Highly Skilled Immigrant Workers in Demand in Durham

Jul 19, 2012

A new study from the Washington DC-based Brookings Institution finds highly skilled immigrant workers are in high demand in Durham.

Asma Khalid: The Brookings study compares requests for H1-B visas in metro areas across the nation.  Jill Wilson co-authored the report.  She says Durham's population may be small but its demand for IT workers from abroad certainly is not.

 Jill Wilson: So it's really high, in terms of its request for 1,000 workers it ranks third in that measure.

For this study, Durham includes Chapel Hill. Wilson and her coauthors are urging policymakers to give local regions, like Durham, a greater voice in the H1-B visa program. The government caps the number of visas it gives out annually. And every year demand exceeds supply. This year, the government ran out of visas in just 10 weeks.