Tech industry warns of more remote jobs moving out of US

The tech industry is warning lawmakers that the wave of remote working is leading to offshoring talent from the U.S. unless the nation admits more highly skilled immigrants, The Wall Street Journal reported May 10. 

As of February 2022, 22 percent of tech jobs were listed as remote compared to 4.4 percent in January 2020. Remote jobs allow flexibility to workers and also allows for workers to remain in their home countries and work for U.S. companies. 

"It unfortunately opens the door to more outsourcing — workers staying in India, in China, or moving to places like Canada that have more flexible immigration policies," said Jennifer Grundy Young, CEO of tech trade group Tecna.

The number of skilled-work visas, or HB-1 visas, distributed annually in the nation hasn't changed since 2005 at 65,000. Tech representatives argue that they have a high demand to fill positions, but have to turn away highly-skilled foreign workers given the lack of available visas. Representatives of the industry will visit  Capitol Hill the week of May 9 to ask lawmakers to consider reforming the system before the industry loses too many jobs to other worldwide tech hubs with more lax immigration policies. 

"Ultimately, this could hurt the U.S. economy. There's no rule that Silicon Valley is always going to have the tech crown," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee. 

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