Tech Recruiters Hope Biden Will Loosen Visa Restrictions


Recruiters hope that any loosening of immigrant work visas will help technology companies land better candidates by expanding the pool of talent and easing the industry’s ever-present labor shortage.

According to The Wall Street Journal, rolling back the previous administration’s restrictions is under consideration by the Biden White House. They included scaling back the H-1B visa program, which provides work permits to a relatively small number of immigrants with high-value skills.

Recruiters hope that loosening immigrant work visas will help technology companies land better candidates and combat a tight labor market. #HRTech Click To Tweet

Executives told the Journal that the industry needs better access to talent as demand for technology services increases. “Now more than ever in this all-digital, work-from-anywhere world, every industry needs IT support,” said Salesforce CIO Jo-ann Olsovsky.

In 2019, U.S. companies filed about 201,000 applications against an annual allotment of 65,000 H-1Bs. And additional 20,000 are issues for applicants with certain advanced degrees. In December, the previous administration extended ban on immigration to the U.S. through the end of March.

The trade group CompTIA said U.S. employers added about 391,000 technology jobs during December 2020, which kept the IT unemployment rate at 3%. That compares to an overall unemployment rate of 6.7%. CompTIA also said that U.S. companies posted more than 200,000 job openings for vacant IT positions by the end of December.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that technology employment will grow 11% between 2019 and 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by continued adoption of cloud computing, the expansion of big data and increased information security.

Image: iStock

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