With skyrocketing it unemployment as a backdrop, the U.S. Congress last week let the H-1B visa limit drop back to 65,000.
In 2000, the limit on H-1B visas was boosted to 195,000 in response to companies that said they couldnt hire enough domestic talent to fuel the dot-com boom. Even then, this assertion was scorned by high-tech labor experts who saw the visa program as a way to get low-cost workers.
Since then, IT unemployment has become impossible to ignore. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 230,000 U.S. workers in 12 engineering and computer job classifications were unemployed in the second quarter of this year.
According to the IEEE-USA, the unemployment rate for electrical and electronics engineers was at a record high of 7 percent in the first quarter and was scarcely better—6.4 percent—in the second quarter.