[biztech-discussion] Endangered Species: US Programmers

  • From: Nancy Mulvany <nmulvany@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 05:15:29 -0700

"Endangered Species: US Programmers"
Christian Science Monitor (10/14/04) P. 17; Francis, David R.
Some experts are convinced that U.S. software programmers will die out in 
the next few years as more American companies offshore programming to 
low-wage countries and give domestic programming positions to foreign 
immigrants. The computer-related U.S. job market grew by 27,000 new 
positions between 2001 and 2003, but Programmers Guild expert John Miano 
reckons that nearly 180,000 new foreign H-1B workers entered the United 
States in that period. "This suggests any gain of jobs have been taken by 
H-1B workers," he remarks. The H-1B visa cap, which currently stands at 
65,000, was already reached by Oct. 1 of last year, and U.S. businesses are 
now lobbying Capitol Hill for additional visas. But the Programmers Guild 
and similar organizations argue that the existing H-1B quota is already 
unfairly excessive, given that over 100,000 U.S. programmers are unemployed 
and an even greater number are underemployed. Criticism has also been 
leveled at loopholes in the H-1B program that allow employers to hire H-1Bs 
without first hiring domestic workers, as well as pay H-1B holders less 
than the prevailing wage, even though it is required. American programmers 
are mobilizing to fight H-1B and L-1 visas in Congress, but Miano warns 
that business groups have the advantage in terms of organization, funding, 
and political clout. The Sphere Institute estimates that almost 25 percent 
of California's technology workforce has moved to non-tech careers since 
the dotcom bubble burst three years ago, while another 28 percent have 
become unemployed, opted for self-employment, or left the state.
<http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1014/p17s01-coop.html>Click Here to View 
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