US Needs Immigration Reform To Prevent 9 Million Job Vacancies Over Next Decade: Report

If the US does not take steps to counter the shortage of high-skilled workers in the country, it could result in over 9 million job vacancies and $1.2 trillion in lost production over the next decade, according to a report published by a network of technology CEOs.

With the US not producing enough skilled degree holders to fill demand, expanding high-skilled immigration is the best solution to shrink the current skills gap and contribute to new business development and economic growth, said the report, published by TechNet. Despite the positive effects of immigration and growth of the US economy, current H-1B visa guidelines have remained unchanged over the past 14 years.

“We are in a global race for talent. The United States must welcome the world’s best and the brightest, and their families, so they can put their talents to work for the American economy,” said Linda Moore, president and CEO, TechNet.

While education reform is critical to narrow the skills gap in the future, this is a two-decade investment and will not solve the current shortage of skilled labour in the US, according to the report, ‘Closing the Skills Gap: The Data Behind Talent Shortages, High-Skilled Immigration and Economic Impact’.

“The United States used to be the top destination for the world’s best and brightest innovators seeking a home for their companies. Sadly, that has changed. Because of our outdated immigration system, the technology sector is now turning to other countries, such as Canada, that welcome highly skilled immigrants and provide companies with the flexibility they need to grow and thrive. Congress can change that,” said Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, chair of the House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee. “By modernising our immigration laws and creating a dedicated visa for founders of startup companies, we can accelerate economic growth, create jobs for American workers, and ensure our country is the top choice for the next-generation of entrepreneurs worldwide.”

By Priyanka Sangani for THE ECONOMIC TIMES
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