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Michael J. Martinez _abc News_
High-Tech Labor Hunt: Commerce Dept. Says Companies Must Look Within (with graphs)
"The US Department of Commerce says there are 2.1M people working in core technology jobs today... according to a recent study the META Group, US software developers are lagging behind their international competitors in productivity... According to the Commerce Department report, too much emphasis has been placed on hiring new people with 'hot skills', trained in the latest technologies, at the expense of educating existing workers. Companies could keep workers longer and make them more valuable, the report says, if they offered current employees more career-long training and continuing education within the company... Unfortunately, Silicon Valley can be as ageist as Hollywood when it comes to development and programming talent... Finally, analysts and industry insiders say companies need to be a little more realistic about the qualifications they're looking for... Doug Berg, CEO of Techies.com [said] 'If workers have the basic skills, they can get certified on nearly anything you need... I've seen companies asking for 2 years of experience in a skill that's only been around 3 months.'"
1999-07-01 13:55PDT (16:55EDT) (20:55GMT)
Courtney Macavinta _CNET_
Clinton perpetuates tech worker shortage propaganda
"The high-tech sector will need up to 1.3M new highly skilled employees between 1996 and 2006, according to the Commerce Department's Digital Work Force report. But the estimated pool of qualified job candidates, though difficult to measure, is believed to fall well short of that goal... For the past several years, the high-tech industry has lobbied to raise federal limits on foreign worker H1-B visas to fill some of their most critical positions. But White House officials say the administration instead wants companies, government, and educators to work together to swell the number of skilled workers who are U.S. citizens. 'Instead of looking over-seas, businesses should be looking at home for people they can train.', Commerce Secretary William Daley said during a speech yesterday in Washington... 'Many companies already have active training programs. But more businesses need to be doing it.'... The INS doesn't break down H1-B recipients by industry, but high-tech firms dominate the top-20 list of companies that filed for petitions in 1998. First among them was Mastech, a Pennsylvania [body shop], which applied [for] 11% of all H1-B visas on behalf of employees, with Oracle, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Cisco, Intel, and SAI Software Consultants, also leading the [pack]."
Patrick Buchanan _Buchanan Brigade_
H-1B increase betrays American workers
"The elite of both parties are now in an unseemly competition to see who can do more to pander to the super-rich by selling out the American worker. There is no shortage of Americans who qualify for these $50K and $75K-a year high-tech jobs; there is no shortage of young Americans in college, preparing for these jobs."
unemployment insurance weekly claims
Jonathan Lipman (quoted in Julie Bennett 1999-07-04 "2nd Interview" _Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1)
"It's tough to find a polite way to ask some questions. I think of the process as a dance -- & a very subtle knife fight."
Bob Violino _Information Week_
The Age Factor: Anecdotal evidence of age discrimination in IT is growing, but what are the real reasons?
"Despite the [claims of] serious shortage of qualified IT staffers, many candidates -- particularly engineers and computer programmers -- insist they can't get jobs in the field because of bias against older workers... Matloff, who has testified in front of Congress on the subject, says age discrimination is rampant in the IT industry and calls the shortage of software engineers and programmers 'a myth'. Matloff says there's an 'extensive public-relations campaign' by IT companies -- vendors in particular -- in part to help generate support for an increase in the yearly quota of H-1B foreign work visas and what he calls 'cheap labor'."
|entry or recent college grad||26%|
|1-3 years experience||26%|
|4-10 years experience||46%|
|>10 years experience||2%|
|10-20 years experience||1%|
|20+ years experience||1%|
1999-07-07 14:18PDT (17:18EDT) (21:18GMT)
Job Cut Announcements Rose 15% in June
"Job cut announcements totaled 63,397 in June, up 15% from May's 55,231, out-placement firm Challenger, Grey & Christmas said Wednesday. Job cuts for the first half of the year totaled 383,548, 42% above the 270K in the same period last year, the biggest down-sizing year of the decade, the firm said."
Laura A. Bischoff _Dayton Daily News_
Peter Freeman & William Aspray _Computer Research Association_
The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United States: Dynamics of the IT Labor Market
"Perhaps the most notorious recent case of failed policy pronouncements is the warning during the late 1980s from then-senior management of the National Science Foundation (NSF) about looming 'shortfalls' of scientists and engineers. These warnings were based on methodologically weak projection models of supply and demand that were originally misinterpreted as credible forecasts, rather than simulations dependent upon certain key assumptions. The projections yielded numerical estimates of the shortfalls anticipated, eventually reported to be 675K scientists and engineers by the year 2006. Based in part on these worrying pronouncements, Congress agreed to increase funding for NSF science and engineering education programs. Several years later, in 1990, again influenced by the shortfall claims, Congress agreed to greatly expand the number of visas available for foreign scientists and engineers, for both permanent and non-permanent residents. (This bill was the origin of the H-1B visas, among other measures.) Many educational institutions moved to increase the numbers of graduate students in these fields. By the time these larger cohorts of graduate students emerged with their newly earned doctorates, the labor market in many fields had deteriorated badly, and many found their career ambitions extremely frustrated. This experience proved embarrassing, leading to congressional hearings in 1992 and harsh criticism of NSF management from several prominent congressional supporters of science and engineering... in 1984 BLS projected 520K computer science and systems analysts jobs in 1995, but there were actually 860K. BLS predicted a 53% growth in electrical engineering jobs over this period, whereas there was actually a 9% decline... in 1992-1993 only about one-third of the people in computer science or programming jobs had graduated with computer and information science degrees, according to the National Survey of College Graduates... many companies head-quartered in Europe and Asia are spending 2 to 5 times as much on training as American companies... There have been surpluses of mathematicians, physicists, biologists, and engineers in recent years. Many of these scientists and engineers are of very high intellectual and technical quality, but are in fields that are unable to provide good careers... Companies should value the training provided by colleges and universities, but should not expect these schools to have produced the perfect employee."
Alicia Neumann _Salon_
The over-time stigma: Plenty of tech workers could rightfully demand fatter pay-checks, but fear that asking for pay for over-time work could be a costly faux pas.
"Over-time in high tech can easily burn up 20, 30, sometimes 40 hours a week, precluding leisure -- & often sleep... The majority of tech workers take home no over-time pay for their round-the-clock efforts... Section 13[a] [of the FLSA] denies over-time benefits to systems analysts, programmers, engineers or other 'similarly skilled workers'... The state of California, home to hundreds of thousands of high-tech workers, doesn't recognize the federal exemption at all."
1999-07-13 1999-07-14 1999-07-15 1999-07-16 1999-07-17 1999-07-18 1999-07-19 1999-07-20 1999-07-21 1999-07-21 1999-07-21 1999-07-22 1999-07-22 1999-07-23 1999-07-24 1999-07-25 1999-07-26 1999-07-27 1999-07-27 1999-07-28 1999-07-29 1999-07-30 1999-07-31 1999 July 1999 July
Nathan Cochrane _Linux Today_/_Fairfax IT_
Fairfax IT: Fame, Fortune, and a Bit of Nirvana
Mark Johnson of Media General News Service (printed in _The Herald News_ Section B pg 1)
Bytes & PCs: Computer jobs fall in manufacturing, but see growth in other areas
"in 1986, the computer manufacturing industry employed 469K workers. 10 years later that number had fallen to 363K. By 2006, that figure will drop to 314K according to the Bureal of Labor Statistics... Computer sales doubled in the last 4 years, rising from 6.7M in 1994 to 12.8M last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Assn. That's a dollar increase from $10G to $16.6G. In just the last 3 years, the percent of US households with [micro-]computers has climbed from 38% to 45%, according to the association."
_AP_/_Herald News_ Section B pp 1 & 2
No Burger Flipping for Silicon Valley Teens
"Most teens working this summer across the country will be making minimum wage flipping burgers, but Silicon Valley teen-ager Roddy Knight is writing computer code for $20 an hour -- plus stock options. 'This is fascinating work... I'm learning so much...' working at Keynote Systems in San Mateo, California [where starting salaries are in the $30 to $37 per hour range]."
Michael M. Weinstein _NY Times_ pg C1
Cream in Labor Market's Churn; Why Job Losses Are Rising Amid Job Hunters' Nirvana
"At a time when joblessness has fallen to just 4.3% of the work force and employers are loudly complaining about labor shortages, companies are also announcing record numbers of lay-offs."
Mortimer B. Zuckerman _NewsBank_
Give us your brainy masses -- Attempts to limit immigration by high-skill workers only hurt America
Pat Frelbert _Lane Report_
"Some Kentucky editorialists greeted the announcement of 1,500 new full-time jobs by Amazon.com with complaints that these will not be high-paying or high-skilled positions. Others reacted with yawns at the prospect of 1K new jobs in Campbellsville and 500 in Lexington. All of society yearns for high-paying jobs for every American. But it would be unrealistic to turn our backs on lower tier jobs while awaiting those in high-tech... To reject the creation of new lower skill, lower paying jobs fails to recognize economic realities. In Kentucky's quest for upper echelon, it must at the same time allow its less educated and less trained citizens a chance to work."
Robert A. Rivers _American Engineering Association_
Manpower Bulletin: Surplus of Engineers
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