TAG Calls for Action Following Report on Visa Lottery Gaps

New Report Shows H-1b Visa Denials Slowed Atlanta’s Tech Sector Growth, Depressed Wage And Job Growth For U.S.-Born Workers Following Great Recession

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H-1B visa denials in 2007 and 2008 caused Atlanta to miss out on creating as many as 11,052 tech jobs for American-born workers

(PRWEB) June 05, 2014

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) today issued a call for legislative action to be taken in light of a new report from The Partnership for a New American Economy. The report details how existing H-1B visa lottery caps disproportionately hurt U.S.-born tech workers in the Atlanta metropolitan area by slowing job creation and wage growth in computer-related fields.

“Technology companies compete in a global marketplace and if we want our companies here to succeed on that stage, we will need to access the best and the brightest,” said Tino Mantella, TAG President/CEO. “This report shines a light on the fact that Georgia has a high tech skills gap and we must deploy common sense solutions to close that gap.”

H-1B visa denials in 2007 and 2008 caused Atlanta to miss out on creating as many as 11,052 tech jobs for American-born workers in the years that followed, including as many as 8,814 jobs for U.S.-born less skilled workers in the tech industry, and cost U.S.-born, college-educated workers in computer-related fields as much as $134.6 million in aggregate annual earnings.

“This report shows that the existing cap on H-1B visas is directly undermining our technology industry’s ability to grow and create new jobs for U.S.-born workers,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of the Partnership for a New American Economy. “Our current system jeopardizes the fastest growing sector of our economy and if Congress does not act, other countries will win the race for global talent. It’s time for Washington to work with – not against – the industries that make our economy strong.”

Nationwide, H-1B denials in 2007-2008 resulted in nearly 231,224 lost jobs for U.S.-born workers and caused the 1.1 million U.S.-born, college-educated workers in computer-related fields almost $3 billion in aggregate annual earnings.

Key Local Findings

●    As a direct result of the 2007 and 2008 H-1B visa lotteries, Atlanta missed out on creating as many as 11,052 tech jobs for U.S.-born workers. To put that in context, before the H-1B visa lotteries (in 2005-2006), the city had 65,672 jobs for computer workers overall.
●    Of the total number of tech jobs lost, as many as 8,814 were lost for U.S.-born less skilled workers in the tech industry.

●    By 2009-2010, preexisting workers in computer-related fields were also missing out on as much as $134.6 million in additional wages because of the visa lotteries.

Key National Findings

●    Visa denials stemming from the 2007 and 2008 H-1B visa lotteries caused the U.S. to miss out on creating as many as 231,224 tech jobs for American-born workers in the years that followed.

●    The number of jobs for U.S.-born workers in computer-related industries would have grown at least 55 percent faster between 2005-2006 and 2009-2010, if not for the denials that occurred in the H-1B visa lotteries at the start of the recession.

●    The H-1B visa lottery caps disproportionately hurt American-born less-educated tech workers, many of whom play valuable roles supporting the work of high-skilled engineers, programmers, and others.    
o    Less-skilled workers in computer jobs lost out on as many as 188,000 jobs by 2010 due to the earlier H-1B visa lotteries.

●    The H-1B visa denials in 2007 and 2008 slowed wage growth for workers in computer-related industries.
o    American-born, college-educated workers in these fields missed out on as much as almost $3 billion in aggregate annual earnings.

This report was prepared for the Partnership for a New American Economy by Giovanni Peri, University of California, Davis and the National Bureau of Economic Research; Kevin Shih, University of California, Davis; and Chad Sparber, Colgate University.

See the full report, “Closing Economic Windows: How H-1B Visa Denials Cost U.S.-Born Tech Workers Jobs and Wages During the Great Recession”

About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 23,000 members through regional chapters in Metro Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon/Middle Georgia, and Savannah. TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy.

The association provides networking and educational programs; celebrates Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology. TAG hosts over 200 events each year and serves as an umbrella organization for 34 professional societies. Additionally, the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG’s charitable arm) focuses on helping science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives thrive.

For more information visit the TAG website at http://www.tagonline.org or TAG’s community website at http://www.TAGthink.com. To learn about the TAG-Ed Collaborative visit http://www.tagedonline.org/.

About the Partnership for a New American Economy            
The Partnership for a New American Economy brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today. The Partnership’s members include mayors of more than 35 million people nationwide and business leaders of companies that generate more than $1.5 trillion and employ more than 4 million people across all sectors of the economy, from Agriculture to Aerospace, Hospitality to High Tech and Media to Manufacturing. Partnership members understand that immigration is essential to maintaining the productive, diverse and flexible workforce that America needs to ensure prosperity over the coming generations. Learn more at http://www.RenewOurEconomy.org.

Contact: Ryan Williams, Partnership for a New American Economy at rwilliams(at)fp1strategies(dot)com

Media Contact:
Tony Cooper
Technology Association of Georgia
tony(at)tagonline(dot)org
(404) 920-2008


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