American Tech Companies Offer Jobs Abroad
Tech Embraces Remote
One of the most significant ways the pandemic changed people’s lives is the shift to working from home. The remote-work trend has been particularly strong in tech. In February of this year more than 20% of jobs in technology were remote, compared to just about 4% in January 2020. It seems the pandemic-forced experiment proved remote work didn’t harm productivity.
The tech industry’s 1.3% unemployment rate is a fraction of that for the US in general. Amid the labor shortage, the expanded pool of potential workers provided by geographic diversity may have helped a bit. But many industry leaders say that’s not enough.
Shortage of Skilled Workers
The US government puts a limit on the number of skilled workers that can receive workers’ visas. Its H1-B program provides visas to 65,000 skilled workers and offers an extra 20,000 for those who earned graduate degrees from American universities. Tech companies, industry lobbyists, and some politicians have pushed to increase the ceiling, noting the immigration limits have remained unchanged since 2005. Meanwhile, the shortage of technology professionals persists.
Some companies are finding a solution by looking beyond the US.
Jobs Located Abroad
Canada is a popular source of skilled workers. Unlike the US, the neighbor to the north has rolled out the welcome mat to tech professionals and has made it easier for Indian, Chinese, and Eastern European engineers to move to their country. Since 2016, Toronto has seen tech jobs grow by 81,000 — the highest number of any North American city.
As the HB-1 program is caught up in the general political immigration debate in the US, workers living abroad may be in high demand from American tech companies.
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