New Report by the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Analyzes the Geography of H-1B Requests

Reports on Migration

​July 18, 2012 -

Today ACIP attended the release of a new report issued by the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, titled “The Search for Skills: Demand for H-1B Immigrant Workers in U.S. Metropolitan Areas,” which analyzes the geography of H-1B requests from 2001 to 2011.

The report utilizes labor condition application (LCA) data from the Department of Labor as a primary source to make findings about the U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest demand for H-1B visas. The report also highlights the top 25 LCA filers for 2010 – 2011 and emphasizes the importance of a need to match H-1B education and training fees to metropolitan areas of highest H-1B demand.

Ultimately, while the report importantly highlights the need of the U.S. to match the supply of workers to demand and adjust the H-1B cap for visa applicants based on employer needs and regional economic indicators, it suggests doing so through a standing commission on labor and immigration, a concept ACIP has both questioned as well as opposed in past debates in our 2009 paper.

The Brookings report also makes the following five key findings:

  • Demand for H-1B workers has fluctuated with economic and political cycles over the last decade and reflects a wide range of employers’ needs for high-skilled temporary workers.

  • One hundred and six metropolitan areas had at least 250 requests for H-1B workers in the 2010–2011 period, accounting for 91 percent of all requests but only 67 percent of the national workforce.

  • Metropolitan areas vary by the number of employers using the H-1B program and the cap status of the employers.

  • In 92 of the 106 high demand metropolitan areas, STEM occupations accounted for more than half of all requests.

  • H-1B visa fees designated for skills training and STEM education have not been proportionately distributed to metro areas requesting the highest number of H-1B workers.

To read the full report click here​.​