Too few native highly-skilled workers

Dan Grech Mar 10, 2008


Doug Krizner: There’s a limit to the number of high-skilled foreign workers permitted in this country. The idea is to reserve high-paying jobs for those born in America. But two studies out today find a flaw in that thinking. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace’s Dan Grech reports.

Dan Grech: The first study examined job openings for highly-skilled workers at all the companies in the S&P 500. On average, tech companies had over 470 openings. Defense firms had more than 1,200.

Stuart Anderson: The United States is simply not producing enough people in these skilled fields to fill the demand inside these companies.

That’s Stuart Anderson. He directs the National Foundation for American Policy, author of both studies.

The second report counters the idea that highly-skilled immigrants displace native-born workers. For every foreign worker added, the study found U.S. tech firms increased their workforce by five.

Anderson: What companies find is when they hire highly-skilled individuals, it can create new innovations and it can help the companies expand into new markets.

Anderson says that helps grow the overall labor force.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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