A recent report found that H-1B visa holders don’t negatively impact US workers. In fact, the report discovered that the presence of these visa holders helped boost employment in other occupations.
Avoiding Restrictions on H-1B Visas
The new report from the National Foundation for American Policy stated that the research that appears within should cause policymakers to reconsider further restricting the H-1B program. The main reason is that the report discloses that additional restrictions won’t help American employees.
In fact, evidence detailed in the report found that the presence of H-1B visa holders may actually help reduce unemployment rates and increase income growth among many individuals, including young people who recently graduated from college and are ready to enter the workforce. Additionally, the report revealed that US-born college graduates will have more opportunities to align their occupations with their degrees.
The study collected data spanning from 2005 to 2018 to determine precisely how a number of approved H-1B petitions to hire visa holders impacted the unemployment rate and income growth rate for their respective occupations. Ultimately, the report showed that as the number of workers with an H-1B visa in a specific occupation increased, the average unemployment rate saw a decrease in that occupation. The report specifically discovered that as the share of workers with an H-1B visa increased by one percentage point, the unemployment rate in that occupation decreased by around 0.2 percentage points.
Improving Employment for US-Born Workers
Many critics often claim that H-1B visas result in lower wages or earning growth, but the report contradicts those claims as it reveals how those visa holders don’t hurt the American job market and employment. With more approved initial or total petitions for H-1B visas in place, on average, there is a reduction in the unemployment rate within occupations corresponding to recent college graduates’ majors.
The report also detailed how the H-1B program is still small compared to the size of the college-graduate workforce in the US, accounting for a total of a maximum of two percent of US workers with higher education.
H-1B visa holders are mainly concentrated in computer-related jobs, but they only comprise a small number of workers in the information technology (IT) industry.
Contrary to what critics believe, the research concluded that the presence of workers on H-1B visas helped improve employment, productivity, and profitability for US businesses.