that this tactic is worthy of consideration as a viable approach to the current economic crisis.

In the meantime, there's no evidence that the bailout is having any effect on the auto industry.

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp posted a loss of nearly $31 billion on Thursday for 2008 and said its auditors were likely to cast doubt on its viability as it seeks an expanded federal bailout to stay afloat.

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is one politician who does not support the use of unlimited numbers of employer visas. He sponsored legislation to limit the numbers of visas available to banks receiving TARP funds. SA 306 was passed into law as an amendment to H.R.1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Durbin (D-IL) sponsored SB 1035, greatly limiting the numbers of H-1B visas available, and limiting the usages of the L-1 visa.

Can Kossacks also support the concept of employing Americans and green card holders, while putting the employer visas on hold?

Originally posted to tech ed on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 10:53 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would definately go for this... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hens Teeth, wishbone, tech ed

    I've been arguing for sending the HIBs home forever now.  No good can come of letting corporations pay less for skilled services by hiring immigrants, or divest in training/education in their corporations and/or the US in general, because they can push that cost off on other (often more socialist) governments.

    •  Too true. We need to stop the Corporate leaders - (0+ / 0-)

      especially the CEOs - who drive this issue. Most of the companies that attempt to derive benefit from the employer visa programs are multinationals, and they are against government in many key areas. The most prominent of those is efforts on the part of a government to protect any country's citizens from bypass.

      US workers have been subjected to bypass for decades. The destruction of career paths for Americans in the STEM fields has already progressed to far greater extent than it should have. Remember that with bypass, it doesn't matter what kind of ability or achievement you have in the local base of talent. If you practice bypass, you ignore all local candidates - even the most experienced, the best, and the most qualified candidates.

      Thank you for posting your comment today.

  •  How could so many people, (0+ / 0-)

    including this writer, be wrong about the alleged "shortage" of skills in the US that mandates the use the employer visa programs?

    Gates did have a point, though; there is a shortage of home-grown talent in technical fields like engineering and computer science. Some NSF data may explain why American companies are reaching outside the country for their technical talent. In 1986, there were 58,736 undergraduate degrees in mathematics and computer science. Twenty years later in 2006, there were 58,588 math and CS degrees awarded. Math and CS represented 5.8% of all undergraduate degrees awarded in 1986, but only 4.0% of the 2006 total. In the same period, psychology rose from 4.1% to 6.0% of all undergraduate degrees awarded.

    Check into the previous diary entries:
    Performance Mythology
    Education Updates
    Top Five Myths

    Why should anyone support Americans in the STEM fields?
    It's called EEO, for one thing.
    Blacks in Computer Science

    In addition to the principles supporting the basic inalienable rights of US citizens, there's an economic and financial meltdown in progress. Why put more US workers than ever out of a job and let their mortgages go into default?

    Why use kerosene to fight a fire?

  •  Most definitely (0+ / 0-)

    But I don't want to see any you techies complaining about H1-B's turning around and supporting continuing to turn a blind eye towards employers who hire illegal immigrants.

  •  Stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nishant, joy sinha

    The hi tech unemployment rate is 4.2% compared to the overall rate of 7.6%. The current limit for H1B visas is 60,000. That is 1.5% of the tech labor force.  

    I run a lab and I repeatedly advertise for US citizens/green card holders, never get the right candidate, so I have to hire someone on a H1B. You keep doing this. I lose $25000 for every foreign student/H1B worker I hire (they cannot get federal grants). So I have to eat up the cost but there is no way around it.

    You cannot hire a H1B person for "cheap". That is a stupid fucking myth. You have to get Labor certification before you even think of hiring someone on a H1B. That means you have to prove to the DoL that you are willing to pay at a rate equal to or slightly higher than the rate that US citizens are paid for doing that job in that locality.

    All this bullshit myths about H1B jobs have their source in veiled racism and xenophobia.

    •  Completely false. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hens Teeth

      The current limit for H1B visas is 60,000. That is 1.5% of the tech labor force.

      The official cap of 65,000 - not 60,000 - is only the beginning. This is only the H-1B visa. It does not include any other visa programs. The real number of H-1B's permitted in the US each year is well over 120,000. Why? Many sectors of the economy are eligible to hire H-1B workers without any adherence to the cap. Health care, government, nonprofits, education have no limits on the number of H-1B's for which they are able to apply, receive, and place.

      The other visas? L-1, TN, J-1, E3, OPT...? the total number of workers placed under all programs each year in the US is well over 250,000.

      Your post is sheer unadulterated ignorance.

  •  Your dislike for H-1Bs notwithstanding... (0+ / 0-)

    ....How do you propose seamlessly sending back these folks without disrupting the lives of their families and the companies that employ them? I understand the frustration at the program but your hatred towards these visas borders on unhinged

    •  I am in support of EEO and I am opposed (0+ / 0-)

      to bypass. US employers and multinationals have targeted STEM professionals in the US. Their agenda is to destroy this part of the US workforce.

      If we allow them to eliminate the STEM fields as a possible career path for US citizens, what will they target next? Accounting? Law?

      In the end, there will be nothing more than a class of serfs in the US who do menial labor. The new US aristocracy will rise from the business leaders of today's reality in the US job market: an increasingly unfair disparity of income and diminishing opportunity for US citizens and green card holders.

  •  Let's also talk about 13 million (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    illegal immigrants.

    Rabindranath Tagore-"Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it."

    by joy sinha on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 11:30:52 AM PST

    •  Not a Problem. Immigration Only Hearts Top of (0+ / 0-)


      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 11:38:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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