According to a report by the American Immigration Council, H1B visa does not drive down the US wages. The myths associated with the H1B visas are really mind-blowing, especially when we, practitioners know exactly how strict are the H1B rules. Excerpt from the report mentions:
How do H-1B visas impact wages?
Despite suggestions to the contrary, the overwhelming evidence shows that H-1B visas do not drive down wages of native-born workers, with some studies showing a positive impact on wages overall.
- From the creation of the H-1B program in 1990 to 2010, H-1B-driven increases in STEM workers were associated with a significant increase in wages for college-educated, U.S.-born workers in 219 U.S. cities. A one percentage point increase in foreign STEM workers’ share of a city’s total employment was associated with increases in wages of 7 to 8 percentage points paid to both STEM and non-STEM college-educated natives, while non-college educated workers saw an increase of 3 to 4 percentage points.
- From 2009 to 2011, wage growth for U.S.-born workers with at least a bachelor’s degree was nominal, but wage growth for workers in occupations with large numbers of H-1B petitions was substantially higher. For example, in the Computer Systems Design and Related Services category, there has been a 5.5 percent wage growth since 1990 and a 7 percent wage growth since 2009. In comparison, wage growth across all industries has been 0.8 percent since 1990 and 1.6 percent since 2009.
- On average, H-1B workers earn higher wages than employed U.S.-born workers with bachelor’s degrees: $76,356 compared to $67,301, including in areas like computer and information technology, engineering, healthcare, and post-secondary education. When comparing workers of the same age cohort and occupation, H-1B workers earn higher wages than their native-born counterparts. Specifically, in 17 out of 20 age cohort and occupation groups, wages for H-1B workers are higher than non-H-1B workers.
- Factors such as gender, marital status, and ethnicity play a larger role than citizenship or immigration status for wages in the tech and finance industries—industries that use a large number of H-1B visas. A worker’s geographic region also accounts for significant differences in wages.