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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

Category: H1-B skilled foreign worker visas
March 22, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Vote: Is the economy getting better for you

The stock market is up and housing sales are recovering. Unemployment remains stubbornly high and mandatory government cutbacks will be kicking in with the sequestration. Job openings increased slightly in January, but there are 3.3 job seekers for every position. The Seattle area is booming; the rest of Washington, not so much. Today’s poll asks how you are faring personally compared with six months ago:

Read on for the best links of the week and the haiku:


Comments | More in, Global economy, Gold and precious metals, Google, Great Recession, H1-B skilled foreign worker visas, Income/living standards, Jobs/Unemployment, Nordstrom, Outlook

September 28, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Vote: Do we need more H-1B visas?

So if I understand this right, Microsoft wants to offer money to train U.S. workers in exchange for more H-1B visas to bring in more foreign workers. Microsoft says the shortage of skilled technical workers is at a crisis level, yet I often hear from Americans who say they have the skills but have been passed over for a foreign worker who is cheaper. And this doesn’t even account for all the jobs that have been sent offshore.

The H-1B program has long been controversial, but it didn’t matter as much in the 1990s when jobs were abundant. In addition, we should want America to be a magnet for the most talented workers in the world. Seattle is a shining example of how a metro area open to the world benefits. But this is a tougher sell with 12.8 million Americans officially unemployed, and millions more underemployed. It’s a tougher sell as wage stagnation starts to bite even formerly elite sectors.

You tell me, oh residents of Technostan, and I hope you’ll flesh out the argument in the comments section of this blog (beyond “Talton your an idiot” cq):

Should we have more H-1B visas?

Read on for the best links of the week and the haiku:


Comments | More in H1-B skilled foreign worker visas, Income/living standards, Jobs/Unemployment, Lindsay Lohan, Microsoft

April 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

With unemployment still high, H1-B visa requests rise again

Nearly every week, I get an email from a skilled American worker who can’t find work in the technology industries. Now comes a report, via the Wall Street Journal, that the government has received 25,600 petitions for H-1B skilled-worker visas since April 2. That’s a rate twice as high as that for all of April last year.

The Journal quotes Seattle business-immigration lawyer Steve Miller: “We’re the busiest we have been in four years.” The visa program is intended to fill positions where there may be a shortage of qualified citizens, especially in software, engineering and other tech fields.

It has also long been a flash point, with critics saying companies are after cheaper labor and Americans lose out.


Comments | More in H1-B skilled foreign worker visas, Jobs/Unemployment, Tech economy