The Picture Says More Than the Text

An alert reader pointed me to this article on older techies, including much material on layoffs at Intel. The article is informative and (mostly) accurate, except that it is missing an absolutely key element — it fails to note that many of the young workers Intel is hiring while shooing its older employees out the door are H-1Bs. As even most critics of H-1B tend to not understand this central point about the visa, the journalist here can be excused.

And maybe someone, either the reporter or one of the layoff victims, realized all this after all, because the picture accompanying the article tells the whole story. It shows an older American who was laid off from Intel last year, and a young Indian. Seems pretty clear that someone intended the Indian to be taken by readers as an H-1B.




16 thoughts on “The Picture Says More Than the Text

  1. Huh. The picture didn’t make any such suggestion to me. Was this a line of the over-35 people being herded out the door? Was the guy on the right from Dayton or Sopchoppy or Bangalore or London? I saw no clues. The appearance of the guy on the ledt in multiple images is the main suggestion that he is the named manager being dumped.

    One comment in the Oregonian caught my eye because it was so far off the mark. Historically average life expectancy ( in England and USA, at least) was about 38-40… so the observed age 35 cut-off point may have some irrational buzarre visceral basis…in a time when average life expectancies and productive life-periods have been extended to 78-80, with thousands of centennarians in USA.


  2. > Oregonian data visualization specialist Dave Cansler contributed to this article.

    LOL. Well, it was a good chart, actually, *percentage* laid off by age. I think I have a solution: let’s sue H-1B for age discrimination, force the H-1B pool to match the labor pool by age. OK, where do we serve papers on H-1B?

    Let’s see, 9.5% of those over the age of 65 were laid off? So, let’s see, if they had 1,000 employees over the age of 65, then 95 of them were laid off. Who would have guessed they had 1,000 employees over the age of 65 in the first place? And they still have 905 of them.


    • My point about the tie between H-1B and age discrimination was that almost every “reform” proposal introduced in Congress fails to recognize this and thus fails to recognize the problem.

      Intel is a huge company with many different job types, not just engineers and programmers. But the vast majority of H-1Bs they hire ARE engineers and programmers. So, to say, “Oh, Intel does have a number of older workers,” or to say as the article did, “Oh, Intel is not ageist, because the people running Intel are older” is not valid analysis.


  3. Let me ask the question that nobody is asking in our media.

    These older folks, age 45 to 60.

    They have families that are depending on them to put them through school and to help them in life if they are struggling with a minimum wage career.

    In other words, that older worker is their lifeline, and their stability.

    What are we doing to the fabric of our society when we allow this to happen?

    Have any of you ever had a garden or a yard that you took a lot of pride in?

    What happened when you neglected yours and watered the one in another country?

    That is what we are doing.

    It really is that simple.


  4. “Leo” has a name tag with color dots. Those dots, according to my googling, are suppose to signal some job skill or experience. The guy on the right appears to have no dots on his name tag.


  5. > The article is informative and (mostly) accurate, except that it is missing an absolutely key element — it fails to note that many of the young workers Intel is hiring while shooing its older employees out the door are H-1Bs.

    True. The article mentions a layoff of 2,300 workers this spring and 12,000 by next year. Entering CERTIFIED and INTEL COPORATION in the first two search boxes at shows that Intel has certified 1,396 applications for 3,867 total H-1B workers in the last 9 months. Doing the same at shows that Intel certified 1,434 applications for 2,248 total workers in fiscal year 2015.

    The article also links to a site for victims of the layoff at which states the following:

    > Considering that the Company declared, earlier this year, its intention to reduce its workforce by 16,000 employees, while materializing the layoff of about 6000 in mid-2016, the above numbers indicate that recruiting new employees to replace laid-off workers, never stopped or even was accelerated.

    > Since most of the laid off employees were older, it seems apparent that Intel Corp. simply purged older employees from its ranks to replace them with younger and cheaper workforce. The charts published by the Oregonian news outlet (available on this web site–see: clearly indicate that employee age was a major factor in determining who is going to be selected for layoff.

    I’ve experienced this myself having been laid off about six months ago. Fortunately, I’m just a few years away from Medicare at which time I’ll gladly retire from the Silicon Valley rat race. However, I’ve noticed the following major changes in the job market since I last looked for a job around 2000.

    1) I have my resume posted on several job boards and most of the recruiter emails that I receive have Indian-sounding names. Most do appear to work for agencies and in branches in the U.S.

    2) It used to be enough to have 5 or 10 years in C++ to get a job. Now, it appears that you need to have Java, C++, and an assortment of several more specific skills.

    3) It seems that interviewing has become much more difficult. In 2000, I hardly had to prepare for an interview. Now, I’ve had to go back and start doing some serious studying of complex algorithms and become much better at programming on a whiteboard. In fact, it helps to go to certain web sites where you can solve algorithmic puzzles using a “dumb” IDE that has no syntax-checking or other help.

    I do take online courses but I chiefly focus on things that I’m interested in and may have use for even after I retire. There doesn’t seem to be much point in studying for a skill that you likely won’t get hired for. It is worth studying for the interview, of course. Anyhow, I’m curious as the whether other job seekers have seen similar changes in the market.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I know a few of the people who got laid off at Oregon Intel in this layoff and previous layoffs. All “older workers”. Only a few have gotten jobs since being laid off. One of them said there was more than just discrimination based on the age on who got laid off, but also let’s say on national origin. I have had even politically progressive buddies start sounding like Trump at what they had seen.

    But on a side note, there is a developing a given within pop culture that older high tech people are lacking skills and behind the times. This notion is re-enforced by the culture pimps of what I call the “HR industry” supporting and justifying various parts of corporate America,. I have read articles about how older laid off workers do everything they can to look young from plastic surgery to clothes to handling hip language and even cutting out of their resumes any job that went back longer than 10 years. And of course these actions are supported by some phony HR consultant or lacky HR department representative. I read one HR pimp claim that anybody working at a company for 10 years was easily up to seven generations behind on technology–yup plenty justification to lay them off.


    • the latest skills if you are from the corporate world are .net

      Every report on the above link is written in

      My last three projects were those of a Systems Analyst.

      Click to access H-1B_Selected_Statistics_FY2016_Q3.pdf

      The most requested H-1B non-immigrant guest worker visa application is for that of a Systems Analyst.

      I agree with everything you have written here.

      BUT, I Absolutely ??????? refuse to give up.

      My website, Keep America At Work was destroyed a few weeks ago because I couldn’t afford a measly 20 dollars to renew it.

      Not one of you that read this site offered to help to keep it running.

      Yet you whine constantly without doing a damn thing.

      Thankfully an anonymous donor who has walked in my footsteps did his part to help me fight for another month.

      Next time you whine, will you simply whine, or will you step forward and FIGHT…


  7. Off topic but 125,000 a year is a pretty low salary for a senior engineer in tech. I have friends just out of grad school, working at the big four companies and startups who make more than that.


    • @Geoff, that LA Times story actually reports that immigration has detrimental effects on existing residents. The supposed benefits it points to are simply a growth in the economy, which is a simple effect of the larger workforce. That doesn’t mean individuals are better off.

      It also misinterprets the effects of job displacement. Sales, clerical and management jobs as alternatives are different from management roles that people are promoted into. They are generally inferior in pay, standing and prospects.

      The quoted economist Peri also misunderstands the way cheap labour is used. It doesn’t reduce consumer prices, which are driven by demand rather than supply. Instead it lets employers and middlemen capture larger profits, which usually changes the ethical culture of the market and displaces firms that operate normally. To economists, this looks like higher profits and more efficient firms.


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