H-1B, PERM, Wage determinations up from last year

17 Nov 14

UNITED STATES

H-1B, PERM and Prevailing Wage determinations all increased significantly in fiscal year 2014, according to year-end data recently released by the U.S. Labor Department.

H-1B determinations reached 519,503 compared with 442,254 for fiscal 2013. Of total determinations in fiscal 2014, 471,959 (91 percent) were certified and 11,938 (2 percent) were denied, compared with the previous year, in which 397,217 (90 percent) of total determinations were certified and 12,165 (3 percent) were denied. The figures include H-1B, H-1B1 and E3 petitions. The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Computer systems analysts topped the list of positions certified, at 26 percent. Next were computer programmers (12 percent), software developers (11 percent), and other computer occupations (10 percent). California led states with 19 percent of positions certified, followed by Texas (9 percent), New York (8 percent each), New Jersey (7 percent) and Illinois and Pennsylvania (5 percent each).

H-1B FY 2013 FY 2014 Change
Total determinations 442,254 519,503 +77,249 +17%
– Certified 397,217 471,959 +74,742 +19%
– Denied 12,165 11,938 -227 -2%
– Withdrawn 32,872 35,606 +2,734 +8%

PERM determinations rose significantly, reaching 70,998, compared with 42,591 in 2013. Of total determinations in fiscal 2014, 62,633 (88 percent) were certified and 4,349 (6 percent) were denied, compared with the previous year, in which 35,188 (83 percent) of total determinations were certified and 4,326 (10 percent) were denied. A total of 59,901 PERM applications remained open at the close of fiscal 2014.

Most certified applications were for workers in computer and mathematical fields (57 percent), followed by architecture and engineering (12 percent), management (8 percent), business and financial operations (6 percent), and education, training and library operations (5 percent). The top states were California (24 percent), Texas (10 percent), New York (8 percent), and New Jersey and Washington (7 percent each).

PERM Determinations FY 2013 FY 2014 Change
Total determinations 42,591 70,998 +28,407 +67%
– Certified 35,188 62,633 +27,445 +78%
– Denied 4,326 4,349 +23 +1%
– Withdrawn 3,077 4,016 +939 +31%

More prevailing wage actions were determined in 2014 as well. At year’s end, 125,807 case actions had been determined, compared with 118,393 in 2013. Of the pending actions, 85 percent were PERM cases, 10 percent were H-2B determinations and 4 percent were H-1B cases.

Prevailing Wage Actions FY 2013 FY 2014 Change
Determined 118,393 125,807 +7,414 +6%
Withdrawn 6,490 6,192 -298 -5%
Pending 16,274 14,619 -1,655 -10%

Source for all figures: Office of Foreign Labor Certification

BAL Analysis: The increased demand for H-1B workers is clearly evident in this set of statistics, showing a jump of more than 77,000 in H-1B Labor Condition Application requests over the prior year. H-1B petitions were filed in record numbers last year. Employers should start planning now for next year’s H-1B cap filing season, which begins April 1, 2015, as it is critical to have enough time to prepare petitions and to explore alternatives to H-1B visas as early as possible. PERM processing times have decreased over the past few months, and BAL hopes that trend will continue in the face of increased demand in PERM determinations and prevailing wage actions.

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