No Evidence of a STEM Worker Shortage

Center for Immigration Studies, May 20, 2014

While employers argue that there are not enough workers with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees, a new analysis of government data by the Center for Immigration Studies finds no evidence that a general shortage of such workers exists. Consistent with most research on the subject, the findings show that the country has more than twice as many people with STEM degrees as there are STEM jobs. Also consistent with most other research on the subject, we find only modest levels of wage growth for such workers for more than a decade. Both employment and wage data indicate STEM workers are not in short supply in the United States.

View the entire report here.

“By allowing in many more immigrants than the STEM labor market can absorb, Congress is almost certainly holding down wage growth, crowding natives out of these jobs, and reducing the incentive for Americans to undertake the challenging course work necessary for a STEM career,” said Dr. Steven Camarota, the Center’s Director of Research and co-author of the report. “This may be a great situation for employers, but it is hard to see how this is in the best long-term interest of the American people.”

Among the report’s findings:

• Using the most common definition of STEM jobs, total STEM employment in 2012 was 5.3 million workers, but there are 12.1 million STEM degree holders.

• If STEM workers are in short supply, wages should be increasing rapidly. But wage data from multiple sources show little growth over the last 12 years.

• Real annual wages (adjusted for inflation) grew 0.4 percent a year on average from 2000 to 2012 for STEM workers. Wage growth has been very modest even for most subcategories of engineers and technology workers.

• Only one-third of native-born Americans with an undergraduate STEM degree who have a job actually work in a STEM occupation.

• There are more than five million native-born Americans with STEM undergraduate degrees working in non-STEM occupations: 1.5 million with engineering degrees, half a million with technology degrees, 400,000 with math degrees, and 2.6 million with science degrees.

• An additional 1.2 million natives with STEM degrees are not working–unemployed or out of the labor force in 2012.

• Well less than half of immigrants with STEM degrees work in STEM jobs. In particular, just 23 percent of all immigrants with engineering degrees work as engineers.

• In total, 1.6 million immigrants with STEM degrees worked outside of a STEM field and 563,000 were not working in 2012.

• Despite the economic downturn, between 2007 and 2012, about 700,000 new immigrants with STEM degrees were allowed to settle in the country.

• Of these new immigrants with STEM degrees, only a little more than a third took a STEM job and about the same share took a non-STEM job. The rest were not working in 2012.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MekongDelta69

    Gives a whole new meaning to ‘STEM cell research’:

    1. Find a White guy with a STEM degree.
    2. Kick him to the curb.
    3. Import third-world alien to take his job.

    • D.B. Cooper

      So what? 50% probability the guy votes democrat anyway. Give him what he wants: unemployment.

      • AutomaticSlim

        “50% probability the guy votes democrat anyway.”

        Don’t be too sure of that.
        Believe it not, people tend to get a bit angry when they lose their job.
        Especially a programmer or analyst who is forced to train an unintelligible Indian with BO to take their job. I say forced because they will be threatened with not getting severance pay unless they do this. I have seen it many times.
        A liberal guy who sat across from me at a job 5 years ago was sounding like a right wing convert after this scenario happened to him.

        • Brian

          I saw this in a company where I worked about 15 years ago. Some developers got axed and, to get their severance, had to spend their last two weeks training their Bangalorean replacements. I’m surprised no one went postal, with this insult added to injury. I know the Indians didn’t get very good training though, and the CFO got a bag of dog doo smeared in his office.

          • Zaporizhian Sich

            He’s lucky he only got the dog doo smeared around his office. In the occupations I have worked in, some just might have smeared him literally all over his office. In the blue collar world, let’s just say work men can be very direct.

      • Tully

        Utter nonsense.

        Fact is both parties are neck deep in supporting foreign workers coming in H1-B and L-1 since the 90’s and still to this day. Now the GOP is busy supporting Amnesty and open borders, policies no different than Obama’s. You can’t find a single GOP candidate that supports secure borders or confronting off-shoring.

        With friends like these who needs enemies.

        That said combined off-shoring and importing foreign workers is killing our country’s. Once we lose enough our native talent and our jobs are taken over by foreigners, we’re done for.

      • Frank Morris

        The Republicans are screeching for more foreign worker visas right along with the Democrats.

    • Marc Zuckurburg

      Better yet, never hire the white guy with a STEM degree in the first place.

      But I like the way you think.

      • AutomaticSlim

        I am an IT consultant in the NY finance industry.
        Trust me, Whites are few and far between now.
        About 75% of my floor, about 600 people, is Indian.
        Almost all of them H1-Bs.

        • r j p

          No r all the recruiters that call me are Asians I can’t understand.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          Stinking cow worshipping curry slurpers.

  • D.B. Cooper

    The Democratic Party will keep doing this as long as no one goes after them.
    The only ones in position to go head to head with the Democratic Party is the Republican Party, but they have done nothing other being 99% similar to the democrats.

    As long as you keep electing the moderate (which means they say they are conservative, but their actions indicate they are no different than members of the Democratic Party. Vote out all RINOs and moderates from the Republican Party.
    Yes, that means more democrats will win offices, but what has the GOP done for you over the years? All I’ve seen is more immigration, more Affirmative Action, and more crime.
    Eventually, Americans will get fed up, and will be willing to listen to a true conservative.

    Do I even have to post a picture of you-know-who today?

    • RisingReich

      Let’s try not to see him tonight.

    • trouble maker

      It dose not matter who you vote for if the money for their reelection campaign comes from big business

  • Marc Zuckurburg

    This article is so, so, so very wrong.

    There is a shortage of STEM workers, a big one.

    Look at my predicament – I put out bids for positions at Facebook, at pay scales that are more or less slavery considering the cost of living in the Bay Area, and I advertise these bids heavily in Hindi and Bengali speaking publications in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi, and time after time, hardly any Americans apply for these jobs.

    There, you see? That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform and more high tech worker visas.

    • Pro_Whitey

      It’s funny, because it’s true, but then it’s really not funny.

  • jambi19

    The goal is to drive down wages so that these jobs become jobs that “Americans won’t do.”

  • r j p

    If they need STEM anyway, wouldn’t it just be less expensive to sponsor ($) citizen students with the aptitude but not the money? I would gladly go back if I could afford it.
    Oh …. wait. No negroes would be sponsored.
    Kollege is a place for negroes to do their “funnin”.

    • AutomaticSlim

      The answer is no, because Americans actually have lives.
      The companies do not want that.
      They want an H1-B who will be willing to work 14 hour days for low pay and never complain. They will live 5 and 6 in an apartment in some Indian area – somewhere close to the job. While most of the rest of us have minimum 60 to 90 minute commutes.

    • RisingReich

      Science and tech oriented companies used to do exactly that. Plus, when they discovered a current employee had aptitude in a desired subject matter, they paid to send them to get a graduate degree that would make them even more valuable.

      It’s why both my 1st cousins were millionaires, and I’ll be lucky to hold on to what I’ll inherit IF I work until I’m dead.

    • benvad

      STEM courses is not where the money is for most colleges. They make more coin with the liberal arts garbage, and can have new sheep to brainwash at the same time.

  • LHathaway

    Foreign ‘immigrants’ need high paying jobs working in america because affirmative action females need someone to marry. Regular white guys are just too racist, and sexist, not too mention, many if not most, don’t make enough money for them.

  • Puggg

    Ahem.

    • DaveMed

      Yep.

  • RisingReich

    Only way I even got started in the Tech field was because two White guys decided to hire me.

    The reflection in the above article points out the obvious. “Natives” are NO CONCERN for those in control. They’d just as soon step on our faces as look at us.

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      Until if and when whites decide enough is enough and they go after those in control. Then you have civil war, or worse, and displacing, impoverishing, and dispossessing whites WILL lead to just that. Why do you think the government is giving armored vehicles and aircraft that can carry weapons to every police and sheriff’s department that asks for them, along with machine guns? Those who cannot be named are the ones behind and profiting from militarization of law-enforcement, and we already have atrocities against white Americans such as Ruby Ridge that are the direct result of it. The ruling elite know the pushback’s coming, and they are scared to death of whites, white men in particular who have served overseas in combat. If they can take on Al-CIDA, they can take on those who are in control, and train others too. The literally look at returning veterans as a terrorism threat.

      • Sheik Yerbouti

        All they do is make the weapons vulnerable. The Soviets discovered this. Spreading things under regional and particularly local control, assumes the locals won’t kill their own sheriff. So what if it’s not the locals who seize control? What if it’s one of those many “white gangs” we hear so much about?

  • There was never any shortage of native-born STEM degrees. The thing that upset the plutocrats about these is that a four-year B.S. degree in one of these fields once translated into nearly automatic admission to the middle class. If they can shave $10-15 thousand a year off each salary for a staff of ten engineers, the greedy pigs can pay themselves that much more. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my old bosses paid themselves $100,000 bonuses three years in a row in which the company lost money. They eventually fired the CFO when he complained about it. Now the only contracts they have are a bunch of Phase-One SBIRs from DARPA, and those don’t pay much. Even most of their H-1bs are gone, because there weren’t any talented engineers remaining to do the Indians’ work for them.

  • RisingReich

    Of course, this article is telling me what I already know. As a ‘native’, I have to work twice as hard to get what I deserve and have all but had the carpet pulled out from underneath my career aspirations so some slimy immigrant can take my promotion for half the money, and 1/4 the competence.

    Wars have been started over less.

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      I know what you mean, I see that all the time on the job. There’s a lot of college educated white men doing blue collar work. I am one of them. Wages for college educated whites have been collapsed by design by the plutocrats, you’ve got that right.

      • Frank Morris

        The Indian STEM graduates had their college education subsidized by their government. This should be considered an unfair trade practice, just like the Chinese government paying the postage for shipment of Chinese goods.

        • AndrewInterrupted

          Another little known fact about India and Indians is that some of their major cities have been under rent control since the end of WWII. Many inhabitants in Mumbai, for example, pay next to no rent. That allows them to spend that much more on their children’s education fund. Imagine the schools your kids could go to if you paid $100 a month instead of $1,000 for the last 30 years. That is probably why so many American satellite universities popped up there, to exploit all that extra income that Americans parents don’t have.

    • JohnEngelman

      What about the slimy employers who makes that possible?

      • When do we get to KIA them all?

        • JohnEngelman

          Now you are sounding like a revolutionary Marxist.

          • I was once the best chemical engineer in the world in the microelectonics industry. I could make the stuff for prototype parts within a week. Our strength was that we turned around experiments faster than anyone else could.

            They don’t do that anymore, and neither will I. I would expect all of the money, with interest and without taxes, forever, my gun rights restored, and my bosses and ex-father walked naked every day on leashes like the animals they are.

      • RisingReich

        What about the POS government that allows it?

        No love lost for any of them. ALL complicit.

  • Dr. Möbias

    STEM covers a wide range of disciplines from mechanical, chemical and aeronautical engineering to software programmers and web designers. Where, exactly, do the employers say there is a shortage within the STEM field?

    I have a feeling this is about keeping whites from earning a decent living to support themselves and a family.

    • Nobody in any of these fields really believes there is a shortage. The “shortage” mythology was created strictly for the consumption of the congressional parasites who were being asked to change the laws.

  • JohnEngelman

    I think there is a shortage in the United States of qualified CEO’s. If we would import CEO’s from other countries we would improve the qualities of CEO’s. We would not need to pay them so much.

    • And congressmen. Let’s replace those with Hindus and pay them minimum wage.

      • IstvanIN

        It looks like Rush Holt (D-NJ) will be replaced by a Hindu.

      • Bossman

        I would replace them with strippers and hookers. At least, they would be nicer to look at.

        • OK, there’s room for compromise here. We’ll replace Congress with Hindu strippers and hookers. Not so nice to look at – brown skin on a gal never did anything for me – but lots cheaper!

          • PvtCharlieSlate

            How is it possible to do a bump & grind routine to sitar “music”?

          • Whitetrashgang

            With our luck they will be male.

        • Frank Morris

          And they’d have better character and higher moral standards.

  • MBlanc46

    There are more than enough Americans to do all the work that needs to be done in America. The elites don’t want immigrants to make up the numbers, they want them because they work more cheaply.

    • model1911

      And vote more reliably.

      • JohnEngelman

        The “elites” do not want immigrants voting Democrat. They want temporary workers who do not become citizens, and who do not get to vote. This is what they get with H1B visas.

        • model1911

          You might be correct. It might not make much difference if they vote R or D in any case.

  • JohnEngelman

    Increasingly STEM workers have to move all over the country for contract positions paying as little as $25 an hour without benefits, and lasting as little as three months. Each time a contract ends the STEM worker may never again find a STEM job. This would not be happening if there was a shortage of those trained in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

    Students who get liberal arts or social science degrees are usually unemployable for any job they could not have gotten with a high school degree.

    • I have a house that’s paid off. Moving for a three month contract that would pay only $17,000 before taxes, out of which I would have to rent an apartment, simply wouldn’t be worthwhile.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      And with malls closing nationwide, customers driven away by primitive hoards, where will the marketing degree holders work?

  • OhWow

    I’ve found another argument against legal and illegal immigration with liberals.

    They say: “No Americans want their jobs and they’d never get done without them!”

    I say: “Really? How did those jobs ever get done before the invasion then? Did apples pick themselves? Did plates clean themselves in the kitchens of restaurants? Did lawns cut themselves?”

    I get nothing but silence every time. They forget that Guillermo from Guatemala used to be Johnny in high school cleaning plates. That’s the answer: American high school students and low-skill American workers. That’s how it used to get done.

    • saxonsun

      I remember white kids taking many of these jobs. Now I see mostly non-whites in such positions. I always wonder where the white kids work.

      • The white kids can’t get summer jobs anymore. Friends who started families earlier than I did, and now have high school age kids have complained to me about this many times.

      • Anna Tree

        It’s one stone two birds: white youth are not hired in jobs that would not only pay them (and lessen the financial burden of their parents) but build those teens’s character,
        and even more non-whites are brought to replace whites.

      • Frank Morris

        I worked in fast food and convenience stores, etc., through high school and college. In my area, fast food is now staffed by illegal Mexicans, and the convenience stores by Middle Eastern types.

        • I have a M.S. in chemical engineering, with 79 US and foreign patents awarded, but my last regular job was delivering pizza. Before that, I managed a Subway sandwich shop. I haven’t done any work in my old field in 14 years.

          • RisingReich

            Stick around. We’re gonna need people like yourself.

    • trouble maker

      The EPA also had a hand in preventing high school kids from working in the food business as you now must be 18 in order to run certain kitchen equipment such as deep fat fryers .

  • IstvanIN

    Too bad they don’t want to hire over 40 and 50 year old American out of work STEM professionals.

    • Frank Morris

      I figure it has more to do with race and nationality than age. I’ve seen older middle-aged Indians and Pakistanis hired over young Americans.

  • AndrewInterrupted

    It’s all about race replacement.

    • JohnEngelman

      It is all about the employer investor class getting richer as the average standard of living declines.

      • Since the Western economies are consumer-driven, there are obviously very serious limitations to how wealthy the rich can actually get by financially ruining the middle class consumers.

        • Frank Morris

          The elite plan to test those limits.

        • JohnEngelman

          Not really. The rich can modify the economy so that it will produce more luxury goods, and fewer middle class goods.

          • Then we’re going to have a civil war.

          • JohnEngelman

            That will not be necessary. All we need to do is vote for a social democratic economy.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      And American replacement. Americans have no friends in the US and are more endangered than they seem to realize.

  • Great. So when I finally get my CS degree from GA Tech in a couple of hellish years, I’ll have to compete with zillions of imports for an insufficient number of jobs. It feels really good to know that my government is looking after me…..

    • Frank Morris

      Yes, and you’ll also have to pay your bloated tuition loan, while the Indians had their education (such as it is) 100% subsidized by their government.

  • none of your business

    When American STEM workers apply for jobs they are turned down on the grounds that they do not have 5 years experience in the exact thing the company is looking for. But the Indians and Chinese the companies hire instead of Americans have no experience at all and usually just graduated from some 2 year diploma mill. The companies won’t train Americans, but Americans are forced to train their replacements.
    Living in N.California and being 72 years old, I can remember the period 1975 to 1980 when silicon valley was not hiring at all but laying off. The younger baby boomers were pouring out of colleges with no jobs available but the newspapers constantly ran articles claiming that programming degrees were the ticket to full employment. I wasn’t as cynical then as I am now, but because I knew so many programmers and NASA guys who were being laid off I assumed those articles extolling programming degrees were puff pieces planted by the STEM employers to ensure a surplus of STEM labor. Marx was absolutely right, the more workers there are, the less they will be paid.

    Where are the feminazis in all this? They are constantly screeching about how women are discriminated against in STEM jobs but say nary a word when those jobs are filled entirely by Indian and Chinese men. Nor is there any objection when college and university STEM programs are filled 100 percent with immigrant men.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      Feminism is all about hatred of white males, usually by women who are not sexually desirable enough to attract the higher quality ones. It has absolutely nothing to do with women’s rights. As long as there are no white males, feminists couldn’t care less if America was an Islamist patriarchy where every woman was mandated by law to wear hijabs in public.

      • Sick of it

        The conversion of numerous white liberal women to Islam actually proves your point.

  • Frank Morris

    An overlooked aspect of this is that the number-fudging used to support importing so many foreign STEM workers may well cause more kids to go after the STEM degrees, because they and their guidance counselors believe such a shortage exists. After all, Zuckerberg and the US government wouldn’t lie, right?

  • AutomaticSlim

    John McCain/Mitt Romney neocons do.
    Pat Buchanan conservatives do not.

  • AutomaticSlim

    “All of the companies use large recruiting companies now.”

    Yup. Large companies like Tata, Wipro, and Cognizant. I am sure you know where they are from.

  • WR_the_realist

    My brother has been looking for a programming job for about a year now. The Democrats have decided that he needs a lot more competition, so that amnesty bill also increases the number of H-1b workers. Of course way too many Republicans agree with those Democrats.

  • Sheik Yerbouti

    I have a colleague who is a token white in an Indian company based in Ohio. They trot out 2 white women and him for things like trade shows and client meetings. I forget his actual title, but I know him as a guy who sold fasteners and cheap welding rods. A weird jump to a cubicle in an IT company.