Studies carried out from the 1990s through 2011 by researchers from
Computing Research Association (CRA),
National Research Council of the NAS,
Rochester Institute of Technology,
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,
UPenn Wharton School,
Urban Institute, and
US Dept. of Education Office of Education Research & Improvement
have reported that the USA has continually been producing far more US citizen STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) workers than we've been employing in these fields.
Examination of employment data and projections from BLS when compared with NCES (US Dept. of Education) records of degrees earned by US citizens confirms these findings.
OTOH, no evidence of a talent shortage has ever been produced.
professor Norm Matloff: Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage (cites several studies)
1995-06-05: RAND Corp./Stanford U Doctorate surplus in science and engineering continues
1996-03-03: more foreign labor being imported, falling engineering employment and salaries, more US STEM grads, too many STEM PhDs
1996-03-19: NY Times/NBER: Too Many Engineers, Too Few Jobs
1997-11-30: Rajiv Chandrasekaran _Washington Post_ pg A1 "A Seller's Market for Tech Workers: Many apply, few are interviewed, hardly any are hired" "John Otroba... American Management Systems... has no shortage of incoming resumes. When he logs onto his office computer every day, he has at least 50 in his electronic mail-box... But only about 1 in 12 resumes leads him to pick up the telephone to call the job seeker. Some don't pass that screening step. Of those who come in for an interview, fewer than a quarter are offered jobs [for a hiring rate of about 2%]."
1998-02-04: "As late as 1987, 60K graduates were competing for about 25K open positions, according to Janet Ruhl, author of _The Programmers Survival Guide_" --- Margie Wylie _CNET_ "The skills shortage that isn't: When the rising tide floats employees' boats, employers proclaim disaster" alternative link
1998-02-25: Skill Mis-matches and Worker Shortages and Worker Gluts: The Problem and Appropriate Responses
1998-02-27: Science Friday: High-Tech Jobs
Daniel S. Greenberg 1999 The Politics of Pure Science
1999-07-02: H-1B increase betrays American workers
1999-07-12: The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United States: Dynamics of the IT Labor Market
1999-07-31: Robert A. Rivers: Manpower Bulletin: Surplus of Engineers
2000-06-01: USA: The New Economy: Lament of the pocket-protector set: As Congress considers letting more foreigners fill high-tech jobs, software engineers rebel
2000-09-22: Globalization and High Tech Wage Lag
2000-10-31: 10th PDK report on the condition of education: NAEP math scores rose from 1990 to 1996
Daniel S. Greenberg 2001 _Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion_
2001-11-18: Man-power Fluctuations Give Engineers Grief
2002-11-12: "Unemployment rates are available and plotted in Figure 6 for chemists, recent mathematics PhDs, and recent biomedical PhDs and MDs. Although not fully comparable in population or time period, these 3 rates, when compared to the overall U.S. unemployment rate, suggest a general increase or leveling in the 1990s, while the general unemployment rate was falling substantially. Rising unemployment in one sector, while the overall economy is doing well, is a strong indicator of developing surpluses of workers, not shortages. Hence, neither earnings patterns nor unemployment patterns indicate an S&E shortage in the data we are able to find." --- William P. Butz, Gabrielle A. Bloom, Mihal E. Gross, Terrene K. Kelly, Aaron Kofner, Helga E. Rippen "Is There a Shortage of Scientists and Engineers? How Would We Know?" _RAND Science and Technology Issue Paper_
2003: Do We Need More Scientists? (pdf)
No Shortage of Shortages (pdf)
Getting the Numbers Right: International Engineering Education in the United States, China, and India
2003-02-27: Many laid-off Silicon Valley techies work for free to brush up on skills
2003-12-12: Matloff: _University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform_: On the Need for Reform of the H-1B Non-Immigrant Work Visa in Computer-Related Occupations (cites several studies)
2004-07-09: Indicators point to an over-supply of scientists and engineers, and After Years of Surplus Scientists, Energy Department Plan Promotes Science Careers
2004: RAND Corporation: Will the Scientific and Technology Workforce Meet the Requirements of the Federal Government? concluded that 'we did not find evidence that such shortages have existed... Likewise, under-employment patterns -- indications of STEM workers involuntarily working out of their fields -- suggest that under-employment of STEM workers is relatively high compared with non-STEM workers.'"
2005-03-02: Supply and demand for doctors
2005-10-12: Political Appointees Re-Wrote Commerce Department Report on Off-Shore Out-Sourcing
2005-11-16: Sharon Begley: WSJ: Behind "Shortage" of Engineers: Employers Grow More Choosy: Job Hunters Face Long Lists Of Requirements as Web Brings Flood of Resumes: 2 Hires From 158 Applicants
Ron Hira & Anil Hira 2005 _Out-Sourcing America_
2006-01-01: Study Debunks Industry Lobbyists' Claims on Numbers of Engineers
2006-02-22: Robert Samuelson _Buffalo NY News_
Lobbyists' & propagandists' claims of science & engineering worker shortage are greatly exaggerated
2006-06-25: Shortage or surplus?
B. Lindsay Lowell: Projecting Immigrant Visas: Report on an Experts Meeting (pdf)
Richard B. Freeman in Titus Galama, James Hosek, Sloan Fader, Lindsay Daughterty, Meg Blume-Kohout et al.
2006-11-08 "Conference Proceedings: Perspectives on US Competitiveness in Science and Technology"
2007-01-12: Farmers and some in congress clash with US populace over illegal alien invasion
2007-03-23: Induced Labor
2007-07-14: To H-1B or not to H-1B
2007-11-06: US House Committee on Science and Technology
In testimony to the House Science and Technology Committee, Harold Salzman reported that we've been producing as many as 3 times the numbers of STEM workers as we've been employing in these fields. Salzman's testimony in pdf
another link to this and related information
2007-11-13: US science and tech talent is plentiful
2008: RAND Corporation: U.S. Competitiveness in Science and Technology found "no evidence of a current shortage of qualified S&E workers" nor one on the horizon.
2008-01-04: "'The image of shortage arises from 'emotion versus fact' and 'misinformation that feeds on itself.', [Vivek] Wadhwa says.", quoted Beryl Lieff Benderly "Feeling the Elephant" in _Science_
2008-03-05: There Really Is No IT Labor Shortage
2008-05-04: Salzman and Lowell published by Nature
2008-09-17: STEM shortage claims challenged
2009-01-08: Cheap Science
2009-07-08: Extreme glut of scientists? Maybe
2009-10-28: Moira Herbst _Business Week_
Rutgers/Georgetown: No Shortage of U.S. Engineers
Laura Devaney: eSchool News
Sean Cavanagh: Education Week
Steady as She Goes: 3 Generations of Students through the Science and Engineering Pipe-Line (pdf)
"U.S. colleges and universities are graduating as many scientists and engineers as ever, according to a study released on Oct. 28 by a group of academics. But that finding comes with a big caveat: Many of the highest-performing students are choosing careers in other fields. The study by professors at Rutgers and Georgetown suggests that since the late 1990s, many of the top students have been lured to careers in finance and consulting... 'It is now up to science and technology firms to attract the best and the brightest graduates to come work for them.'... 'The top quintile SAT/ACT and GPA performers appear to have been dropping out of the STEM pipe-line at a substantial rate, and this decline seems to have come on quite suddenly in the mid-to-late 1990s.'" as a rational response to the flood of cheap, pliant foreign labor with flexible ethics.
Tom Avril _Philadelphia Inquirer_
Georgetown/Rutgers study asks: What scientist and engineer shortage?
Yidhijit Bhattacharjee _AAAS Science_
USA does not need more science students
"'Those who advocate increasing the supply of STEM talent should cool their ardor a little bit.', says one of its authors, B. Lindsay Lowell, a demographer at Georgetown University in Washington, DC... The way to promote US competitiveness in STEM fields is to 'put more emphasis on the demand side', says Lowell, noting that U.S. colleges and universities produce 3 times [as many] STEM graduates every year [as] the number of STEM jobs available. Cranking out even more STEM graduates, he says, does not give corporations any incentive to boost wages for STEM jobs, which would be one way to retain the highest-performing students in STEM."
John Miano: Center for Immigration Studies: The Big Lie behind H-1B visas
"There is essentially zero empirical data that supports the existence of a tech worker shortage... What is particularly interesting about the tech worker shortage is the how there is essentially no empirical data supporting it. The focus of Gardner's piece is a new study that finds the U.S.A. is producing a sufficient number of tech workers... in some years the number of foreign programmers and engineers imported on H-1B visas has actually exceeded the number of jobs created in those fields... studies by RAND... 'One primary question this study sought to answer is, are there current or imminent shortages in the U.S. STEM work-force This question can be answered, No, with a degree of confidence for workers with a graduate education... Ironically, the closest thing to a crisis has perhaps been the distress of unemployed and underemployed... But these developments are the manifestations of surpluses, not shortages, in the STEM work-force.'"
2010-06-14: The Real Science Gap Is a Shortage of Employment Opportunities
Beryl Lieff Benderly _Miller-McCune_
The Real Science Gap Is a Shortage of Employment Opportunities
"Americans need the reasonable hope that spending their youth preparing to do science will provide a satisfactory career... Congress and successive administrations have responded with steps they have been told will solve the problem. But some of the solutions they have adopted and hope to continue -- in particular, large increases in funding for research and graduate training -- will, experts in the scientific labor market believe, have the opposite effect, ultimately discouraging high-achieving Americans from committing their working lives to scientific innovation. The solutions that will attract the nation's brightest young people back to science, these experts argue, are not even on the table... 'There is no scientist shortage.', declares Harvard economics professor Richard Freeman, a pre-eminent authority on the scientific work force. Michael Teitelbaum of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a leading demographer who is also a national authority on science training, cites the 'profound irony' of crying shortage while scores of thousands of young Ph.D.s labor in the nation's university labs as low-paid, temporary workers, ostensibly training for permanent faculty positions that will never exist. Back when today's senior-most professors were young, Ph.D.s routinely became tenure-track assistant professors, complete with labs of their own, in their late 20s. But today, in many fields, faculty openings routinely draw hundreds of qualified applicants. The tiny fraction who do manage to land their first faculty post are generally in their late 30s or early 40s by the time they get their research careers under way. Today's large surplus of scientists began in the life sciences but is now apparent in fields as diverse as astronomy, meteorology and high-energy physics. These surpluses, Teitelbaum notes, hardly constitute 'market indicators signaling shortages'... the data clearly support those arguing for the existence of a glut of aspiring scientists... Before the mid-1970s, U.S. science and engineering graduates could look forward not only to intellectual challenge and the excitement of doing important and admired work, but to security and, ultimately, an upper-middle-class income. Aspiring scientists could climb a clearly defined ladder from [high school to college to] graduate school to stable and reasonably lucrative careers. Able students could finish a doctorate in four or five years, generally supported by a fellowship or assistantship... the reality that a once-desirable career path for the best U.S. scientific talent has become a route to penury, frustration and disappointment... in the 1980s, when a policy office in the National Science Foundation produced a flawed demographic analysis predicting a shortfall of technical talent. Testifying before Congress about that study in 1995, NSF Director Neal Lane stated that 'there was really no basis to predict a shortage'... In regard to science- and math-based careers, Salzman says, 'Everything shows that wages and working conditions and career prospects have... gotten worse.'... 'Simply put, there are not enough tenure-track academic positions for the available pool of... researchers.', the Bridges report says..."
Walt Gardner _Education Week_
NSF: No shortage of math and science talent
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
Shortage claims are unfounded
Hal Salzman & B. Lindsay Lowell _Chronicle of Higher Education_
A Size That Fits All for the Science-and-Technology Pipe-Line
professor Matloff's comments
2011-08-05 05:00PDT (08:00EDT) (12:00GMT) (15:00Jerusalem)
Jeremy Beck _Numbers USA_
"Labor Shortage" stories are unfounded
David North _Center for Immigration Studies_
No Shortage of Skilled Workers
report of skilled US worker surplus
"65% are either unemployed in or training for a career in another field within 2 years of graduating."
Daniel Costa _Economic Policy Institute_
STEM labor supply and demand
2013-04-15: David North: Center for Immigration Studies: do we really need huge numbers of foreign workers?
"Lerman... found that only 31% of programmers had degrees in computer science, and only 10% in engineering." --- Norm Matloff 2003-12-12 "On the Need for Reform of the H-1B Non-Immigrant Work Visa in Computer-Related Occupations" _University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform_ vol36 #4 pg 18 (quoting Robert I. Lerman of the Urban Institute 1998-02-25 High-Tech Worker Shortages and Immigration Policy: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, 105th Cong. 78)
Burt Barnow et al. of the Urban Institute 1998 "Final Report to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, US DoL"
Carol Veneri _MLR_ 1999 March "Can Occupational Labor Shortages Be Identified Using Available Data?" pg 15 "the labor market conditions for this period [1992–1997] indicate that neither the occupational group consisting of computer systems analysts, engineers, and scientists nor the computer programmer occupation has exhibited both higher than average employment growth and higher than average growth in wages."
Carol Ann Meares & John F. Sargent 1999 USDoC "The Digital Work-Force: Building InfoTech Skills at the Speed of Innovation" pg 7 "due to the limitations of available data, there is no way to establish conclusively whether there is, or is not, an overall IT worker shortage [or surplus]."
Peter Freemen et al. 1999 Computing Research Association "The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United States" "The overall unemployment rate for all specialty professions is only slightly above 2% not that much different from the IT worker unemployment rates. But it is hardly credible that there is a shortage of all professional workers. Thus, while unemployment rates may suggest a shortage/tightness in the IT labor market, as an indicator they are not entirely unproblematic... there are credible reasons for questioning the evidentiary value of virtually any piece of evidence [for shortage or surplus of talent] that is available."
Richard Ellis & B. Lindsay Lowell 1999 November IT Work-Force Data Project "Assessing the Demand for Information Technology Workers" part 4 'none of the possible signs of an inadequate supply of IT workers provides unambiguous evidence that there are not enough people in the field, and several indicators -- rising numbers of experienced unemployed workers, the 'flat' compensation results reported by Computerworld, increasing enrollments in computer science -- suggest that if anything, pressures of demand on the available supply may have eased during the past year.
Peter Cappelli 2000 September Purple Squirrel "The War of Words about the IT Labor Market" "Dozens of studies have analyzed the state of the labor market for IT workers, and the results are easy to summarize. Researchers who study labor markets and representatives of IT employers disagree almost completely as to whether there is a shortage of IT workers. The researchers uniformly believe that there isn't a shortage while the representatives [of the executives] vociferously believe that there is."
Freeman (2006, 2007), Teitelbaum (2003, 2007), and Butz et al. (2004) point out a lack of evidence of shortages of scientists and engineers in the United States. Butz et al. (2004) also found no evidence of shortages of federal S&E personnel...
Studies by the NRC, UCLA, Cornell, GAO, Hira at Rochester Institute of Technology, R. Rivers of the American Engineering Association, and multiple examinations by Matloff at UC Davis, and Miano for CIS, Paul Ong and Evelyn Blumenthal, statements by Phiroz Vandrevala of Tata, and India's minister of finance Jaswant Singh, India's minister of commerce Kamal Nath, and former Fed chair Alan Greenspan have all reported that the H-1Bs are paid less than the Americans with similar abilities, credentials and experience doing similar work.
International Herald Tribune
Are foreign students the "best and brightest"?
* In 1997, American Management Systems, received about 50 resumes per day, but talked with fewer than 9%, interviewed a fraction of those, and made offers to only one-fourth of those interviewed, for a hire rate of about 2%.
* In 2000, Cisco received 20K applications per month but hired only 5% of the applicants. Inktomi hired only 1%, MSFT 2%, Qualcomm 5%, Red Hat Linux 1%.
* Qualcomm reported in 2001 May that they were receiving over 1K, and in 2003 February they were receiving 200 job applications every day.
* MSFT received resumes from about 100K graduating students in 2004, screened only 15K of them, interviewed only 3,500 and hired just 1K, said their spokesman. In 2005 MSFT received about 60K resumes for its 2K open positions of every kind monthly.
* 2004-06-23 The largest corporations receive up to 25K resumes per week. 'Hiring managers are being bombarded with... up to 1,200 or 1,300 resumes per job.', said Jason Krumwiede, a founder of PeopleBonus.
* 2004-09-30: Advanced Technology Services "In late September ATS had 100 job openings and was receiving 1K resumes per week."
* "many skilled IT workers now find themselves in a group of hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of candidates for any particular job... 'I know one recruiter for a large insurance company who is receiving 10K resumes through the web per month.', John Challenger, CEO of staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told NewsFactor..."
* Google was receiving 1,300 resumes per day in 2007-06-26 (about 39K per month).
* 2008-05-31: "Given the glut of post-docs, the competition is fierce. For example, Genentech receives 3000 resumes per month."
* "A vice president at a major bank (not affected by the mortgage market) said that the bank is receiving over 2000 résumés for every open position.", reported Diane Gubin in the summer of 2008 (late July/early August).
* "on-line agencies receive as many as 80K resumes a month.", reported Mike Qauilia 2008-08-20.
* "Northrup Grumman... gets 30K resumes a week", reported Peter Pae 2008-12-23 in the Los Angeles Times
* GE received 18K applications for 1200 jobs near Ann Arbor, MI. (reported 2010-01-14 by Nathan Bomey in Ann Arbor)
* 2010-05-20: Google gets more than 3K applications per day, over 90K applications per month, 1.09M per year (cited by Laura Petrecca in USA Today)
* 2010-05-22: Joyce Boyle of Hoveround "said, 'I was getting in excess of 150 resumes daily.' Now, Boyle estimates she gets 50-60 resumes a day [about 1200/month]." (Grace Gagliano _Bradenton FL Herald_ Local jobless numbers head in right direction)
* 2010-07-01: Shana Westerman of Sapphire Technologies screens, on average, 300 resumes per day (that would be about 6K per month. (Meridith Levinson _CIO_/_Reuters_ IT Resumes: Think Twice About the Advice You've Been Given)
* 2010-12-13: Pongo Resume in Northborough, MA, says its users generate over 100K resumes per month.
* 2010-12-16: CandyDate Jobs in India, which has contracts with over 200 universities to place their grads, claims they receive over 1M resumes per month from job-seekers.
* 2010-12-24: "AT&T is getting about 50K applications a month, or around 30 for each person it hires on average, Mr. Smith says." (James R. Hagerty & Joe Light _Wall Street Journal_ Job ads rising as economy warms up)
* 2010-12-24: Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System receives 10K applications per month (Eileen Ambrose Baltimore Sun/Grand Forks Herald, Kansas City Star)
* Google received 75K job applications in the week before 2011-02-03
* over 25K new resumes added to Monster everyday
* 2011-12-27: Glennlist "What Monster needs to change now to survive": "PLEASE remove the resume view restrictions. Monster prevents recruiters from viewing more than 1K resumes per month. The times have changed!!! One recruiter can glance at 1K resume easily in a month. In fact, we look at about 100 resumes in a day! You boast having millions of resumes but you only allow a fraction of the resumes to be viewed!!!"
* Nikki K. Kerzic: One major pharmaceutical company recently reported that they receive 5K resumes per day. (visited 2012-01-29)
* Job Village: "[We receive] Over 100K new resumes per month" (visited 2012-01-29)
* Mid-States Technical Staffing "Our weekly advertising in many trade and engineering publications generates approximately 1K new resumes per week." (visited 2012-01-29)
* In 2011, almost 400K individuals (about 7692 per week) applied for employment with ServiceMaster; they plan to hire 6,700 temps over the next several months
There was no shortage of talented US citizen STEM workers.
There is no shortage of talented US citizen STEM workers.
No credible evidence of impending shortage of talented US citizen STEM workers has been produced.
|last (#11)||Table of Contents||next (#2)|
|jgo Resume||jgo Reading Room|
|jgo Econ Data||jgo Econ News Bits|
|jgo's Links||jgo's Glancing Encounters
with the Movie Biz
|jgo's Work in Progress|
|Kermit's home page|