Despite federal policies, 33% of employers plan to hire immigrants in 2017

Dive Brief:

  • A new CareerBuilder survey found that one-third of employers plan to hire immigrants this year, despite the Trump administration’s “Americans first” job policy. And 16% plan to do so in the 2nd quarter of 2017. Harris Poll conducted the online survey of 2,380 full-time employers and 3,215 full-time workers across various private-sector industries.
  • Although 35% of workers said they thought immigrants might replace some Americans in the workforce, 90% said they weren’t worried about immigrants taking their own jobs.
  • Although companies are charged with hiring immigrants as a cheap labor source, an overwhelming majority of employers polled — 80% said they pay U.S.-born workers and immigrants the same for doing the same job. Only 12% said they pay immigrants less and 9% said they pay immigrants more.

 Dive Insight:

The survey appears to defy the notion that U.S. employers outside the tech industry hire immigrants for only the most menial jobs. The poll shows that immigrants are expected to fill the skills gap in such areas as IT (50%), financial services (38%), professional & business services (37%) and manufacturing (30%).

But as it stands, the current atmosphere for hiring immigrants is likely to grow more strict. Trump signed an executive order Tuesday encouraging U.S. companies to "hire American and buy American" and calling for "strict enforcement" of labor laws. The executive order re-configures the H-1B award system, placing more emphasis on skills to discern who receives a visa.

E-Verify may soon become mandatory as well if a bill written by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) actually passes. It's already mandatory for federal contractors, some state contractors and companies that want to participate in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training program when hiring foreign graduates of U.S. colleges.

Filed Under: Recruiting Legal