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Update Schedule A
The Department of Labor should update the way it handles occupational shortages
Every once and awhile something is so inexplicable that you know the federal government must be involved. This story comes from the blog Marginal Revolution, here.
Since 1965, the U.S. has maintained a list, known as Schedule A, of occupations experiencing shortages. Employers recruiting foreign workers in these occupations are eligible to receive streamlined authorization from the federal government….because the federal government already recognizes that workers in Schedule A occupations are in short supply, employers do not need to prove it themselves. That will mean faster processing times — cutting an average of 300 days worth of red tape.
Makes sense! But get this. DOL has not updated the list of occupations experiencing shortages since 1991! Today, the only jobs on Schedule A are nurses and physical therapists. That can’t possibly be right. Many of today’s jobs didn’t even exist in 1991 including:
Cloud Services Specialist
Renewable Energy Engineer
Machine Learning Engineer
and there must be other jobs that have experienced shortages since that time! Thus, Lindsay Milliken and Josh T. Smith writing 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 about supply and demand conditions in occupations across the country. This data should be used to help speed the visa process for occupations in shortage and make sure our immigration system addresses today’s labor market needs.
Updating Schedule A is such a quick and noncontroversial step that America should do it tomorrow. In addition to immigration, Schedule A could help steer future job training programs or a national service program. We’ll add fixing Schedule A to Ad Astra’s 5-point plan to fix America.
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