In the wake of the Reinhart & Rogoff revelations, today WAPO tells us of yet another study demonstrating the error of commonly-accepted economic truism: this time about jobs and education. As reporter Jia Lynn Ylang tells us:
If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on in Washington, it’s that the country has a woeful shortage of workers trained in science, technology, engineering and math — what’s referred to as STEM.There's only one problem: it's not true. Further details below the graceful orange curlycue . . .
A study released Wednesday by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute reinforces what a number of researchers have come to believe: that the STEM worker shortage is a myth.And moving on, since no good report should depend on secondary sources, to the actual paper: Guestworkers in the high-skill U.S. labor market: An analysis of supply, employment, and wage trends.
For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job.Nevertheless, despite a clear abundance of IT-trained graduates to the point where STEM graduates have only a 50% chance of being hired into their fields:
In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT workforce, 32 percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. These responses suggest that the supply of graduates is substantially larger than the demand for them in industry.
The flow of guestworkers has increased over the past decade and continues to rise (the rate of increase dropped briefly with the economic collapse of 2008, but the flow of guestworkers has since continued its rapid upward pace).The report goes on to detail what many IT professionals on DKos have described anecdotally: that the burgeoning level of H1B visa-holders drives down wages and drives out trained Americans from STEM positions while often replacing them with less-qualified but far cheaper foreign workers. Meanwhile, the stagnating wages and declining availability of jobs discourages American students from investing in careers that require extensive, expensive training and credentialing processes. Simply put, there's no point in busting your ass and running up a lifetime worth of debt in order to compete against indentured workers from South Asia for jobs that won't pay off your loans.
The annual inflows of guestworkers amount to one-third to one-half the number of all new IT job holders.
Any shortage America has of workers with scientific, technical, and engineering training is entirely of our own making. The people, the talent, and the training is all here. The sad fact is that many companies prefer to hire half-trained personnel for half the price, especially when they can hold those personnel in a state of total dependency on their whims. Meanwhile, the best and brightest Americans look for opportunities where they won't be abused and cheated by their employers. Thus the desperation of employers to find contract employees with less experience and fewer resources.
The corporations leaning on Congress to increase H1B visas aren't looking for capable, independent, highly-trained and intelligent STEM employees. They're looking for slaves and indentured servants, and the constantly-repeated meme of a "shortage" of highly-trained personnel is a myth used to serve that intention. Like Reinhart & Rogoff, we now have the evidence to demonstrate it.