I’ve written about this issue of there possibly being a shortage of tech workers before. (Sorry, I can’t easily find any links right now, but it wouldn’t matter much as they’d just be links to my own blog posts.) Here is a study that claims otherwise. While most of the editorializing in this article I disagree with (the commentary is mostly on the topic of: if there is not actually a shortage of tech workers then we shouldn’t be considering allowing more immigration to solve this (non) problem. I disagree with this. We should be allowing more immigration for a lot of reasons, only one of which is that there may be a shortage of tech workers. And there are essentially no reasons why we shouldn’t allow more immigration.)

The reason I’m posting this article is because of this one sentence: “Basic dynamics of supply and demand would dictate that if there were a domestic labor shortage, wages should have risen.” Yes, that’s one way to tell. There are others, as wages aren’t the only thing that can be tinkered with in the marketplace (for example, working conditions, benefits, hours worked (these are probably salaried jobs), etc. But wages are one way to tell and it’s pretty easy to measure wages. So this is actually a doable experiment (or, a done experiment if you consider this study to be the experiment).

But this issue IS more complicated than wages, so I would not consider this to be definitive.

The article does also point out the cronyism associated with tech companies lobbying for more immigration visas when they can apparently get a 20% discount on salaries when paying foreign workers.

-JD Cross

 

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