NC trend: Coming to America

 In NC Trend

Share this story:

By Catherine Pritchard

President Trump says foreign labor undercuts American jobs. Still, it’s the time of year when waves of workers — and employers seeking them — apply for the alphabet soup of visas allowing skilled and seasonal employees into the country. 


ON THE FARM

H-2A

17,696
N.C. workers

$10.32
Average hourly wage

TOP 3 CITIES
Vass
Newton Grove
Dunn

For 31 years, U.S. farmers have hired temporary, seasonal workers from other countries. North Carolina brought in the most in 2014 but fell to No. 2 in 2015 behind Florida. Foreign workers pick tobacco, blueberries, turnips, sweet potatoes and other crops every summer and fall in the state’s fields. The number of H-2A visas granted nationally has doubled in the last five years as farmers seek reliable labor for jobs that they say are shunned by Americans.


WINNING THE LOTTERY

H-1B

33,575
N.C. workers
(primarily computer analysts, programmers and developers)

$77,024
Average annual wage

TOP 3 CITIES
Charlotte
Cary
Raleigh

For the fifth consecutive year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reached its annual 85,000-cap on issuing new H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers in five days. Last year, 236,000 foreigners applied. This year, 199,000 applied, perhaps in response to Trump’s promises to crack down on the program. The president ordered a government-wide review in April aimed at stricter enforcement of laws governing the entry of workers into the U.S.


‘TIS THE SEASON

H-2B

3,412
N.C. workers
(primarily landscapers, meat and fish trimmers, forestry workers, housekeepers and dishwashers)

$22,026
Average annual wage

Top 3 cities
Newland
Charlotte
Indian Trail

Summer relies on the seasonal, non-agricultural workers used mostly in the landscaping, forestry, tourism and construction industries, but the program has also maxed out Congress’ cap of 66,000 workers. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis introduced a bill to increase that number with a “returning worker exemption” that would not count against the cap.

 

Source: 2015 U.S. Department of labor annual report

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

Questions or feedback? Drop us a message!

Start typing and press Enter to search