- The White House's Office of Management and Budget has completed its review of a proposed rule that would end newspaper posting requirements for employers looking to hire nonimmigrant H-2B visa holders for seasonal jobs.
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, published a joint notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at "modernizing ... recruiting requirements." The proposed rule would require employers to post electronic job ads for "at least 14 days" to give U.S. workers a chance to apply, replacing the old requirement that employers run newspaper ads. The online ads would need to be posted "on websites that U.S. workers in the area of the job opportunity would use."
- DHS said in a media release that electronic ads are "a more effective and efficient way to disseminate information about job openings to U.S. workers." If finalized in its current form, the rule will provide a transition period that allows employers time to switch from print to electronic ads.
Employers' demand for H-2B visas has been so high that the congressionally mandated cap of 33,000 visa petitions was met for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2019 by February. In response to employers' demand for seasonal workers, DHS released an additional 30,000 H-2B visas back in May to fill the demand for seasonal workers in Q4 2019. However, the extra visas were limited to current H-2B visa holders or those who were granted H-2B visas in FY 2016, 2017 or 2018. DHS stated that employers who claimed to suffer "irreparable harm" from a seasonal-worker shortage can ask for supplemental visas, but only for seasonal workers that already had H-2B status.
The rule change over job ads aims to ensure employers try to hire U.S. workers before opting for visas, putting further pressure on employers to find talent. Employers in the hospitality industry have been particularly hard hit by the talent shortage, with some even claiming that they lost out during their high months due to a lack of employees.
While employers continue to improve the employee experience, competition for hospitality and retail has only gotten worse as cannabis industries start up in states where marijuana has been legalized. According to a Glassdoor report released earlier this year, median salaries in cannabis so far trend higher, though mostly for jobs on the technical side of the industry. Even so, the burgeoning industry is a strong example of the various forces at play regarding hiring in the sectors most impacted by seasonality.