Hillary, Microsoft and All Other Consummate Politicians

As many of you know by now, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently released her platform on STEM issues. Notable is her support of “staple a green card” legislation (would give foreign STEM students at U.S. schools automatic green cards), aimed at remedying an alleged STEM labor shortage.

Smart political strategy, exemplified in Clinton’s platform, is to ignore facts rather than countering them. No research study, other than those sponsored by the industry, has ever shown a STEM labor shortage. On the contrary, it has been shown exhaustively, including by the think tank allied with Clinton’s own party, EPI,that no such shortage exists. And no fancy studies are really needed, as the flat wage growth we have in STEM should immediately set the matter straight for anyone; you don’t need a weatherman to tell you it’s raining outside.

Meanwhile we see comments by another consummate politician, Microsoft president Brad Smith. He and Kansas Senator Jerry Moran write that computer science is today’s Sputnik (emphasis added):

Today we face a similar challenge as the United States competes with nations across the globe in the indispensable field of computer science.

They then write that the U.S. must make an all-out effort to maximize the number of CS-savvy workers. Oh, really? Then why is the industry shunning highly-qualified older (35+) Americans? In fact, Microsoft itself is an excellent case in point,  as Vivek Wadhwa wrote (emphasis added):

Senior Vice-President and Chief Technical Officer David Vaskevitch…acknowledges that the vast majority of Microsoft hires are young, but that is because older workers tend to go into more senior jobs and there are fewer of those positions to begin with.

In other words, tech is pretty much a dead-end job, according to Microsoft itself. And the industry has made lots of similar statements, e.g. former Intel CEO Craig Barrett’s noting that “The half life of an engineer, hardware or software, is only a few years.” This throwaway attitude exposes Smith’s grandiose Sputnik claims as a typical political shell game.

Which brings us back to Clinton, or I should say, the Clintons. If Hillary is challenged on her support of Staple, she will undoubtedly cite the fact that IEEE-USA, whose officials like to say “represents 230,000 American engineers,” supports Staple. That ignores the fact that most IEEE-USA’s members have no idea that the officials are pushing Staple, and that the organization has refused to conduct a poll of its members on the issue.

As to Bill: After his Labor Secretary Alexis Herman stated in early 1998 that the administration opposed an increase in the H-1B cap, Bill Clinton signed into law a near doubling of the cap later that year — and then went on a fundraising tour of Silicon Valley. And this was in spite of the fact that internal memos later showed that the Clinton White House was skeptical of the industry claims of a tech labor shortage. Clinton raised the cap another 70% in 2000 — just weeks before tech stocks collapsed and we entered the Dot Com Bust. (He also signed into law a repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act that same year, at the behest of the financial industry.)

And by the way, to me, Bill’s recent meeting with Atty. General Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac is more of the same. It doesn’t matter than the two simply talked about their grandchildren; it’s clear that the old charmer simply wanted to get into Lynch’s good graces regarding Hillary’s legal problems. I say this as a lifelong Democrat who actually does have some admiration for the guy, but to me, it’s all the same, callous disregard for the well-being of the nation for political gain.




93 thoughts on “Hillary, Microsoft and All Other Consummate Politicians

    • I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren, but she will NOT be chosen as VP. She has too much integrity to be on the same ticket as Hillary, though she will continue to attack Trump.


  1. Shortage or not, the H-1B program has failed to solve the problem. The one constant of the H-1B program is an insatiable demand for more foreign high-tech workers.

    If we want a workforce strategy in America, we should understand what the issues are and design policies that actually work. Since the H-1B program has failed to resolve anything in 25 years, we should probably look elsewhere for real solutions.


      • No. We graduate the same number of students each year, adding together the diplomas with and without staples.

        Foreign graduates are no more likely to find careers in STEM than students with permanent status – less likely, if you consider that the degree was partly a shortcut to citizenship.

        On the plus side, the green card gives the worker more bargaining power in the labor market.

        We have been asking for occupation data so labor economists can track graduates from education to employment. Having longitudinal data would transform a lot of these questions from finger jabbing to analysis.


        • I’m not sure you made yourself clear in the second paragraph, but Staple would cause an INCREASE in the number of foreign students (due to the Staple carrot), and in any case, in my view the fundamental problem with H-1B is age discrimination. Even with better bargaining power, the beneficiaries of Staple would be far cheaper than the older Americans. So, no forward progress, and once the increased numbers are taken into account, NEGATIVE progress.


        • This is the occupation data for everybody that has seen their job sent offshore or watched as they were replaced by non immigrant guest workers imported specifically to do this to them:


  2. I do not understand you have such a dislike for Hillary Clinton. In my view, she wants to get good things done but she is also a typical politician who knows she has to bow down to some demands in exchange for what she wants. So Hillary is no different from the two Bushes / Obama / Reagan(you lived through 1980s, you know the highly admired Reagan has a lot of scandals in his administration).


      • the children’s health insurance program. and please name just one thing that makes you think she is more dishonest than other politicians


        • The children’s health program was Sen. Kennedy’s idea, not Hillary’s. He was gracious to give her credit for supporting the bill, but it was his work, not hers.

          Hillary really made a mess of her general health care project, so badly that the Democrats lost both houses of Congress in 1994.

          Hillary’s comment to an Indian-American political group, “I’m the senator from Punjab,” should be enough for anyone to distrust her.


        • Hello Yi Shi, I am a democrat and I voted for both Bill Clinton and Obama.

          That said, I am very disappointed with the Clinton’s. They sold themselves as the champions of the working class but they turned out to be nothing more than paid mercenaries. Under Clinton, we were given NAFTA and trade status for China which has resulted in the gutting of our manufacturing base and massive job losses.

          Then just to make sure there were not any survivors, Clinton and his republican friends removed decades old banking laws that kept our banks from gambling with our money. This was one of the major reasons we had the banking crisis a few years back.

          The standard of living for the average American has really taken a hit since the mid 1990s and it is clear that this new breed of democrat is a good part of the reason. Who needs enemies when you have friends like the Clinton’s?


          • Kris: last time I checked, when Bill Clinton left office, he had an approval rating of 66% percentage. Hillary Clinton in 2013 and early 2014 also had an approval rating above 60%. More importantly, Hillary has 15 million votes to get her nomination.

            So obviously a lot of your fellow US citizens disagree with you.

            Regarding NAFTA/trade status for China/the banking laws, globalization always has negative impacts on certain groups of people but I do not believe you should blame on Clintons’.

            If Bill Clinton did not win in 1992, the senior Bush will also push for NAFTA/trade status with China/repealing bank laws.

            If Donald Trump becomes the president, will he reverse the trend? maybe he will try or maybe he will betray you but given his past fraudulent business record, I do not believe you should bet on him.


          • Bill Clinton was the beneficiary of the Dot Com Boom, thus a good economy, and he is personally likeable. He enjoys high popularity even today.
            As I said, Hillary is widely disliked, with very high negative ratings. She won the nomination largely because of the black vote, which in turn was due to the popularity of her husband among blacks.
            Bill Clinton could have stopped NAFTA if he had wanted to, and he could have vetoed the bills repealing the safeguard banking laws. Those repeals basically harmed everyone except the rich; you are wrong to say it was just “certain groups of people.”


          • Yi Shi, Hillary Clinton is one of the most hated politicians ever to run for national office. Obviously you have not been awake or are out of the country. Or possibly you have been smokin out with Bill too much?

            When you refer to certain segments of the country being impacted, you must mean the entire middle class. Or the ex middle class.

            Lastly, most Americans welcome of subversive agents has worn thin. Hopefully we will be taking our country back this November.


      • The Dems, embodied by Hillary, have bought into the ‘globalization is good” mantra. There is no longer any meaningful representation for American labor (meaning the 99%). Corporate power has essentially bought the government in Washington. And used social issues to capture conservatives. Hillary and Bill are in on all of this. We really need an FDR, and instead we get Trump.

        At this point the only good reason to vote for Hillary is that she I sn’t crazy and ignorant like Trump. But we really do need a revolution to bring back democracy. We’ll just get more of the same (meaning the situation continues to deteriorate) with Hillary.


  3. Increasing the H1b cap cannot be done by the President. Only Congress can do it. President cannot repeal Glass-Stegall Act. Only Congress can do it. The same thing, even if Hillary Clinton becomes the president, she cannot staple the green card. Only Congress can do it. Given that immigration is such a divisive issue, I do not believe the Congress will ever approve “staple the green card” act.

    I checked Hillary Clinton’s platform about that issue and the proposal “staple the green card” is only one sentence embedded in a large paragraph. I think your personal dislike about Hillary makes you exaggerate things.


    • My personal dislike is for Staple a Green Card.

      Just one sentence? She has several paragraphs claiming there is a STEM labor shortage. Staple is one of her “solutions.”

      And why the civics lesson? Do you think readers of this blog don’t know how the executive and legislative branches work?

      I don’t know whether Congress will enact Staple. The tech industry says it support it, but I think many employers, not to mention AILA, wouldn’t like it.


      • because you want to blame on a single individual while a lot of problems cannot be attributed to a single person.

        I believe “staple a green card” is just a public stunt to please the tech industry just like how Donald Trump says he wants to build a wall and ban all Muslims. None of these ideas can come to true just by executive power.

        The claim that Hillary Clinton says “she is a senator from Punjab” does not mean anything. She is speaking to indian-American groups. It is just a natural way of politicians trying to connect to the audience.

        Even Donald Trump donated to Hillary Clinton’s political campaign and I do not see you criticize Donald Trump of being dishonest–double standard


        • The “senator from Punjab” remark was an outrage, and during the 2008 primary elections, then-candidate Obama criticized her for it. And her ACTIONS have been quite consistent with being “senator from Punjab.”

          I don’t know why you keep referring to executive power. Presidents often develop legislation, as happened for instance with Obamacare. With a big thing like immigration, that is likely next year, especially if the elected president is of a party that controls both houses of Congress. And recent presidents have become bolder and bolder in making their own “laws,” as with the issue of work rights for H-1B spouses.


          • I still do not understand that. Even if Hillary Clinton’s actions are consistent with being “senator from Punjab”, how does that make her more dishonest than any other politician in major memory? Just like what you said, she needs support/endorsement from business groups and Indian-American political groups. Every politician has to get support to build a coalition.

            Democrats have to win minority voters such as Indian Americans/Chinese Americans/Hispanic Americans/African Americans so I do not think Hillary’s actions are unreasonable.

            How does Obama’s DAPA/DACA program differ from Hillary’s actions regarding “senator from Punjab”?


          • No matter what one thinks of illegal immigration, one can at least sympathize with the kids and thus with DACA. That certainly is not the case with Hillary, Senator from Punjab, who not only made the remark but went out of her way to help the Indian outsourcing firms.

            I highly recommend Lou Dobb’s interview of Clinton from 2004. He lets her go on and on about how bad offshoring of IT work is, and then Dobbs springs it on her:

            Senator, a number of people pointed out to us, e- mailing us and calling us, saying, ask the senator about her helping Tata Consulting, a well-known outsourcer, open jobs — and office in Buffalo, New York. I’m asking you, did you really understand the degree to which they were involved in outsourcing jobs when you were there?

            I watched that show, and Clinton was visibly shaken, because Dobbs had caught her in a lie. She then tried to defend Tata’s actions, by saying TCS had created 10 jobs in Buffalo. 10 whole jobs!

            Now, look at this statement of Clinton’s:

            We have the tools that we need. All we lack is the will. And, once again, we can not only make the American dream strong, but restore the strength to the words “made in America,” put the American team back on the field, demonstrate that we can outcompete anybody and that we are open for business for the 21st century.

            Wow, the wording is so similar to Trump!


          • I think because of the lobbying power of indian companies and the diplomatic need of US to keep good relations with India to contain China, politicians have to give favor to Indian outsourcing companies and Hillary just did what a typical politician does.

            The fact that the prime minister of India was given the honor to address both chambers of the US congress is perfect evidence about the power of Indian political influence on US government and congress.

            Obama never tried to use executive power to change the distribution of h1b visa from random lottery to wage level based. I think this is also due to lobbying power of the Indian companies.

            so if Hillary is guilty, Obama and most members in US congress and government are equally guilty. Not to mention the two Bushes


          • No, not equally corrupt. There is no other major politician who has defended offshoring etc.

            Just look at the primary election. Hillary was the only one not to at least criticize Disney.


      • I think what is not being discussed here is how morrison/donnelly convinced congress to implement the H-1B.

        Do we seriously believe they are not going to do the same thing with the staple a green card program.

        What is even worse is the staple a green card recipients are the same H-1B’s that were imported to take our jobs during the first wave.

        They simply are in green card limbo at the current moment.


        • I don’t think Donnelly was in the picture in 1990.

          Your last two paragraphs are quite correct. You hear a lot of moaning that the ones in the long green card queue might give up and go home, but the fact is that in most cases they are occupying a job that should go to an American.


          • @matloff,

            >>> I don’t think Donnelly was in the picture in 1990.

            Donnelly says otherwise:

            “Paul Donnelly ‏@Ynotgreencards Mar 15
            @roberoi62 @hwimmi I played a role in enacting the Immigration Act of 1990, increased annual green cards by 45% — among many other things.”

            >>> long green card queue might give up and go home, but the fact is that in most cases they are occupying a job that should go to an American

            I don’t think none of them are giving up and going home (reason: their american born kids get to 21 and then all of these folks get a green card stapled then with the current law and their jobs are pretty stable until then as they do not have to be promoted nor given any salary hike) — but that’s beside the point.

            Those jobs taken away from americans are gone forever. The question is how long will we let the status quo continue in the absence of —

            – administration taking any steps to “stop” all skill (or lack of) based immigration (when they are clearly entitled to do so per Section 212(f) of INA)

            – administration creating bigger, wide and deeper backlogs and ‘wasting’ greencards due to their apathy: Ombudsman’s report gives the actual numbers — Figure 19/Page 35 (https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/cisomb_2010_annual_report_to_congress.pdf).

            – administration “interpreting” laws at their whim/convenience of lobbyists(pro-immigrant/chamber) – (eg., H-1s are primary applicant to count towards quota vs immigrant visas include dependents)

            – administration “creating” quasi-laws – work permits for H-1 visa holders/ EADs to virtually *any* one (illegal/refugees/what-not)

            – congress, for giving administration ‘carte-blanche’ in all aspects – Eg., DHS secretary can give *anyone* a EAD at his/her choice. a huge departure from ‘congress writes laws and admin implements them’. it’s more like ‘congress gives a blank sheet of paper and admin writes down how it deems fit’

            – congress gridlock, contributing to status quo.

            My bet is status quo is going to continue, regardless of who is is power and what they say before they (re)gain power – congress and the president alike.


          • Thanks for the information on Paul.

            Vivek Wadhwa did a study on how many leave the green card queue and go home, and why. His survey found that those who leave do so because of homesickness, concern for parents and so on, NOT because they are tired of waiting in the queue. Yet, if I recall correctly, Vivek then told the press that they leave because they are tired of the wait.


          • >> Vivek Wadhwa did a study on how many leave the green card queue and go home, and why

            We would not see the kind of backlogs we are seeing today, if folks are “projected” to be leaving due to the “waits” by these studies . To the other reader that points out the current backlogs are due to the folks that were in here replacing our jobs is very accurate. But my point is, those folks are not going anywhere. As I said before, it’s a 21 year wait from the time I-140 is applied (or) PERM application is received by DOL. There is neither a quota nor a wait period for parents of american citizen children – Anyone (congress) thinking about the status quo needs to remember this. And H-1Bs getting PERM/140 approved are increasing every day!


  4. I don’t know why other elected official did not step up and run against Hillary Clinton. Why would anyone think she would protect American jobs and a living wage? N-A-F-T-A, the clue phone is ringing.


      • Bingo. Any minor issue — such as Mitt Romney keeping a dog in a car carrier on the car roof — gets blown out of proportion. There is nothing wrong or unusual about using a roof-mounted pet carriers, as far as I know. Similarly, Al Gore’s goofy “I took the initiative to create the Internet” was blown out of proportion in the 2000 election cycle. The Press believes they know who should be elected, and that they have the responsibility to sling however much mud is necessary to make it happen. And when they can’t make up their mind, both sides get it.


  5. Clinton is more ignorant on these issues than she is corrupt. As part of her ignorance she is talking and listening to the wrong people and has no idea who would be the right people. Do you seriously believe that she wants to screw up U.S. IT intentionally? What could be her motivation? Please don’t say “money”…she has lots of it already. It is not having enough money that tends to corrupt. Bernie Sanders would have had much more difficulty funding a national campaign due to his righteous stance about fundraising; Trump is already in deep trouble.

    In a complex world with politicians living in bubbles ignorance is the greatest problem in my view. We have to figure out how to get better info to them. I know you’ve been working on that for a long time, Norm….maybe you have some ideas how to communicate to the politicians better.


    • I think I know the internal politics of H-1B and immigration pretty well, especially during the Bill Clinton era, during which I testified before the House and Senate three times, met with a White House staffer, was constantly quoted in the main print and electronic media, etc. The internal situation is VERY different from what you see from the outside.

      Hillary wants a lot more from the tech industry than money. She wants their endorsement in the election as a job creator, she wants their support in Congress once she becomes president, and so on.

      Don’t tell me she’s been talking to the wrong people. H-1B was scandal-ridden throughout Bill’s tenure as president, and as I wrote in my blog post this morning, the White House was very skeptical about the tech industry’s claims of a labor shortage. Hillary Clinton has never said ANYTHING negative about H-1B, either during this election campaign or before, in spite of the huge negative publicity last year about H-1B involving Disney etc. I hope you are not trying to claim that she doesn’t read the newspaper?

      Maybe YOU don’t read the newspaper? If you did, you’d know that she and Trump have the most negative ratings by the public than we’ve seen in a long, long time in presidential elections. Whoever wins, he/she will have the support of considerably less than 50% of Americans, even if he/she gets more than 50% of the vote.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are of course right about the Clintons. This is about telling high tech, I will take your positions, and you pay me back.

    I was thinking about this staple a green card issue from another angle. In looking at giving green cards to certain college graduates, we are no longer in the province of job or industrial policies. For whatever the corruption of the various work visas, they involve jobs and support for American industries. Giving an automatic green card becomes not jobs policy, but _immigration policy_ as it is NOT contingent on any jobs requirement. So in terms of priorities on green cards, I’d rather give those green cards to war/humanitarian refugees fleeing violent regimes like the ones we helped create in Central America and the Middle East (and Eastern Ukraine which as produced 1.9 million refugees). I looked up refugee status for the US and refugees must wait one year before they can apply for a green card, and we would automatically give one to a college graduate? In terms of priorities, I say bring in more war/humanitarian refugees instead of giving green cards to those whose lives will be safe without them.


  7. On the one hand, the elite political class says we have “a challenge like Sputnik” — but from whom? From the same countries that the elites say are America’s friends and can be trusted completely with U.S. tech secrets and U.S. treaties? This is yet another case of double-speak, hypocrisy, and irrational nonsense. People who will side with or against anyone, and say anything for or against anyone, to get what they want — they are now running the show.


  8. Don’t be fooled/distracted by the “staple a green card” nonsense. This outrageous idea will never pass. This is just a way of establishing some haggling room. After some “compromise” lawmakers will instead modify the H-1B or OPT program to the benefit of employers. STEM workers will then rejoice that they got a good deal since they were able to “influence” lawmakers to not pass the “staple a green card” legislation.


    • I believe the employers are really conflicted over Staple a Green Card.

      On the one hand, if it were really “staple,” i.e. granting a green card immediately upon graduation, they would lose the ability to render the foreign workers immobile. But on the other hand,they are quite afraid currently that the workers won’t come here in the future, due to the long green card waits, a problem which would be remedied by Staple.

      As you said, though, there are other approaches they may go for. For example, they could give the “Intels” priority on the H-1B visas, and remove the per-country caps on green cards. The latter would reduce wait times for India and China (but lengthen it for others), thus retaining the incentive for the foreign workers to come here, but the wait time would still be long enough for the employers to have the desired immobility time.


      • >>> there are other approaches they may go for

        The approaches you talk about are less-evil/more towards sane-r (fake “reform”, but some “reform” etc etc) side of world. Sadly, congress does not work on those lines!

        i also read on the web a proposal by zoe lofgren/darryl issa about a “reform” (http://www.computerworld.com/article/3071016/h1b/lawmakers-work-to-replace-the-hated-h-1b-lottery.html) – one of the less evil ones out there, i suppose, which means that chances of it getting tabled (leave alone getting a vote) are zero!

        another is the country cap removal – chances of it getting a vote are a bit “brighter” than the previous one for the one reason you mention – this proposal would ensure wait periods ” …long enough for the employers to have the desired immobility time”, which means it’s “employer friendly of sorts” . Too, the big pro american worker groups (_pick_your_group_here_) *appear* to be neutral to this proposal.

        Throw in EB-5 into this mix, the whole thing gets toxic 🙂

        [all of this while completely ignoring the “actual” voice of american workers]


  9. Folks, United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

    It worked 200 years ago.
    It will work now.

    The solution is simple.
    There are 150 million workers.
    If each put up 100 dollars, what would that do?
    If 50 million put up 100 dollars, what would that do?

    The only way we are going to turn this around is to get the people that make 20 thousand or so to understand why the future of their children are in jeopardy.

    Have you ever studied the makeup of all of the employed people in America?
    70 percent or so fit that category.

    Yet we are talking to the 3% of Americans that work in the Computer and Mathematical occupation?

    The ones in the yellow are the ones we need to be convincing.
    The ones in the green are well aware that they can’t find work anymore if they are not currently working.


  10. I get it. You want this misery to continue it is good for your expert witness business. The more Americans get displaced the more legal actions the more need for plaintiff expert witness like you. Not to mention your job security as a university professor. Don’t bother with approving this comment, I am convinced you are a hypocrite and like all the anti H1-b unions who endorse Clinton. Over and out. Unsubscribing from your regurgitated old news Intel good Infosys bad old message.


    • This one demands approval. 🙂 By the way, I approve everything that is on topic, not hateful etc. (your comments here being an exception).

      My expert witness work was never a “business.” On the contrary, I have turned down all requests — and there have been many — to serve as an expert since 2009. I simply don’t have the time. And my work on H-1B does not help my status as a professor; I do get negative comments from some colleagues.

      You are absolutely right about my message being repetitive. My point has been that even if Congress were to outright ban all of the Infosyses, it would not help American workers, because the employers would continue to hire H-1Bs.


      • “And my work on H-1B does not help my status as a professor”. US born grad students would probably hesitate to choose you as their advisor. It could hurt in their job search with companies that support H-1B.


      • You have not answered the hypocrite part? How can you be pro-American worker and support anyone or any entity attached to Hillary Clinton and continuation of Obama’s expansive immigration policy? That is the root of all evil including the H1-B that is the subject of your blog. Did you see what happened in Britain? The exited EU over immigration. The very next day a new legislation was introduced to curve the number of L1 visa by setting the salary so high to discourage companies from importing them. It is rather simple more or less of all types of immigrants. I also post on many anti H1-B sites. The consensus is pretty clear. People who have been negatively affected by 8 years of liberal immigration policies want no part of Clintons.


    • “expert witness business”, small potatoes. I am expecting him to run for public office after retiring. Even if he does not win he can bring a lot of publicity to the H-1B issue.


  11. Just left a private job after 9 years for many reasons. One was my inept boss called me one day to say I had violated security. Turned out I had sent a spreadsheet with IPs via regular e-mail and not the secure e-mail. Didn’t matter that it was to internal folk. He let me hang for 2 days with me thinking I lost my security clearance, would be taken off key projects and maybe lose my job. Finally, he said the higher ups said to give me a verbal warning.

    Firms that have DoD contracts have to follow stringent security rules, both DoD and corporate. If you don’t its severe penalties: firing, potential fines and possible prison sentences. What Hilary did was 1000 times more severe than my actions. If any regular person had done this, such as us, we would be arrested immediately.

    Rumor has it was done to hide gun-running from Libya to Syria. Either way its wrong.


    • Ask those “Security Conscious People” why the Veterans Affairs let contractors log into their system from Communist China using privately owned equipment.


  12. I just recently ran into your name from an article on Hillary Clinton’s staple green-card program, and I thought I’d look you up. I have only read your H-1B page (http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/h1b.html) and a couple of your blogs, and so I apologize if I’m misunderstanding you. I plan on reading more of your writing.

    I find your crusade against H-1B program and the staple program to be very odd. Have you ever been involved a corporate setting, particularly in hiring engineers, Americans or otherwise? My company is in the San Francisco bay area, and I have found that the labor “shortage” is very, very real. We couldn’t find any qualified candidates–those with 5 or more years of experience–for the longest time for various reasons (even poaching, etc.), and when we finally found one, he’s on an H-1B visa, and was from the east coast. In fact, two of our latest hires, other than the one I mentioned above, were on H-1B visas as well. We were _not_ intentionally searching for H-1B holders (for one of them, we didn’t even know that he was on H-1B until we gave him the offer), let alone because of the alleged reason that they were cheap. In fact, the were not cheap at all, and their salaries are commensurate to their experiences are according to the prevailing wages of engineers having similar experiences in the bay area.

    I hope you can see why I disagree with your following statements: “you hear a lot of moaning that the ones in the long green card queue might give up and go home, but the fact is that in most cases they are occupying a job that should go to an American” and “the underpayment of H-1Bs is well-established fact, not rumor, anecdote or ideology.” These H-1B engineers really deserve their positions and their salaries. And if they want to stay as a permanent resident, I’d say they should. I don’t mean to disparage American workers, but now that I remember it, on several occasions, we had fresh-graduate American applicants from a local junior college and state college who, because of their false self confidence, demanded salaries of senior engineers. Please know that the extreme on the part of American workers do exist too.

    And lastly, I must respectfully disagree with statements like “the average quality of the H-1Bs is LOWER than that of the Americans.” I don’t find this to be true at all. In fact, according to my experience, all of them are comparable if not more superior! As for me, I too started out as an H-1B. Only much later did I find out that I was not among the average engineers: I find most engineers to be lacking in elegance and beauty in their designs, regardless of race or nationality. Maybe I just happen not be an average (I did attend two top-10 CS programs).

    We look, first and foremost, for talented engineers–the deep thinkers and analytically superior ones, and the responsible and respectful ones. Some of them happen to be H-1B holders, who happen to be very, very good at what they do. And we do not discriminate in any way.

    I must apologize if I picked and chose certain words you said, and thus misunderstood you. I just wanted to share the reality as I see it, which seems to be very different than the one you had painted.


    • Thanks very much for your contribution to this blog. I hope you continue to do so.

      Yes, I have worked in industry. And though that was quite a while back, I interact with people in the industry, both on the engineering and management sides, all the time, both in the Bay Area and all across the nation, even some in other countries. I have done extensive statistical analyses over the years as well. And as pointed out by a reader today, I have been involved as an expert witness in several age discrimination lawsuits, so I get to see internal HR data and see the results of deposition of HR and management personnel. In other words, I see both the qualitative and the quantitative. My statements come from very careful (and hopefully impartial) analysis performed over the course of more than 20 years.

      It is very common to hear someone say “We can’t find qualified people,” only to find later that, whether known or unknown to the person making the statement, HR is automatically screening out certain classes of applicants, notably the ones perceived as being too expensive, especially the older ones.

      Concerning the underpayment of H-1Bs, see my paper at http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/MigLtrs.pdf There is extensive data analysis there, but you don’t even need data to see the problem: If the foreign worker is being sponsored for a green card, he/she is effectively immobile. And if a worker can’t move freely in the labor market, he/she will not be able to swing the best salary deal — and thus is underpaid relative to the market worth he/she would have as a free agent. This is basic economics. Similarly, because a green card is so highly treasured by many workers, they are willing to work for less than they are worth. Again, basic economic principles.

      As to the quality of the foreign tech workers, see my paper at http://www.epi.org/publication/bp356-foreign-students-best-brightest-immigration-policy/

      I regularly see my foreign students getting jobs from the SAME EMPLOYERS who reject equally-qualified Americans without even interviewing them. That is the reality as *I* see it.


      • Thank you for your reply. I shall read those papers soon; hard evidence and numbers always trump anecdotal stories, including mine. And, I truly agree and understand your statements on (im)mobility in the labor market and its effects on that worker’s salary–yes, basic economics.

        I’d like to add, and I’m sure you’re aware, that the processes for H-1B and green card are extremely involved, which involve prevailing wage determination to ensure that the petitioner is not displacing any American workers. Do you think such a check is insufficient or has been distorted somehow?


        • I know the legal/procedural aspects of H-1B quite well. And, I don’t think you will be shocked to hear that the law and regs were written to provide easy access to foreign workers, and to enable the employers to legally underpay foreign workers. There are gigantic loopholes available at every step, and the employers, large and small, take full advantage of them, just like they do with the tax code.

          The technical details are explained in the Migration Letters paper I cited earlier. But I also would urge you to watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/programmersguild This is no fly-by-night lawyer representing unknown firms; it is a very highly prominent law firm with household-name clients. What is described in the video is standard industry practice (and is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the legal tricks available). Anyone who has seen this video (there are eight more in the series) would find your remarks above quite naive.


          • Kumar does a good job showing the dirty tricks that are played by what I call the Vultures of India.

            I gave them that name after noticing how they prey on their own people.

            Sadly we have American companies that do the same and one of them is shown in that video that Mr. Matloff referenced.

            You can view Kumar’s work at https://www.facebook.com/H1BIIBCB/


    • Maybe you are having trouble because not everyone wants to live in California with its horrendously expensive cost of living, traffic and culture. Come to the Midwest and you will find many talented people who value their quality of life, affordable housing, and short commutes. Come and visit; we’ll make a believer out of you.


    • If you graduated in CS, you are not likely to be an engineer. Read the requirements for registration as a professional engineer. “Elegance and beauty” are not design criteria. Someone can write “beautiful” code that does not solve the problem; I’d rather have “ugly” code that correctly implements the solution to the problem. (From an engineer who had to clean up code written by CS majors who did not even know to include conversion factors in the calculations. This is a big problem when you are warrantying performance and some of the basic values are off by more than a factor of 2.)


      • Cathy, just because you can’t relate or disagree, I wouldn’t assume that you write bad code.

        Yes, I am an engineer, and I write code daily. With my budget being tight, I wear many different hats: a manager, an engineer, a customer service, a tech. support, or whatever is necessary for me to survive.

        Of course it’s not a design criteria. The sense that I’m referring to is elegance in the same way a mathematician notices an elegant equation/solution–concise, precise, simple, and profound. Everything feels right and in its proper place. I’m not a mathematician, but I hope Prof. Matloff can relate. I’m sure he can differentiate a hack from one who has a great potential. I don’t doubt that you, too, would rather work on a system that’s “elegant”: has a certain degree of symmetry, follows patterns and known styles, etc.

        I lived in the mid-west for close to a decade, by the way.


        • Only a small proportion of my students, domestic or foreign, write code well enough that I would feel OK with their designing airplane infrastructure. Or Tesla autopilot. 😦


        • How could you leave affordable housing, space, little traffic congestion (except for a one hour rush hour in the am and pm), clean air; all SI valley offers is weather – and then it is not a real summer.or winter My CA boy son-in-law does not like the northern plains winter, but the grandkids love sledding for PE (on their school campus0 at their school.


    • I have spent my entire adult life in high tech, and I have seen as Mr. Matloff said the selective pruning of resumes to justify the hiring of H1B engineers. I have seen the process up close in person as I was put into the situation of participating in a phony job search.. A manager I knew almost filed a ethics complaint against HR for their selective and dishonest resume selection. This included the job description. The job descriptions were written in such a way to give HR enough vague and phony requirements to reject American based applicants. In the end, this manager had H1B holders reporting to him whom he never interviewed. (By the way, I have seen a video of a law firm seminar for HR people on how to legally skirt the requirements to ensure an H1B visas is approved.)

      My speculation is that the staple a green card is a reaction to outsourcing jobs, There are so many job openings at least in India that a college graduate could easily find a job locally in their own nation.without having to resort to becoming a H1B candidate. As a result, finding anybody marginally qualified for H1B visas.is becoming difficult unless that person really was to emigrate to the US. So instead of importing workers, the industry is effectively grooming low wage labor in US universities. Anyway, that is my speculation.


      • Yes, as I said recently, many employers favor Staple because they think they’ll need it to lure a diminishing number of foreigners from coming here.


    • There is definitely a deliberate rigging of the recruiting process to make it look like there were no Americans qualified so they can apply for an LCA:

      Certainly, not all companies do this. For companies who can’t seem to find talented candidates, I think the issue is in their process. I have found in many instances where HR and hiring managers do not have the skills to properly recruit, identify/evaluate & hire the right talent to the point that I find the whole thing so dysfunctional. For example, HR and hiring managers will pass on people with many yrs of real world experience with many applications or systems successfully deployed to production/live because they still require a traditional CS degree. Or their interview process is too rigid or measures the wrong metrics. If Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates or Sebastian Thrun applied to jobs at their own companies, they wouldn’t get hired and probably wouldn’t even get an interview. Thrun admitted this in a Bloomberg West interview. Not only this, companies will hold out for someone with a degree from a well-known or Ivy League school. Or for previous experience at a big tech company.

      “we didn’t even know that he was on H-1B until we gave him the offer”
      Nowadays, online application forms require to answer one’s work eligibility status (US citizen, GC, H1B, etc) with dropdown selection or a Yes/No question like “Will you require sponsorship to work?” or something similar. These same application forms will also require to answer salary requirements, salary history or number of years of experience. Answers are used to filter out applicants.

      A lot of this filtering out of applicants/candidates is done automatically by the company’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Candidates not having a CS degree, not coming from a top school or company, being a US citizen, having 10 or more yrs of experience are getting rejected by the ATS and never even see the hiring manager’s eyes.

      “we had fresh-graduate American applicants from a local junior college and state college who, because of their false self confidence, demanded salaries of senior engineers”
      What were these salaries? 20 yrs ago, fresh CS grads were getting salaries of $60-80K, even $120K or more in some instances. Now, $110-120K for fresh CS grads is probably the average starting negotiating number.

      Then there are the job requirements that are unrealistic and removed from reality. I constantly see job postings asking for X yrs of experience on something that only recently came out. For example, asking for 5 yrs of ReactJS experience, when ReactJS only came out 3 yrs ago. Or 3yrs of Javascript/ECMAScript version 6 when it was only released last year.

      Here’s a guy who until recently was a poker player then took a coding bootcamp and became an instructor/director at said bootcamp:

      He then started applying at Silicon Valley companies but got nowhere. No responses on his applications. Companies were not interested in him. His quotes:
      “Of the 20+ applications I sent, I was rejected from every single one without so much as a technical screen.”
      “The recruiter thanked me and we joked about it, only for him to later tell me they weren’t looking for anyone with my skillset. Again, without even a technical screen.”
      “I began plumbing my network. I had one big advantage I hadn’t yet leveraged: the students I’d taught. Many of them were working at very strong companies, though they were mostly very junior. At least with their referrals, I’d be able to crack open that window. Every student I asked was more than excited to refer me. Finally, I had fast-tracked myself into the processes at several awesome companies: Shift, FutureAdvisor, PagerDuty, and Twilio. I was rejected at all of them. Again, without even a technical screen.”
      “I applied to the all the big hiring websites. Hired rejected me from their platform. I got no bites anywhere on AngelList or LinkedIn-not even cold e-mails from recruiters.”

      Finally, he got interest from a headhunter/matchmaker company that itself was also a new startup. Thru this company, he was able to get onsite interviews. With these onsites, he got offers ranging from $105-115K. He then went back to the companies who rejected him:
      “Now that I had offers in hand, it was time to turn the crank. I reached out to every company I was talking to and told them I’d just received several offers, but was very much interested in moving forward.”

      He then basically played each of these companies on each other, starting a bidding frenzy or bidding war on offers.

      He finally accepted an offer that totaled $250K including annual cash bonus and equity. So he went from no one wanting to talk to him, to getting offers in the $105115K range to this. Same person, same skills, same experience. And I’m being generous when I say experience, since his ‘experience’ was basically teaching coding classes and making a personal coding project that was a chess game. The number of applications he deployed to production/live was ZERO.

      Yet companies were falling over each other to outbid themselves for this guy. The same companies who wouldn’t give him the time of day just weeks earlier. Again – same person, same skills.

      Now, I know some people will probably focus on him getting an offer for $250K and pointing to that as evidence of a ‘talent shortage’. My point is that if he truly was that talented to be given that offer, why was he rejected & passed over by all these companies? He’s young or youngish (below 35 yrs old) so he was probably getting rejected due to lack of CS degree, not having a marquis name in his previous work history or his lack of real-world experience.

      The system is broken in many areas, from the way applications are received & processed to how interviews are done. Where US citizens, non CS degree holders, older & senior (highly qualified) applicants getting filtered out automatically.

      Hiring Is Broken – My interview experience in the tech industry

      Tech Hiring Has Always Been Broken. Here’s How I Survived
      View at Medium.com

      Real talk: the technical interview is broken – Medium
      View at Medium.com

      Is the Engineer Interview Process Broken?

      Technical recruiting is broken: Here are 4 ways to hire better

      You Are Fine, Job-Seeker: It’s Recruiting That Is Broken

      10 Signs Your Interview Process is Broken (and How to Fix It)

      Last but not least – companies should be more open to remote work or reach out to out-of-state candidates and offer attractive relocation packages.

      Liked by 1 person

        • You, or anybody can make the long posts at Keep America At Work.
          I will make the space available for you.
          I will even help you promote yourself, or others.

          I will post ANYTHING that has to do with JOBS and Opportunity


  13. Okay, I can understand how my remark above was naive and maybe overly simplistic. If I were in your position, I would probably have said the same thing. And so, I will attempt at educating myself more on this.

    However, please understand why all of this comes as a surprise to me, and this “standard industry practice” feels overblown to me (please excuse my naivete): when we hire H-1B holders, we don’t approach it with the intention of taking advantage of any loopholes, underpaying these foreign workers, or displacing American workers. Not at all. I always try to find the best candidates despite their race or nationality. Period. Maybe I’m too insulated from those companies that actually do take advantage of the loopholes. By the way, we had a few H-1Bs that moved on to different companies for better offers, and we have a few new American hires older than 35, and some even in their 50s.

    Hope you are well. And thank you for a good back-and-forth. I will return to your blog once in a while.


      • Yes, absolutely. We often have to increase our offers, when the budget permits, if the H-1B candidates have other offers, which happened numerous times.


        • Well, then, there you are.

          Since some employers are unwilling to sponsor for H-1B or green card, the foreign workers have fewer other options open to them, and thus they are in a weaker position to negotiate. Note that I did not say they have NO other options, and I didn’t they don’t negotiate at all, but you can see that there is an economic force here that means, in the end, the average foreign worker will get a lower salary that the average U.S. worker of the same qualifications.

          Or I can put it this way: If company X offers a 10% higher salary than company Y, but Y definitely offers green card sponsorship but X says it “maybe” will do so, the typical foreign worker will take the offer from Y, not X.


          • I’m not sure how my statements on salary negotiations advanced or explained yours.

            But, I understand: I would have chosen Y over X as well. And, I concur that foreign workers may have fewer options open to them because of their statuses.

            I can only say from what I know to be true from my experience: foreign workers _do_ have negotiation power, not unlike American workers, because often they have other pending offers. They want to maximize both: be at a company like X, and get a sponsorship. There’s a real force from labor demands to make both happen. You may still be correct, however: somehow a foreign worker, on the average, may still end up getting lower salary than the average US worker. (By the way, we had many H-1B holders declined our offers. Like any typical bay-area companies, we have a three-month evaluation period, but I doubt that foreign workers would equate that to a “maybe” on the sponsorship; we never had to let go of anybody after that period.)

            Please know that I’m not disagreeing, and obviously you’re more knowledgable on the matter than me, and I’d like to learn more from what you have to say. I have no hard evidence to back my claims, and am only sharing from experience, which again could be too insulated, and thus my naivete. Do you have any proposed solutions? I’d love to read them.


          • One cannot maximize two different things at once; that is a mathematical impossibility. If the foreign worker wants the green card, he must choose according to his sense as to which employer is mostly likely to come through with the green card sponsorship in a timely manner (some employers drag their feet).

            Then after the foreign worker starts the job, he faces the negotiation problem again, every time he wants a raise. The deeper he gets into the green card process, the less bargaining power he has; I believe you have already agreed on that point.


      • I would like to ask what skills they are looking for so that we can provide older American workers with those very skills.

        I am so sick of hearing we can’t find somebody.
        I want to know what they can’t find so that we can find them.

        there are 5 videos on the following link.
        All of them have decades of skills, knowledge, and wisdom in the industry.

        All are unemployable because of this lack of definition of the skills, and as you noted, the filtering out by HR.


        As Jay Palmer says:



        • Have you heard this anecdote before?

          Some years ago I was on a Bay Area TV show to discuss H-1B. My “debate opponent” was Coeta Chambers, head of HR at Intel. During the show I said, “You say you can’t find qualified engineers. I will send you a list tomorrow of qualified engineers. Here is a challenge to you.” She was absolutely silent, no reply at all! A few minutes later, I said, “Let me issue the challenge again…”, and she still refused to accept it, and said nothing.


  14. Not sure why there’s no reply link on our thread above.

    Okay, maybe it is a mathematical impossibility. But, it’s not hard to imagine an example: given two equally unknown companies that promise a sponsorship, the one with the higher salary offer will probably win. And, you may be underestimating the mobility of foreign workers: if the current employer drags their feet, transferring an H-1B to another employer offering equal or higher salary is an option. I may be missing certain nuances in your argument; if so, I apologize.

    Do you have any proposed solutions? I’ve love to read them.


    • I take it that your company’s application does not involve mathematics or economics. 🙂
      You are ignoring, or failing to grasp, the basis economic arguments I’ve been making. Sorry to be rude, but given that, I don’t think it would be productive to keep repeating myself here on the blog. You at least understand that the immobility induced by the green card process does result in lower wages, so let’s leave it at that. We can interact offline if you wish.

      Simple, effective solutions have been proposed by certain politicians and organizations, all revolving around changing the definition of the prevailing wage, the wage floor for H-1B and green cards. One version would be to replace the current four-tier prevailing wage system by the current Level IV. The employers claim that they high the foreign workers because they have rare skill sets, and they should literally put their money where their mouth — pay the hefty wage premium that is consistent with their claims.

      Another version would be to dole out the visas in the order of the highest salary offered to the lowest. And the visa should be entirely portable, allowing the foreign workers to freely move about in the labor market.

      These solutions would be extremely easy to implement and very consistent with market principles, and though of course no solution can be perfect, these solutions would work well. But no, that is not what Congress is offering us (and unfortunately, what the anti-H-1B organizations are supporting). Instead, they are focusing on the very narrow issue of H-1Bs replacing U.S. workers, the banning of which would not help U.S. workers at all.


  15. Yes, I heard it from you many, many times.

    Which is why we must find a way to get this stuff in front of the 70% that are NOT stem workers so that they can assert some “Peer Pressure” at all levels once they realize that the long term losers will be them.

    Right now the welder, the electrician and the plumber cannot see how this can possibly have an impact on them, but I can and I believe you can.

    That is why I am moving KAAW to a daily newspaper and why I would move it to a daily or weekly PRINT newspaper in each city over 100,000 in population if I could just get our fellow displaced, and future displaced americans to put up a few measly dollars each.

    I have many videos that I want to prepare once I get some land (2 weeks) and can put a shed of some sort to work out of (by end of year) and buy some cameras and video equipment (no ideal how long).

    Making $2,500 per month when my mandatory expenses (car and home) are around $1,500, well lets just say it takes a lot longer than I have the patience for, but i am working on that as well.

    Ultimately I want to hire 1 or two analysts for each of our top 100 cities in America who will focus solely on exposing the government agencies that are using tax payer revenue to buy products that are NOT american made and hire, or contract out work to companies that are NOT using American citizens to do the work.

    Then I want to build a production crew that can create a national (display on fox news and the major democrat tv channel) advertisement that we can run daily exposing our findings.

    Why am I starting with government agencies?

    With the intels, unless we are the majority of shareholders, we have no say in that.

    BUT we Americans are the ONLY source of income that our government at the community, county, state, and federal level have, so we have ALL of the say in how they spend their money.

    All we need to do to change that is get the rest of America to realize why their economy is doing bad and getting worse.

    I had hoped that an investor would invest the back pay that KAAW owes me so that I would have the money to focus on the newspaper, but that hasn’t happened.

    Even tried to shame one of the major software backers of the H-1B into paying it so that they would at least have some competition at FWD.us, but I guess he doesn’t believe in fair competition.

    And while you will hear some famous billionaires or near billionaires TALK about the issue, we do not see them backing people like me with a plan, so nothing gets done except for talking.

    Which is why it is up to us Displaced Americans and why I will issue this challenge to them.

    I was 5 years unemployed, and I would have found a way to cough up 100 dollars if somebody had come to me with a plan that would put me back to work and keep me there until I could work no more.

    If you are a working STEM type and believe the things we discuss here will eventually put you out of work, why are you not doing more to make this plan happen.

    Surely when you are making 70,000 or more, you can find a measly 100 bucks?

    We need at least a million to get started, but at 100 dollars each, that is only 10,000 people.

    Imagine what we could do if the 26 million (by my estimate) that have seen their job sent offshore or watched as NON immigrant guest workers were imported to take their jobs using hunting licenses issued by our federal government, were able to cough up 100 dollars each.

    It is possible.
    But we must be united.

    And as one president said, you must make me do it. (I’m not a historian so I don’t remember the name).

    It is up to us, we the people of America, to make them do it.
    It is possible.
    If we are NOT divided.


  16. Actual Census data suggests that this is false. The three graphs at http://econdataus.com/stemage14.htm show ages by occupation in 2014 in the United States, California, and the San Francisco Bay Area (which includes Silicon Valley). All of the occupations except Legal and CEOs include the management positions in those occupations. For Computers, they are listed as “Computer and information systems managers”. These are the only “more senior jobs” that computer workers are likely to go into. As can be seen, the largest age cohort for the computer occupation is 30-34 and this becomes more extreme as you look from the United States to California and then to the Bay Area. It can also be seen that the computer occupation drops off about 5 years earlier than all employed and the other stem-related fields (Engineer, Science, and Healthcare). The legal profession and CEOs drop off later. In fact, the largest age cohort for CEOs is 50-54, fully 20 years after the peak for Computers. Remember when Zuckerberg famously said “Young people are just smarter” (see http://www.cnet.com/news/say-what-young-people-are-just-smarter/ )? Apparently, we don’t need smarter people as CEOs.


      • I forgot to include the following excerpt from your post that I was replying to:

        > Senior Vice-President and Chief Technical Officer David Vaskevitch…acknowledges that the vast majority of Microsoft hires are young, but that is because older workers tend to go into more senior jobs and there are fewer of those positions to begin with.


    • What is the difference between ‘Computer’ and ‘Engineer’? And where do stats for upper level tech roles such as Architects (Solution/Software/System), Technical Consultant, Team Lead, Director of Engineering, VP of Technology, etc go in?

      I scrolled down and saw spreadsheets for ‘Ages of Computer Programmers, Software Developers, Applications and System Software’ but not for upper level roles.

      I did see this but still not sure where these roles go:

      2010 2010
      Census SOC
      Occupation 2010 Description Code Code
      —————————————————— —— ———
      Computer and information systems managers 0110 11-3021
      Computer and information research scientists 1005 15-1111
      Computer systems analysts 1006 15-1121
      Information security analysts 1007 15-1122
      Computer programmers 1010 15-1131
      Software developers, applications and systems software 1020 15-113X
      Web developers 1030 15-1134
      Computer support specialists 1050 15-1150
      Database administrators 1060 15-1141
      Network and computer systems administrators 1105 15-1142
      Computer network architects 1106 15-1143
      Computer occupations, all other 1107 15-1199


      • > What is the difference between ‘Computer’ and ‘Engineer’?

        As can be seen at https://usa.ipums.org/usa/volii/occ_acs.shtml , “Engineer” includes most of the common categories of engineering but not “Software Engineering”.

        > And where do stats for upper level tech roles such as Architects (Solution/Software/System), Technical Consultant, Team Lead, Director of Engineering, VP of Technology, etc go in?

        This prompted me to research and find some more information on the computer occupations used by the Census. For example, I’ve long wondered what the difference is between Census Code 1010 (Computer programmers) and 1020 (Software developers, applications and systems software). I found and posted the BEA descriptions of these and other computer categories in a table at http://econdataus.com/stemage14.htm . For computer programmers, it includes “Work from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals. May assist software developers by analyzing user needs and designing software solutions.” For “Software Developers, Applications”, the description includes “May supervise computer programmers.” Hence, it sounds like “Software Developer” may include architects. At my prior job, there was typically one “architect” and one or two “designers” (chiefly for UI) for every 10 or so “software developers”. Nobody claimed to be “computer programmer”. Also, looking at the numbers, far more people report themselves as “software developers” than as “computer programmers”. Hence, these seem to be fairly soft categories. I may see if I can find the actual questionnaire to see how the categories are defined.

        In any case, “Computer and Information Systems Managers” is described as “Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.” This should include the “technical managers” but it’s unclear if this includes “Director of Engineering” and “VP of Technology”. The category of “General and Operations Managers” is described at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes111021.htm but it’s unclear if the Director and VP would be included there. In any event, I think that the comparison in the graphs is still valid because most of the other occupations have the same situation. That is Engineering, Sciences, and Healthcare also may have “Directors” and “VPs”, at least when they are connected with corporations of any size.

        By the way, I also listed the exact Census codes used for the graphs and tables after the tables. As you can see, code 1300 (Architects, except naval) was not included in Engineering and codes 1200 through 1240 (Actuaries, Operation Research, and Mathematics) were not included in Computers. However, I did try adding 1200-1240 experimentally and it made no visible difference in the graphs.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for pointing that out. Director of Engineering and VP of Technology most probably go into “Computer and Information Systems Managers” though I’m still not clear where Architects go. I wish the BLS had separate numbers for senior/very senior positions. I think the numbers such as age & salary would be much different and would lean 2 or more ‘clicks’ towards the upside.

          If they’re just clumping everyone from junior to senior in on category, then I can see why the age stats peak out in the low 30s (a lot of junior people in their early 20s and a handful of senior people in their 40s and 50s – in a typical pyramid structure).


      • There are many positions in IT that can be (and are now) filled by individuals without 4 year or advanced degrees. One of the major problems in the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the computer occupations is that they mix all levels of credentials in a single major computer occupations category. The National Center for Educational Statistics separates out the bachelors and associates numbers, and there are many jobs in the BLS file which need only a high school diploma, vo-tech program, or military experience. When people look at the BLS numbers and get the impression that there are too few workers with four year plus degrees, they neglect to consider the educational requirements.

        Engineering licensure almost always requires by state statute a degree in engineering; some states will not even grant licensing as a professional engineer to individuals with degrees in engineering technology. The basic difference is the level of math and physics required in the degree plans and that engineering degrees emphasize the theoretical .and engineering technology degrees, the practical applications.


  17. see the number to the right


    I get the data I use by googling BLS OES or you can find it via the following link:


    I use this data because the 15-???? number allows me to match it to the hunting license applications.

    All of that said, I am NOT an expert on the census data, but the original poster is.

    I just decided to chime in because I believe those numbers could be used to tie together the hunting license applications, the census data, the pay statistics data, and maybe even some more important data like payroll if we can find it, which all told will help us to expose even more data to the people that need to know about it


    • > I get the data I use by googling BLS OES or you can find it via the following link: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#15-0000

      That table is useful in that it summarizes some important information. For example, I can see that Software Developers (15-1132 and 15-1133) make more and are more numerous than Computer Programmers (15-1131).

      > I use this data because the 15-???? number allows me to match it to the hunting license applications.

      Yes, I see that those OES (or SOC) codes are used in LCAs (Labor Condition Applications).

      > All of that said, I am NOT an expert on the census data, but the original poster is.

      I’m not an expert but I have used Census data a good deal and am learning more.

      > I just decided to chime in because I believe those numbers could be used to tie together the hunting license applications, the census data, the pay statistics data, and maybe even some more important data like payroll if we can find it, which all told will help us to expose even more data to the people that need to know about

      Yes, it should be possible to tie the data together since page 53 of the 2014 ACS Code List at http://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/tech_docs/code_lists/2014_ACS_Code_Lists.pdf shows that there’s a mapping between the Census codes and the SOC codes. However, I think that some care needs to be taken in using the detailed categories because many of them seem to overlap. For example, I looked more closely at the LCA data to try to verify which category contains “Architects”. I did so as follows:

      1) Go to https://labor.shinyapps.io/lca1/
      2) In “Search CASE_STATUS”, enter CERTIFIED
      3) Change the first select list from H.1B_DEPENDENT to JOB_TITLE
      4) In the box below that, enter ARCHITECT
      5) In the Show checkboxes, uncheck CASE_STATUS and check SOC_NAME
      6) In the Show (other) box, select SOC_CODE

      Just on the first page, I can see jobs with ARCHITECT in the job title allocated to SOC_CODEs 15-1121, 15-1132, 15-1142, and 15-1199. The last one is “COMPUTER OCCUPATIONS, ALL OTHER”. From the LCA form at https://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/eta_form_9035.pdf , it appears that the applicant can select any SOC code that they wish. By the way, I just changed ARCHITECT to “DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY” (without the quotes), and saw that position allocated to 11-3021 (MANAGER) and 15-1199 (ALL OTHER). Hence, it may be best to look at computers as a whole and exclude only categories that are fairly explicit like maybe Web Developers (15-1134) and Database Administrator (15-1141). It might also be good to exclude Computer Support Specialists (15-1150 thru 15-1152) since they have much lower average salaries.

      Liked by 1 person

      • New sources of info … thanks

        There should be some way for the people on this forum to put together a compelling report from the government’s own data supporting the hypothesis that tech occupations are not suffering a shortage.

        Since I have been more interested in engineering, my review several years ago showed only civil engineers were being graduated at a rate close to the required new and replacement number. All others had graduates far exceeding the number needed. I suspect this is because there are fewer programs than for ME and EE, However, structural engineering may need to be included with civil for a better comparison.


        • Here is a chart that i prepared in 2014 that pretty well sums up what is happening

          Keep in mind that about 135,000 H-1B visas are “churning” each year.

          Found that chart on the visa website (state dept I believe) and after I started using it, they pulled it

          If you want to see the bls oes numbers for 15-0000 for each year, you will find this one interesting

          It basically shows that we created about 1 million new computer jobs when we compare 2014 to 1999

          When we compare it to the number of non immigrant guest workers that are brought in for the same time frame, we quickly realize why the Americans are getting forced out.

          Factor in the degrees that may be good or not from India and you realize why the less credentialed in America are getting forced out.

          Then, factor in the youthful age of the non immigrant guest worker and you quickly realize why the older Americans are getting forced out.

          The only ones that can’t see that are those that do NOT want to see it for financial reasons.

          Here is the original article I wrote:



      • Thank you for looking into the Architect title in more depth. I’m not surprised that the title is spread around all over the place. It looks like BLS does not see it as a specific occupation. Since it’s all over or thrown into a ketch-all bucket like “COMPUTER OCCUPATIONS, ALL OTHER”, it’s hard to glean specific or useful data on it, with low-paying generic computer occupations that would skew the stats lower. Based on this, the data from the BLS site would show that developers make a lot more than architects, which is not true.

        Business managers, recruiters, HR and whoever else who writes job descriptions interchange the titles Engineer, Developer, Programmer, and Coder all the time. It’s still not a definitive definition. For me, from a technical challenge viewpoint (especially low-level work), Engineer > Developer. In general, Developer > Programmer or Coder. But a Programmer or Coder can be writing engineer level code, just depends on the work they’re doing.


  18. Never a word from Hillary, or Barack about who will pay the bills for those green cards, or how much the cost to the tax payer will be. She follows Alan Greenspan who said the middle class is over paid. Paul Krugman has addressed the influx of low wage workers, as has Mark Zandi in his “Bang for the Buck” testimony about how got the economy going, raise the wages of the middle class, don’t drive down the wages of those who are customers of investors in jobs and services in the USA. We need to reward those who invest in US jobs and capacity, not cut the taxes on those who invest in China or India.

    It costs $100,000 to take the child of an illegal alien from Heard start to a high diploma. A free education may be their dream but it is not free to the middle and lower classes in the USA. Why does Hillary not propose to pay for that education by taxing the banksters and tech industry who benefit from kicking working families while they are down?

    What happened to the concept of paying for what you want? A green card must cost, on average, more than $250,000. Hillary, buy them and then pass them out? Don’t send another bill to workers you have said (on You Tube, search Clinton H=1B) are too ignorant to do the work, but smart enough to teach their replacements.


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