H-1B visas under attack again
Employ America Act would limit H-1B Visas
The proposed Employ America Act has H-1B hiring restrictions that would bar any firm that lays off 50 or more workers from hiring guest workers. This legislation could potentially affect a broad swath of tech firms that have laid-off large numbers of workers but continue hiring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics high-tech industry overall has laid off more than 345,000 workers since August 2008, according to the two senators in the unveiling of what they called the Employ America Act.
The proposers of this legislation said that with the unemployment rate over 10%, companies that undertake mass layoffs shouldn't need to hire foreign guest workers when there are plenty of qualified Americans looking for jobs.
In February, these same legislators moved to prohibit any financial services firm that received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) from hiring H-1B holders. That blanket restriction on hiring wasn't adopted, but Congress did agree to automatically make any firm receiving TARP funds "H-1B dependent."
A company is considered H-1B dependent if more than 15% of their workers are on the H-1B visa, but the TARP restriction applies regardless of the percent of visa holders on the payroll. Companies that are H-1B dependent must, among the things, make good faith efforts to hire U.S. workers first.
With the Senate expected to receive an immigration overhaul bill early next year, the prospects for any H-1B-related legislation is uncertain and probably unlikely to pass.
Proposed earlier the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2009 would set a number of restrictions on H-1B use, including the so-called 50-50 provision that would prohibit any firm with more than 50 workers from having more than half workforce on H-1B or L-1 visas. That provision is aimed at Indian outsourcing firms. The legislation also sets higher salary standards for visa workers as well as anti-fraud provisions.
Other proposed legislation that would to increase the H-1B cap and that would exempt foreign graduates of U.S. Ph.D. programs from counting toward a cap on H-1B visas.
Half Life of Storage Media is short
The National Archives warns - "CD/DVD experiential life expectancy is 2 to 5 years even though published life expectancies are often cited as 10 years, 25 years, or longer. However, a variety of factors ... may result in a much shorter life span for CDs/DVDs.
Life expectancies are statistically based; any specific medium may experience a critical failure before its life expectancy is reached. Additionally, the quality of your storage environment may increase or decrease the life expectancy of the media. We recommend testing your media at least every two years to assure your records are still readable."
Fall in IT Salaries Arrested - IT Job Market Leveling Off
IT professionals hard - the worst may be over
Latest Median IT Salaries
For the latest data go to the current IT Salary Survey
Janco released its 2010 IT Salary Survey, which shows that overall pay has flattened out and that some hiring demand has appeared for IT professionals. The CEO of Janco, Victor Janulaitis stated, "The economic climate is still driven with a cost cutting mindset, business closures, and extensive outsourcing. However the worst seems to be over as salaries for IT professionals are no longer falling. " The CEO added, "...many 'baby-boomers' who had planned on retiring in the next few years are not leaving the job market frustrating middle aged workers who want to advance."
Summary Janco results show the mean compensation (which includes bonuses) for all IT executive positions surveyed is $143,776 (a slight increase from $142,753) in large enterprises and $123,646 (a slight decrease from $123,728) in mid-sized enterprises. Base compensation has shown a slight increase; however the study shows that there was a 13% decrease in the number of employees receiving personal performance bonuses and an 11% decrease in those receiving enterprise based performance bonuses. The CEO of Janco said, "Bonuses are trailing indicators and should return as soon as the recovery takes hold."
Janco found the factors holding compensation flat and dampening hiring demand are: companies continue to reduce benefits provided to all employees including IT professionals; many companies have instituted hiring and spending freezes in addition to laying-off; and outsourcing has been focused on management and support staff where the bulk of compensation expenses are incurred.
Janco has captured IT compensation data since 1996 and publishes its IT Salary Survey semiannually. The IT Salary Survey is based on Janco's IT professionals' compensation database. Compensation benchmark hiring and salary ranges are established for each position surveyed. In analyzing the study data, the upper and lower quartiles are eliminated to determine the benchmark ranges. The benchmark ranges are then used to assess the alignment of a company's actual compensation to the marketplace for each job function. A summary of the most recent salary survey can be downloaded by visiting Janco IT Salary Survey at https://www.e-janco.com/salary.htm.