1. Highly-skilled US citizen STEM workers are plentiful.

updated: 2015-01-22

Studies carried out from the 1990s through 2013 by researchers from
Columbia U,
Computing Research Association (CRA),
Duke U,
Georgetown U,
Harvard U,
National Research Council of the NAS,
RAND Corporation,
Rochester Institute of Technology,
Rutgers U,
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,
Stanford U,
SUNY Buffalo,
UC Davis,
UPenn Wharton School,
Urban Institute, and
US Dept. of Education Office of Education Research & Improvement
have reported that the USA has continually been producing 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: Michael S. Teitelbaum: Do We Need More Scientists? (pdf) _Public Interest_ pp40–53

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

B. Lindsay Lowell 2005 "Foreign-Born in Science and Technology" report #4, STEM Workforce Data Project, Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, Washington, DC.

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"
    pp 94-95


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

B. Lindsay Lowell 2007 "Trends in International Migration Flows and Stocks, 1975–2005” Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers #58, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris.

Michael S. Teitelbaum 2007-11-05 & 06 Current Model of STEM Graduate Education and Post-docs: Is It Evolving to Meet Needs of the Nation and Its Participants?” report to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Washington, DC,

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 B. Lindsay Lowell and Hal Salzman 2007 2007-10-29: Into the Eye of the Storm Assessing the Evidence on Science and Engineering Education, Quality, and Work-Force Demand Madison, WI: Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management [and PDF]


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

BaseLine Magazine

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
Pitch Engine
Lindsay Lowell, Hal Salzman, Hamutal Bernstein & Everett Henderson: Rutgers/Georgetown: 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..."

B. Lindsay Lowell 2010 "A Long View of America's Immigration Policy and the Supply of Foreign-Born STEM” _American Behavioral Scientist_ vol53 #7 pp1029–1044.

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?


Beryl Lieff Benderly _AAAS Science Careers_
live from DC, STEM immigration perversion!
"So is the National Science Board's authoritative report, Science and Engineering Indicators 2012, as well as preceding volumes in the biennial series, wrong in its finding that the nation produces 3 times as many STEM degrees as there are STEM jobs? Is the American Chemical Society's (ACS's) survey showing 'record highs in the unemployment rates' of newly graduating chemists at all degree levels also mistaken? Presumably, we also should not trust Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing unusually high jobless rates for engineers.   What about recent tech company layoffs that, in the words of IEEE's publication The Institute, 'eliminate thousands of jobs'? And are the many experienced American engineers who are having such great difficulty finding new work just imagining things?...   Maybe you didn't catch Harvard Law School immigration expert Michael Teitelbaum's testimony at a recent congressional hearing that 'the evidence does not support claims of generalized shortages of STEM workers in the US work-force.'...   In fact, Senator, the nation's supposed skill shortage is so overblown that one engineer who recently said he's 'looking for work' is Adam Steltzner.   Can't place the name? He's the 'Elvis Guy' with an engineering physics Ph.D. who helped lead the team that designed last summer's thrilling Curiosity Mars lander...   You want to know why experts think so many of America's high-performing math and science students—who, research shows, are both numerous and among the 'best and brightest' in the world—do not endeavor to spend long, penurious years preparing for science and technology careers?   Maybe it's the stunted career prospects available in the over-crowded labor market that have caused an 'internal brain drain' of talented Americans from science and technology to other, more rewarding careers.   Or maybe it's the fact that tech companies are often loath to hire -- or even retain -- Americans older than 35 or 40 that encourages students to pursue non-STEM careers.   Or perhaps there's another cause: public universities that deal with budget cuts by seeking international students, who pay high out-of-state tuition, in place of lower-paying in-state Americans."
It would be an excellent reform to admit only the genuine geniuses, those who actually have high levels of skill and knowledge... for a change...jgo

Hal Salzman, Daniel Kuehn & B. Lindsay Lowell _EPI_
Low-skill H-1B guest-workers in the US STEM job market
"The flow of U.S. students (citizens and permanent residents) into STEM fields has been strong over the past decade, and the number of U.S. graduates with STEM majors appears to be responsive to changes in employment levels and wages.   For every 2 students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only 1 is hired into a STEM job.   In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50% more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT work-force, 32% say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53% say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations.   These responses suggest that the supply of graduates is substantially larger than the demand for them in industry...   Over the past decade IT employment has gradually increased, but it only recovered to its 2000–2001 peak level by the end of the decade.   Wages have remained flat, with real wages hovering around their late 1990s levels...   The flow of guest-workers has increased over the past decade and continues to rise...   The annual inflows of guest-workers amount to one-third to one-half the number of all new IT job holders...   Only about a third of the IT workforce has an IT-related college degree.   36% of IT workers do not hold a college degree at all.   Only 24% of IT workers have a 4-year computer science or math degree.   The data also strongly suggest that there is a robust supply of domestic workers available for the IT industry: The number of domestic STEM graduates has grown strongly, and many of these graduates could qualify for IT jobs.   The annual number of computer science graduates doubled between 1998 and 2004, and is currently over 50% higher than its 1998 level...   Only 4% of high school graduates go on to earn a STEM degree in college, and the share that actually [gets] a STEM job one year after graduation is even lower, just 2.5%...   IT workers, who make up 59% of the entire STEM work-force, are predominantly drawn from fields outside of computer science and mathematics, if they have a college degree at all.   Among the IT work-force, 36% do not have a 4-year college degree; of those who do, only 38% have a computer science or math degree, and more than a third (36%) do not have a science or technology degree of any kind.   Overall, less than a quarter (24%) of the IT work-force has at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or math.   Of the total IT workforce, two-thirds to three-quarters do not have a technology degree of any type (only 11% have an associate degree in any field).4   Although computer science graduates are only one segment of the overall IT work-force, at 24%, they are the largest segment by degree (as shown in Figure F, they are 46% of college graduates entering the IT work-force, while nearly a third of graduates entering IT do not have a STEM degree)."

Lynn O'Shaughnessy _CBS_
STEM grads don't get big bucks (with graph)

2014-02-24 (5774 Adar1 24)
Karin Klein _Los Angeles CA Times_
the truth about the great American science talent pool
Philosophy of Science portal
"Michael Teitelbaum, a senior research associate in the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, laid out the evidence for journalists Saturday at the USC-hosted conference of the Education Writers Assn: If there were a big, general shortage of these workers, you would expect to see their wages rising.   That hasn't happened.   There would be relatively low and declining unemployment rates compared with people of similar educational levels.   Hasn't happened.   There should be faster-than-average employment growth, which is occurring in some occupations but not others.   In fact, Teitelbum portrayed the life of a biomedical researcher as practically grim.   It takes an especially long time to obtain a doctoral degree in the field, and graduates are not being snapped up for jobs.   The wages are lower than average for someone with that level of education, and the jobs tend to be unstable.   Engineers start with higher wages, but those quickly flatten, and their jobs are notoriously insecure.   Computer and information technology jobs are given to boom-and-bust cycles, but at least during the booms, the salaries are high...   Silicon Valley, even if it pays 50% more than elsewhere, isn't seen as a good deal when housing there costs 4 times as much as [300% more than] in many other places...   Jobs don't tend to be jobs anymore; they're contracts, often without benefits, for limited periods of time [a.k.a. bodyshop gigs]...   The only forces pushing the idea of STEM doom, he said, are those that have something to gain from it."
Education Writers Association: STEM and beyond
"The National Science Board's biennial book, Science and Engineering Indicators, consistently finds that the U.S.A. produces many more STEM graduates than the work-force can absorb."
Slash Dot discussion

2014-05-21 (5774 Ayyr 21)
Karen Zeigler & Steven A. Camarota _Center for Immigration Studies_
the glut of STEM professionals: a look at employment and wages
"Consistent with other research, the findings show that the country has more than twice as many workers with STEM degrees as there are STEM jobs...   there is no shortage of STEM workers in the United States.   Using the most common definition of STEM jobs, total STEM employment in 2012 was 5.3M workers (immigrant and native), but there are 12.1M STEM degree holders (immigrant and native).   Only one-third of native-born Americans with an under-graduate STEM degree holding a job actually work in a STEM occupation.   There are more than 5M native-born Americans with STEM under-graduate degrees working in non-STEM occupations: 1.5M with engineering degrees, [about 500K] with technology degrees, 400K with math degrees, and 2.6M with science degrees.   An additional 1.2M natives with STEM degrees are not working -- unemployed or out of the labor force in 2012.   Despite the economic down-turn, Census Bureau data show that, between 2007 and 2012, about 700K new immigrants who have STEM degrees were allowed to settle in the country, yet at the same time, total STEM employment grew by only about 500K.   Of these new immigrants with STEM degrees, only a little more than a third took a STEM job and about the same share took a non-STEM job.   The rest were not working in 2012.   Overall, less than half of immigrants with STEM degrees work in STEM jobs.   In particular, just 23% of all immigrants with engineering degrees work as engineers.   In total, 1.6M immigrants with STEM degrees worked outside of a STEM field and 563K were not working.   The supply of STEM workers is not just limited to those with STEM degrees.   Nearly one-third of the nation's STEM workers do not have an under-graduate STEM degree.   Wage trends are one of the best measures of labor demand.   If STEM workers are in short supply, wages should be increasing rapidly.   But wage data from multiple sources show little growth over the last 12 years.   Real hourly wages (adjusted for inflation) grew on average just 0.7% a year from 2000 to 2012 for STEM workers, and annual wages grew even less -- 0.4% a year.   Wage growth is very modest for most sub-categories of engineers and technology workers...   over 37K post-2007 [foreign residents] with non-STEM under-graduate degrees also found work in a STEM field...   the Census Bureau data show that in recent years the [United States of America] has admitted about 129K immigrants with STEM degrees each year, yet total STEM employment growth since 2000 has averaged only about 84K jobs each year.   If we examine growth from 2007 to 2012, we find that STEM employment growth was somewhat higher, but it still averaged only 105K jobs annually.   Thus, based on the ACS, the number of new immigrants with STEM degrees admitted each year is by itself higher than the total growth in STEM employment.   This is truly extraordinary when one considers that the same data show that the number of U.S.-born STEM graduates is growing by 115K a year...   there are 6.7M natives and immigrants already here with STEM degrees working in non-STEM jobs.   There are an additional 1.8M STEM degree holders in the country not working at all...   the total number of people (immigrant and native) working in STEM occupations is only 5.3M...   STEM graduates are spread out in many different occupations, including 66K in community and social service jobs, a similar number in protective services (e.g. security guard), 62K in food preparation and serving, and 45K in building cleaning and maintenance occupations..."

2014-09-19 (5774 Alul 24)
Norm Matloff _Upon Closer Inspection Norm Says No_
the fate of STEM PhDs... and more
"...Laszlo Bock... 'in a fiercely competitive labor market, hiring managers don't need to compromise on quality.   All it takes is one small mistake and a manager will reject an otherwise interesting candidate.'...   even great workers are competing with each other for jobs, rather than employers competing to hire them...   those who bother to read the actual report will find that the NSF is counting someone as 'employed' even if they are working just part-time.   Moreover, the comparison to the national average is inapropriate, since highly-educated people tend to be resourceful types, who will find some kind of job.   But WHAT kind?   The report actually answers that question, and there the picture is not so rosy.   Let's look at computer science (CS), both because it's my field and because it is the field with the largest number of H-1Bs.   Begin with Table 2, which shows that nearly 7% of CS PhDs are either working part-time or are unemployed (but seeking employment).   That's a rather high rate, considering that the industry PR people say CS is such a red-hot field, and in light of the fact that the PR people often point to the high proportion of CS doctorates granted to foreign students by U.S. universities as a reason for hiring H-1Bs.   Things then get worse in the second half of the same table, where there is a break-down by age.   I emphasized many times that one of the major reasons employers like the H-1B program so much is that enables them to hire young H-1Bs instead of older (age 35+) Americans, and sadly, the table shows employment for PhDs declines markedly with age.   Table 3 compares, among other things, Americans to workers with temporary work visas (H-1B, L-1, F-1/OPT, J-1 etc.).   Look at the dramatic difference!   The percentage who are either working part-time or are unemployed is over 12% for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, but under 4% for the work visa people.   (Most of the unemployed in the latter group are presumably F-1s.)   Presumably a large part of this discrepancy is due to the age effect, but it is compelling in any case.   Finally, go to another NSF report, in data titled 'Table 32-2, Involuntarily Out-of-Field Rate among Doctoral Scientists and Engineers, by Occupation: 2013'.   There we see the remarkable statistic that 11.3% of CS PhDs are involuntarily working outside the field.   Again, consider this in the context I described above -- CS is supposed to be a hot seller's market for employment, especially for PhDs.   The reality is that getting a doctorate in CS is over-kill for most non-academic jobs..."

2014-09-26 (5774 Tishrei 02)
Norm Matloff _Upon Closer Inspection Norm Says No_
FB, H-1B and age
"Just to make matters concrete before I get to the figures, let's look at the example of my former student, whom I'll call Tom.   He has skills of great interest to FB, and is one of the sharpest students I've had.   I certainly know people at Facebook who are not quite as sharp as Tom.   Yet he didn't even get a phone interview from Facebook when he applied.   This shocked his friends, who with similar backgrounds were in strong demand.   Tom's problem, I believe, was that, in contrast to his younger friends, he was about 30 at the time he sought work at FB, as he had worked in the industry for a while before coming back for his Master's degree.   You might think that's a plus, but it basically priced him out of the market...   The [DoL Prevailing Wage 4 Level] system is complex, but Level roughly corresponds to years of experience.   Note carefully that even Level ii still is for the very young; if Tom had been an H-1B, he likely would have been at Level iii...   86% of FB's foreign software developers are younger than Tom (age 30)!   This, I submit, is why Tom didn't even get a phone interview from FB -- the firm wants the young H-1Bs instead of him.   And, as noted, they are immobile too, unlike Tom, making them much more attractive to FB even if he had been younger."


"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.
Boston Globe
International Herald Tribune
Star Tribune
Are foreign students the "best and brightest"?
Norm Matloff

* 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.

Neither this page, nor the opinions expressed or implied in it are endorsed by Michael Badnarik, Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Wayne Allyn Root, Warner Brothers, nor by my hosts, Kermit and Rateliff.
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