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H1B wages much lower than for US citizens

Eric Lemaitre
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Joined: Jul 03, 2004
Posts: 538

Hi all !

Seen on : http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/10/25/44OPreality_1.html

Particulary the 2 last paragraphs are interesting :

While it would be difficult to prove that any one particular employer is hiring foreign workers to pay less, the statistics show us that, for whatever reason, this is exactly what is happening on a nationwide basis. Miano says lobbyists will admit that a small number of companies are abusing the H-1B program, but what he has found in this research is that almost everyone is abusing it.
�Abuse is by far more common than legitimate use,� he says.


Comments folks ?

Best regards.


Eric LEMAITRE
CNAM IT Engineer, MS/CS (RHCE, RHCX, SCJA, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, Net+)
Free Online Tutorials: http://www.free-tutorials-online.net/
Prem Khan
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Joined: May 30, 2005
Posts: 189
Did you exspect anything different ?
Amit Saini
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Joined: Oct 20, 2004
Posts: 280
This is not what the situation is for the bigger comapnies like Microsoft, EBAY, Yahoo and countless other nasdaq listed cos. I agree, small companies tend to pay H1s lesser.

I recently graduated and most of my friends are earning between 50k-60k. I dont see how this can be called less for an entry level job. Those who went through consultants are somewhere at 35-45k for a start.
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
I'd be interested in seeing how those numbers are adjusted for relative levels of education or experience, and how they break down by country of origin.

Cheers!

Luke
Amit Saini
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Joined: Oct 20, 2004
Posts: 280
Hello Luke,
Most of us came to USA for MS-CS with <=1 year exp and hence started looking for entry level jobs after completing education this year. I'd say job market in Wash DC Metro has been rather good since past one year. Country of origin would be..India and China.
Is that what your question was?
Amit
James Swan
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Joined: Jun 26, 2001
Posts: 403
I keep reading negative aspects on H1Bs, but I went through the process myself and found it not too bad at all.

I was on an H1B for 4 years (from 2001), lived in San Francisco Bay Area, had 2 employers (got laid off from 1st, but found another job), both were very small startups.

I felt I was being paid a fair market rate for my education and experience.
- BSc, computer science, couple of industry certificates
- 7 years industry experience
- from New Zealand

Just my thoughts.
Jayesh Lalwani
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Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
Originally posted by Luke Kolin:
I'd be interested in seeing how those numbers are adjusted for relative levels of education or experience, and how they break down by country of origin.

Cheers!

Luke


My thoughts, exactly!! One can safely assume that most H1-Bs would occupy junior - mid level positions. By the time an H1-B worker, who came into the country as a junior developer, becomes a senior developer, he would either have to leave the country or get a GC.

So, it might appear that most H1-Bs are getting paid low wages because most H1-Bs work lower level jobs
Homer Phillips
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Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
I keep reading negative aspects on H1Bs, but I went through the process myself and found it not too bad at all.


As an idividual you are too small an element to be a representative sample of the market. I'm sure the H1-B program could work. It might work well sometimes. But in aggregate, it walks like a turkey.
Eric Lemaitre
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Joined: Jul 03, 2004
Posts: 538

Hi Luke !

I'd be interested in seeing how those numbers are adjusted for relative levels of education or experience, and how they break down by country of origin.

When article stated "H1B wages much lower than for US citizens" it is meant for aliens with comparables diplomas, experience and skills, of course, so "lesser pay for same performances".
I don't get how alien's country of origine could change anything to this matter, are US citizens wages DOE (Depends Of Experience) while H1B wages are DON (Depends Of Nationality) or something alike ?

Best regards.
Eric Lemaitre
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Joined: Jul 03, 2004
Posts: 538

Hi Shawn !

Did you exspect anything different ?

This is no obvious matter, for we have great claims with accurate figures in support that both H1B is widely abused with much lower wages (studies say about 30%) and that US labour immigration system perfectly respects law rules with same wages that US citizens and no alien is hired as long as one native can. So it really looks like seriously led studies can proof the total opposite with the very same official labour immigration figures.

Of course I have my own opinion, but what I find very interesting is that no official ever tries to enforce the system with any really undoubtfuly trustful system, such as mandatory submission of job positions on a MCQ skills test allowing to draw an alien H1B from a pool if no native US passed it while aliens did. In present situation neither industrial K-street lobies who claim there are not enough skilled people for their needs, nor native US groups who claim too numerous skilled people are already there, can be trusted for both defend their own interests while there is no one trustful between them to try checking their claims (government of course). K-street lobies claims are meaningless for they may want extraordinary skills for cheap wages, while native US groups claims are meaningless too for they may want attribution of skilled jobs even to unskilled natives as prioritary before aliens. The so said "skills shortage" may be true or may be artificially provoked, no one simply knows, can know, and in fact it seems wants to be able to know. It would be easy for government to check before and after hiring whether or not candidate aliens really match asked skills, don't take natives' positions and are paid as well. This total lack of state control (not strategical post-control of allowed ressources but no strategical pre-control of real ressources needs) is the really meaningful thing to me.
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Eric Lemaitre:
[QB]When article stated "H1B wages much lower than for US citizens" it is meant for aliens with comparables diplomas, experience and skills, of course, so "lesser pay for same performances".


Considering that to the best of my knowledge, DHS and DOL to not make publicly available the relative education and epxerience levels of H-1B workers. Becuase of this, I don't see how any survey could take this variable out of the equation.

I don't get how alien's country of origine could change anything to this matter, are US citizens wages DOE (Depends Of Experience) while H1B wages are DON (Depends Of Nationality) or something alike ?


You've obviously not read my extensive posts on the matter. While a Third World worker might accept a substantially below-market wage for the privilege of coming to America, it is an exceptionally doubtful proposition that a professional coming from Canada, ANZ, or the EU would do the same. As a French citizen, I'm sure you can attest to this very fact. Therefore, it's logical to question wether accepting below-market wages is uniform among all foreign non-immigrant workers, or if it affects certain nationalities more than others.

Cheers!

Luke
[ November 01, 2005: Message edited by: Luke Kolin ]
Eric Lemaitre
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Joined: Jul 03, 2004
Posts: 538

Hi Luke !

Considering that to the best of my knowledge, DHS and DOL to not make publicly available the relative education and epxerience levels of H-1B workers. Becuase of this, I don't see how any survey could take this variable out of the equation.

I won't take it into account anyway : technical team leaders know their staff and can easily state their global skills level, so practical comparison of wages against equivalent skills remains very easy. As the agencies which made the studies seem not to be official ones, asking for ethnical backgrounds is no issue for them, neither for consulted people. So I see no reason to have doubts about their figures.

You've obviously not read my extensive posts on the matter. While a Third World worker might accept a substantially below-market wage for the privilege of coming to America, it is an exceptionally doubtful proposition that a professional coming from Canada, ANZ, or the EU would do the same. As a French citizen, I'm sure you can attest to this very fact. Therefore, it's logical to question wether accepting below-market wages is uniform among all foreign non-immigrant workers, or if it affects certain nationalities more than others.

I read them, I simply totally disagree because I live the opposite myself. You seem never to have realized up to which point finding a sponsor for an alien who has neither US networking nor US diploma has become excessively difficult recently, almost impossible, about 1% success rate statistically (in short the same chances than for DV). So wherever they may come from the huge amount of people who want to come to USA will be ready to great salary sacrifices for a sponsorship possibility.

Recently a single rather badly paid job offer for US (50 K$ in San Fransisco for superior MS/CS skills with minimum 5 years of experience, frankly low considering experience and local life cost) was posted in a french national jobboard. I later discussed with the (french) employer, this poor offer draw about 5000 very experienced MS/CS candidates with some ready to work for as low as 30 K$. So on contrary as a French citizen I totally deny this "very fact", US sponsorship offers are so scarce nowadays than an awful lot of people even in developped countries are ready to take low wages against guarantee to be sponsored for H1B then GC, with still citizenship as ultimate goal. This is exactly my case (is/was in my case, I am so fed up trying to head to US than I am founding my own company and shifting my immigration goals to Spain instead).

You seem to be totally unaware of present US labour immigration situation since about 2002 : sponsorship has become excessively difficult, still huge crowds of skilled people (some 100 / 1000 for each available place) from all countries are ready to work even for low wages as long as they have H1B+GC sponsorship guarantee, and all aim final US citizenship for which they are ready to make many sacrifices. This is perfectly justified from aliens point of view as H1B even with undecent salary is the single only possible way to have a sure foot inside US immigration, apart of course totally random marriage/DV processes.
Luke Kolin
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Joined: Sep 04, 2002
Posts: 336
Originally posted by Eric Lemaitre:
As the agencies which made the studies seem not to be official ones, asking for ethnical backgrounds is no issue for them, neither for consulted people. So I see no reason to have doubts about their figures.


Let me quote the original article:

Miano based his report on OES (Occupational Employment Statistics) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which estimates wages for the entire country by state and metropolitan area. The report�s H-1B wage data came from the U.S. Department of Labor�s H-1B disclosure Web site.

The article clearly states that only official US government sources were used to generate this information. Why are you claiming to the contrary?

So on contrary as a French citizen I totally deny this "very fact", US sponsorship offers are so scarce nowadays than an awful lot of people even in developped countries are ready to take low wages against guarantee to be sponsored for H1B then GC, with still citizenship as ultimate goal.


That's interesting to note. But again, this is anecdotal data. The real answer is to be found by breaking down wage levels based on degree, experience and nationality - which DOL does not do and therefore was not factored into the original survey quoted.

This is perfectly justified from aliens point of view as H1B even with undecent salary is the single only possible way to have a sure foot inside US immigration, apart of course totally random marriage/DV processes.


I disagree to the level that it occurs from First World nations (as you have obviously refused to engage in such practices) but the solutions advocated are curious. Every $1,000 or $2,250 head tax is just that much less money going towards foreign workers, and the quota and processing delays are designed to completely hamstring legitimate employers.

I can think of no better way to eliminate a program than to subvert it in such a way that fewer legitimate employers wish to use it, and then turn around and say "see - it's exploitative!" and then "protect" foreign workers by keeping them out, just like Polish plumbers are being "protected" by keeping them unemployed in Poland. H-1B exploitation can be eliminated at a stroke of a pen by giving H-1B holders blanket work authorization in their field for 3 years, and the ability to self-petition for a Green Card.

But no one wants that, because if the problems with the H-1B program are eliminated then the anti-immigrant lobby can't achieve their true goal.

Cheers!

Luke
Eric Lemaitre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2004
Posts: 538

Hi Luke !

I disagree to the level that it occurs from First World nations (as you have obviously refused to engage in such practices)...

You are totally wrong on this one : we were about 5,000 to apply for this position including me, I have not refused to engage in such practices, I simply have not been selected, another one was.

...but the solutions advocated are curious. Every $1,000 or $2,250 head tax is just that much less money going towards foreign workers, and the quota and processing delays are designed to completely hamstring legitimate employers. I can think of no better way to eliminate a program than to subvert it in such a way that fewer legitimate employers wish to use it, and then turn around and say "see - it's exploitative!" and then "protect" foreign workers by keeping them out, just like Polish plumbers are being "protected" by keeping them unemployed in Poland.

I totally agree this shows somehow a strong disfunctionment which no one can or wants to fix, with unlegitimate or dishonests reasons invoked so as to avoid to.

I see the "Polish plumber" myth has not only become famous in whole Europe, but in US too... Anyway forget it, it was a silly choice for it has no technical ground : there is no proof at all plumbers in Poland earn low wages, in France we are lacking plumbers who are better paid than IT Engineers, and as now Poland is part of EU they may come at will in France without any visa issue if they want. But Poles were smart and showed a great sense of humour by prefering turning the evil icon into an handsome hard-hat for tourism advertisement purposes. Real reasons to invoke instead are just below.

The "Polish plumber" myth was an ill chosen exemple for a catastrophic evil european law called "Bolkentstein directive" (prononce "Bolkentstein" as "Frankenstein" to be in the exact mood). Now simply imagine that any US employer was legally allowed to hire any south-american at his local wages (south-american wages of course), how many days would be necessary to have tens of millions US citizens legally fired for perfectly legal south-american to be hired instead ?
This is exactly european Bolkentstein directive's matter, legal hire of any EU worker in any EU country at his originating country's wages. Do you still wonder, together with the integration perspective of 100 millions of not really moderated turkish muslims against the will of a large majority of EU citizens, why some EU countries seriously consider leaving the Union if such laws are applied ?

I believe EU and US have the very same basic problem : they are led by dishonest unefficient morrons who have no idea of and don't care anyway their populations' interests, they are totally unaware of real life needs and will lead their own-minded policy at all cost even when life events prove they are totally wrong. The immigration system is not a total mess only in US, it is a total mess totally unmanaged in whole Europe too.

H-1B exploitation can be eliminated at a stroke of a pen by giving H-1B holders blanket work authorization in their field for 3 years, and the ability to self-petition for a Green Card. But no one wants that, because if the problems with the H-1B program are eliminated then the anti-immigrant lobby can't achieve their true goal.

I totally agree, and this would be a fair and simple solution, but this leads me to another point : anti-immigrant lobby cannot be trusted for they want by definition scarce native labour for less unemployment and better wages, pro-immigrant lobby cannot be trusted either for they want by definition to fire all "overpaid" native labour to replace them by cheap aliens of equivalent skills. Both do their lobby job, I blame none. The one to blame for not doing his quarell-settling job at all between these 2 completely opposite trends is US government. US gov boasts about controlling immigration and that labour immigration is strategical, but never tries to determine undoubtfuly how many skilled aliens are really lacking to US industry without spoiling native citizens. It even hardly ever reacts to massive illegal immigration which badly harms unskilled US citizens, with more than 11 millions of illegals officially on its soil with little deportation risks. So where is the ever absent third actor, US government, which should be settling between pro and anti immigrant lobbies if it considered doing its job ?

Best regards.
 
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