For US Business, Migrant Workers Could Offer a Lifeline

Shoppers around the US might have noticed significant shortages in shops and on shelves, and there’s a good reason for that.

As CNBC explores, there are approximately 10.4 million job openings across the country. What’s more, 4.3 million people quit their job in just one month – the highest rate seen since December.

Workers are more mobile and active than they ever have been before, and it’s unclear how businesses can tap into their regular labor sources to try and refill positions. There’s one easy way out of this, and that’s migration – but change needs to be forthcoming to properly plug the labor force gap.

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Expanding Visa Coverage

Understanding how migrant labor impacts US markets is a case of looking at visa coverage. There is a wide range of visas offered to migrant workers to allow them access to work in the USA, from H-1B to H-2B, to TN/TD.

Naturally, many will ask what is a TN visa, for instance, and therein lies both the problem and the opportunity. TN visas are a way for NAFTA workers to find work in the USA without having a strict path to citizenship – perhaps the perfect way to help plug labor gaps.

This is important, as Bloomberg Government notes – visas are currently underused due to significant delays and mismatches in application levels. Progress cannot be made as long as delays persist.

Migrant Workers

Low Interest

Another issue with the current system is a lack of interest. The previous administration took a very hard line on immigration and this has been blamed for a relative drop in immigration, alongside the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Despite discussion to the contrary, these policies have remained in place despite a change of president and continue to cause issues in terms of the USA’s reputation abroad.

Bridging this gap, and once again making the USA appear to be the land of opportunity that it can be, is crucial in increasing the level of migrant labor and solving the labor market issues.

Good News Stories

One way to attract more migrant workers is to show good news stories. The Pew Research Center highlights how more and more immigrants are fulfilling high-salary and high-skill jobs in the US; the stereotype of migrant labor being poorly paid and unskilled being flipped on its head.

These good news stories are a fantastic way to show would-be migrants exactly what opportunities they’ll be afforded in the USA.

f the federal administration is slow in changing their reputation to countries and workers abroad, it doesn’t have to be the same as what the country is showing in terms of ‘good news.

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What this shows is that the USA remains a good destination to find work.

It just comes with a somewhat complex process that reflects the changes in administration and an overall policy towards reducing migrant numbers. Be aware of the risks and the intricacies of the system.

Farah Khan
Farah Khan
Geo-scientist by profession, writer by passion. I love to learn new things and share my knowledge with the world. I'm a Netflix Junkie who loves binge-watching my favorite shows.

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