2. Fear of wages undercut by H-1B workers
- A report filed June 22 by the Government Accountability Office, a congressional oversight agency, confirmed what many critics of the H-1B visa program have long maintained:
"Employers can and do give preference to H-1Bs over U.S. workers," said Ralph W. Wyndrum Jr., president of IEEE-USA, an organizational unit within the IEEE, which works to protect the career and policy interests of its members, in a statement.
- IT employment accelerated in May, according to the National Association of Computer Consultants Business IT Employment Index, despite the Labor Department employment numbers failing to meet expectations. Yet, it doesnt mean that the larger economy does not weigh on the mind of IT workers, many of whom feel that the economy has not fully recovered from the post-dot-com boom recession years.
A study released June 14 by the CUED (Center for Urban Economic Development) at the University of Illinois, Chicago, on behalf of the WashTech/CWA (Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, an affiliate union of the Communications Workers of America) asserted that the
- For three consecutive months, workers have increasingly described their finances negatively, according to the Hudson Employment Index for IT Workers. 34 percent of tech pros indicated that their financial situation was getting worse, the fourth consecutive month this number has been in a decline. Only 13 percent of IT workers rated their personal financial situation as "excellent," the fourth month in a row this percentage has been on the decline. 40 percent felt that their personal finances were "good."
Nicoll felt that these concerns over personal finances were cyclical.
"There are seasonal effects. People are so focused on vacation that financial burdens come to the surface," said Nicoll.
Yet, both the percentages of tech pros who felt that their finances were "excellent" and "good" were down from June 2005, when they were each a percentage point up.
"This is the time of year when we see these things drop. From an index standpoint, though, if its stable through vacation, it will look good at the years end," said Nicoll.
- Compared with May, when more than three-quarters (76 percent) of the IT workforce was content with their job, just 71 percent felt that way in June.
"Confidence should be on the rise because there are more jobs out there right now; we do sense that the trend of hiring is definitely on the upswing. Theres more of a sense of security that there wasnt a year ago. But, it could be just that businesses have as a whole become more efficient," Carol Cornman, senior vice president at Sapphire Technologies, a provider of IT staffing solutions in Woburn, Mass., told eWEEK.
Courtney sees the decline in job contentment among IT workers as reflective of a change in perspective.
"IT workers look at the stability of an employer and the longevity and stability of the project they are working on more than they used to. The look at the general health of the economy, and if a company is in a fledging industry or one that will be around for a while; as a whole, they are getting more savvy about their workplace choices and this can have an effect on their outlook," said Courtney.