Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics. - Thomas Sowell

You can't make this up....

Experienced computer professionals are being cut at Sun, EDS and Intel and yet politicians are helping to issue more H-1B Visas to foreign workers. So there are enough workers but American companies don't want to pay them? Could this coincidence be the result of some influencing of our government ?

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"For many established workers, the picture is less pretty than it is for new graduates. For instance, Electronic Data Systems Corp. said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last month that it was offering an early retirement program to about 12,000 of its 50,000 U.S. workers (download PDF).

Sun Microsystems Inc. said this week that it plans to cut 1,500 employees as part of a workforce reduction program announced in early August. And Intel Corp. recently confirmed that its IT staff is being cut by as much as 10% after an anonymous blogger described the layoff process in detail.

Those actions indicate that "midcareer workers better beware," said Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at RIT and author of the book Outsourcing America (American Management Association, 2005).

"The same firms that are laying off thousands are clamoring that they need more foreign workers," Hira said. "One interpretation of this phenomenon is that companies have no interest in retraining or retaining incumbent workers to fill those positions."

On Monday, the U.S. government began issuing about 85,000 H-1B visas for its new fiscal year -- a total that is well short of what the high-tech industry says it needs for workers from overseas. Industry efforts to raise the annual H-1B cap have faltered as part of broader immigration-reform legislation, but proponents are still pushing Congress for an increase."


Perhaps it is geography or specific states tax and employment policies that are causing these hiring and layoff anomalies. For example, Zerowait is always looking to add experienced IT engineers to our workforce, but it is hard to find folks with the specific set of technical requirements we need in Delaware. But I trust that Economics will help us find the solution in the long run.

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