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Immigration in America and the Growing Shortage of High-Skilled Workers

by Venture Capital at KPCB on May 29, 2013

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KPCB's Mary Meeker and Liang Wu take a close look at the impact of limits on high-skilled immigrants on the tech industry - and make the case for significant reforms.

KPCB's Mary Meeker and Liang Wu take a close look at the impact of limits on high-skilled immigrants on the tech industry - and make the case for significant reforms.

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17 of 7 previous next Post a comment

  • EdDennis2 Ed Dennis The obvious solution to the tech pay decline is unionization of coders and other tech writers. The first item in a tech union contract should be the abolition of any and all non compete clauses/agreements as a condition of employment. Union dues should be used as seed money to fund start ups. Folks, it's time to quit complaining and take action. The politicians aren't going to do anything but increase the number of uneducated low wage lemmings to vote and keep them in office. Never rely on government for fairness or real solutions to problems. never imagine management will give you what you are worth. You are responsible for your future! 10 months ago
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  • peterschaeffer Peter Schaeffer 'History shows that the receiving country gains in the long-term with the infusion of immigrants, regardless of their country of origin or ethnicity'

    What a joke. America stopped mass immigration around 1920 and enjoyed the best 50 years in our nation's history. Mass immigration resumed around 1970, and things have gone rather badly since.
    10 months ago
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  • peterschaeffer Peter Schaeffer When there is a 'shortage' of something, the price goes up. When there is a 'surplus', the price goes down. Now lets try some 'facts'...

    The weasels are winning: Software pay falls 2% in 2012
    Happy weasel
    From Computerworld, an IT trade publication:

    Software developer wages fall 2% as workforce expands

    Less costly young, and long unemployed older developers may be expanding the workforce at less cost to employers

    By Patrick Thibodeau

    Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. tech industry added nearly 64,000 software related jobs last year, but as the workforce expanded, the average size of workers' pay checks declined by nearly 2%.

    There are multiple theories for the decline in pay, but a common one cited by analysts is simply that the new people being hired are paid less than those already on the job.

    The average annual wage of all workers in the software services sector was $99,000 in 2012, about $2,000 less than the prior year, reported TechAmerica Foundation in its annual Cyberstates report.

    The foundation is an affiliate of the industry trade group TechAmerca. It uses Labor Dept. data to assemble its report. ...

    The Cyberstates report puts the tech labor force at 5.95 million in 2012, an increase of 1.1% from the prior year. Of that, 1.87 million workers are in software services jobs.

    Software services, which includes government defined labor categories software publishers, custom programmers, computer facilities management and other computer related services, are the best paid and the largest segment of the tech work force.

    The next largest, engineering and tech services, employs 1.62 million. Wages for workers in this segment increased by $1,500 to $92,500. But unlike software services, job growth was modest, increasing by only 11,300 last year.

    David Foote, the CEO of Foote Associates, which analyzes IT hiring trends and wages, said the supply of workers in the software services segment 'is plentiful. Of course, there are many unemployed workers who want to get back to work.'
    Employers, consequently, did not need to offer generous wage packages to fill many of their jobs. 'In fact, [employers] could get workers pretty cheap,' said Foote.

    Foote said the IT industry-specific Cyberstates study doesn't include all tech workers. Working against the wage decline is high demand for certain software skill sets, which puts upward pay pressure on certain jobs that are harder to fill, he said.

    Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, a research firm that also analyzes IT wage and employment trends, cited a number of reason for the decline in wages for software professionals. First, technology is becoming easier to implement without having an IT professional, he said. Also, the option of turning to outsourcing creates less pressure to increase wages.


    But, as Mark Zuckerberg tells us, this is just a start: the United States government must help him drive down wages even farther. Zuck getting even richer at the expense of his workers is Good for the Economy.
    10 months ago
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  • jrsutton1 James Sutton, CEO at Sigma Iberia Inc. I hope eventually our legislators will understand the logic of liberalizing the immigration system for high skill workers. Where would our nation be without the massive migration from Europe to America during the 19th and 20th Century. History shows that the receiving country gains in the long-term with the infusion of immigrants, regardless of their country of origin or ethnicity.. 10 months ago
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  • aparedesm123 Antonio Moreno, Lecturer at University of Seville, Spain Very interesting these slides. Thanks 10 months ago
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  • socialnerdia Esteban Contreras, Director of Strategy: Sprinklr // Author: SOCIAL STATE // Founder: Social Nerdia // Advisor to early stage startups at - I worked for Samsung for 3 years in the US but had to leave as the path to a greencard was not worth it. I live in Canada now as my wife is Canadian. Very happy to be in the Vancouver area. 10 months ago
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  • bradb59 bradb59 Gosh, would love to see the slide indicating a huge spike in salary for the impacted trades based on the advertised demand, that is after all the laws of labor markets, right? ( know the precipitous rise in pay does not exist, I guess the established laws of the labor market don't exist?)
    Also, would be nice to indicated on the slide where there have been drops in STEM grad and undergrad degrees with the Big Tech's decision to *try* and outsource everything to make more money.

    Finally, consider the source... cheaper labor is good for VCs
    10 months ago
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Immigration in America and the Growing Shortage of High-Skilled Workers Immigration in America and the Growing Shortage of High-Skilled Workers Presentation Transcript