14 Jun Inflexion Point on High Skilled Immigration?
Washington, D.C., June 14, 2021: A new research report finds that the US economy is heading for an inflexion point: the number of high-skilled jobs available outpaces the number of local qualified applicants and the number of foreign skilled workers available under current immigration quotas.
The report, issued by the New American Economy Research Foundation and entitled “Covid-19’s Impact on the American Economy”, finds that US industries that rely on high-skilled workers have largely been resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. The report finds that there is a stable-to-growing need for skilled workers in the US economy, and therefore there is a shortage of highly skilled workers to meet the persistent demand of employers.
All of this is encouraging news about US technology businesses and the resiliency of the US economy.
The problem is that labor shortages of skilled workers take years to fill. Skilled workers take time to educate and train. Accordingly, “[e]mployers’ ability to fill these roles will be critical to America’s longer-term economic recovery. If businesses cannot find enough workers to fill technical and specialized roles that are often critical to their continued growth and innovation, U.S. companies may be hamstrung in their capacity to expand and operate efficiently.” Shortages of skilled workers, in fact, are holding back the growth of domestic high-technology companies: “[h]owever, while many businesses have sought to expand, continued travel restrictions on top of an outdated immigration system may in fact prolong and exacerbate the shortage of high-skilled workers. This ultimately runs counter to the goal of a speedy economic recovery.”
This stark conclusion leaves out an additional and equally important point: long-term labor shortages of skilled workers may be resolved by taking skilled jobs off-shore.
The solution of increasing immigration levels for skilled workers is one of the policy proposals presented in the report. Interestingly, the report proposes that “[m]ore responsive employment based immigration policies may help the U.S. economy bounce back faster and more robustly from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Donoso & Partners, a leading immigration law firm based in Washington, D.C., will continue to report on developments regarding the immigration law and policy through our news section of donosolaw.com.