HIGH TECH COMPANIES SEEK TO HIRE MORE FOREIGN WORKERS
Milwaukee Journal Business Section February 13, 2000
High technology companies that are asking congress to allow more foreigners to fill the labor shortage of skilled labor. Every year approximately 100,000 jobs for educated workers in the high-tech. industry are created. Currently there are 115,000 foreigners working in the United States with 6-year visas. These workers are college educated and some are paid over $60,000 per year.
One of external forces of high-tech companies would be the limiting of number of visas by the government. In the last six months, the technology industry contributed $4 million dollars to federal candidates. These contributions are a definite way to influence the government as an external force. Another external force would be the fact that some countries outside of the U.S. can pay their skilled laborers less therefore being able to produce products at a lower price.
Labor unions are trying to persuade congress that these immigrants are not needed and are underpaid. These visas limit jobs and lower wages for American workers that have a college education. I think that these labor unions are correct since Americans would fill these new jobs in high-tech fields if the companies would be willing to pay higher salaries. Currently there is almost no unemployment here America, but once the economy takes a turn for the worse, many Americans will be unemployed since congress is letting in foreigners for six years.
I think that putting foreigners on the payroll is an easy way for American companies to cut costs in order to remain competitive in a global market. Instead of hiring immigrants, these companies should work on focusing internal forces. To reduce their skilled labor shortage, companies should invest in educating their current employees and find good workers through hiring from within. Another solution to the labor shortage would be for the high-tech industry to pay higher wages for college graduates.
Hiring foreign workers may be a short-term solution to avoid moving operations overseas. In this sense, foreigners may actually help Americans keep their jobs since high-technology companies would not be able to compete with global competition. If the company cannot produce cost effective products in the United States they will probably follow many other companies that have moved factories south into Mexico. These companies should try to send lower paying jobs to overseas operations while trying to keep the high-tech jobs here in the United States. This will help the company to be more competitive in a global market.
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