Business Group Complains Trump’s H-1B Reform Is Boosting U.S. Graduates

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If President Donald Trump can push his H-1B reforms into 2021, he will dramatically increase the marketplace power of U.S. college graduates, complains a top manager at the Fortune 500 business group the Conference Board.

“If the [H-1B] suspension continues beyond 2020, recruiting high-quality tech workers could become much more difficult,” wrote Gad Levanon, who heads the group’s Labor Market Institute that has repeatedly recognized that a smaller supply of workers tends to raise wages and salaries. 

Under Forbes‘ headline, “Tech Workers Were Already Hard To Find. The H-1B Visa Suspension Just Made Recruiting Them Even Harder,” Levanon wrote:

Hundreds of thousands of foreigners will no longer be able to attain work in the U.S. as a result.

This halt will deal a one-two punch to employers of computer-related occupations, which includes jobs such as software developers and computer systems analysts. First, people in this field receive the overwhelming majority of H-1B visas. Out of the nearly 400,000 H-1B petitions approved in fiscal year 2019, about two-thirds were in that line of work. Most went to software developers.

Second, computer-related workers are the one group for which the labor market will soon become tight again. When that happens, new foreign workers may be sorely missed.

Computer experts are “likely to regain their hot commodity status in the next year or two,” he wrote.

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