Since 1965, the United States has maintained a list, known as Schedule A, of occupations experiencing shortages. Employers recruiting foreign workers into these occupations are eligible to receive simplified authorization from the federal government…because the federal government already recognizes that workers in Schedule A occupations are rare, employers do not need to prove it themselves. This will result in faster processing times — reducing on average by 300 days the equivalent of paperwork.
Logic! But take this. The DOL has not updated the list of shortage occupations since 1991! Today, the only Schedule A jobs are nurses and physiotherapists. This cannot be true. Many of today’s jobs didn’t even exist in 1991, including:
- Data Scientist
- UX Manager
- Cloud services specialist
- drone operator
- Renewable Energy Engineer
- machine learning engineer
and there must be other jobs that have experienced shortages since then! Thus, Lindsay Milliken and Josh T. Smith written in the Salt Lake Tribune have a proposal.
Our proposal is simple – DOL should update Schedule A through a transparent, data-driven process every year. Government agencies already collect data on supply and demand conditions in occupations across the country. This data should be used to expedite the visa process for shortage occupations and ensure that our immigration system meets current labor market needs.
Hat tip: Alec Stapp.