Report Finds Foreign-Born STEM Workers Help Economy

Nov 30, 2012

The House of Representatives passed the STEM Jobs Act that would increase the number of green cards available for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Yesterday, Randy Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits at the U.S. Chamber explained what the bill does and why it’s a much-needed start for immigration reform. The bill goes to the Senate.

When considering the bill, Senators should page through a new report released by the Information Technology Industry Council, the Partnership for a New American Economy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce providing evidence that foreign-born STEM workers complement—not replace—American workers and “according to existing research, they would actually create additional opportunities for U.S. workers.”

The report finds:                                   

  • There is full employment for US STEM workers with advanced degrees.
  • In many STEM occupations, unemployment is virtually non-existent.
  • STEM fields employ a far higher proportion of foreign workers than non-STEM fields.
  • STEM fields with high percentages of foreign STEM workers have low unemployment rates for US workers.
  • Foreign-born STEM workers are paid on par with US STEM workers.

This report offers evidence for why America needs a high skilled immigration system to maintain America’s competitiveness, grow the economy, and create jobs.

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