Unemployment for foreign-born workers falls Senate moves on H-1B bill

Unemployment rate for foreign-born workers falls Senate moves ahead with new H-1B bill

Interview GuideThe unemployment rate for foreign-born persons in the United
States was 8.1  percent in 2012, down from 9.1 percent in 2011, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The jobless rate of native-born
persons also fell  to 8.1 percent in 2012, down from 8.9 percent in the
prior year.

In 2012, there were 25.0 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor
force, comprising 16.1 percent of the total.

  • Hispanics accounted for 48.3 percent of the foreign-born labor force in 2012, and Asians accounted for 23.7 percent.
  • Foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service occupations; production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.

At the same time the Senate proceeds with a new Immigration bill going to the  floor, where attempts to amend it are expected before a final vote is taken some  time in the next several months.

The Senate debate will begin next month. The House, meanwhile, has been
preparing its own comprehensive immigration bill for vote. There are a lot of areas in the Senate bill that are certain to draw  criticism, particularly some last-minute changes.

The original bill, drafted by a bipartisan Senate group dubbed the Gang of
Eight, would raise the base cap on H-1B visas from 65,000 to 110,000, with an  escalator that can increase the cap to 180,000 in increments of 10,000 in  response to demand. The tech industry wanted a cap of at least 300,000.
The revised bill raises the initial cap to 115,000, a small, seemingly  spiteful incremental increase.

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Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.