In a new EPI paper, Hal Salzman of Rutgers, Daniel Kuehn of American University and B. Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown University find little evidence to support expansion of high-skill guestworker programs as proposed in the immigration bill being debated in the Senate. Contrary to many industry claims, the study finds that U.S. colleges and universities provide an ample supply of highly qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates.
In Guestworkers in the high-skill U.S. labor market, the authors examine the IT labor market, guestworker flows and the STEM pipeline, and conclude that the United States has more than a sufficient supply of STEM workers available.
Key findings include:
- Guestworkers may be filling as many as half of all new IT jobs each year
- IT workers earn the same today as they did, generally, 14 years ago
- Currently, only one of every two STEM college graduates is hired into a STEM job each year
- Policies that expand the supply of guestworkers will discourage U.S. students from going into STEM, and into IT in particular
“The debate over guestworker programs is largely based on anecdotal evidence and testimonials from employers, rather than solid evidence,” said Salzman. “Our examination shows that the STEM shortage in the United States is largely overblown. Guestworker programs are in need of reform, but any changes should make sure that guestworkers are not lower-paid substitutes for domestic workers.”
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
“The 21st Century Workforce: Skills Gap and the STEM Dilemma,” outlines the current lack of qualified workers and the pressing need to engage students with STEM education. Raytheon believes that in order to build the next pipeline of technologists and innovators to ensure a competitive U.S. workforce and future economic growth, students must be shown … Continue reading »
“… The U.S. will be short as many as 3 million high-skills workers by 2018, according to a Georgetown University report issued last year. Two thirds of those jobs will require at least some post-secondary education, says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce.” “So dire are the predictions about … Continue reading »