H-1B Disclosure Data Show Employer's Wage Savings

By John Miano on April 5, 2017

CNBC just posted a story in which the CEO of Vectra Networks promotes the H-1B visa program. He states that the company seeks to hire the "best and brightest" and the H-1B is a "crucial program".

This is where the H-1B disclosure data ought to be the reporter's best friend. Sadly very few in the media do such a check.

Vectra Network's CEO stated the company currently has four H-1B workers. Last year, the company filed eight labor condition applications (LCAs) for H-1B workers. As with the case of most companies not in the bodyshopping business, Vectra's LCA data is not completely lopsided — but it is telling nonetheless.

Three of the LCAs list a wage higher than the average for the occupation and location, but the remaining LCAs list a wage substantially lower than average. In fact, Vectra's average wage savings over the market rate comes out to $11,475 per H-1B worker. (You can download the full data here.)

Job Title Vectra Wage Prevailing Wage Vectra's Savings
DATA SCIENTIST$125,000.00 $154,170.00 $29,170.00
DATA SCIENTIST$114,358.00 $154,170.00 $39,812.00
SENIOR UX DESIGNER $142,376.00 $147,222.00 $4,846.00
SOFTWARE ENGINEER $98,342.00 $147,222.00 $48,880.00
SECURITY RESEARCH ENGINEER $160,000.00 $142,958.00 ($17,042.00)
SOFTWARE ENGINEER $66,830.00 $107,494.00 $40,664.00
SENIOR DATA SCIENTIST $157,500.00 $138,923.00 ($18,577.00)
SENIOR SECURITY ENGINEER $136,500.00 $100,547.00 ($35,953.00)
Vectra's Total H-1B Savings     $91,800.00
Vectra's Savings Per H-1B Worker     $11,475.00

The first seven jobs listed are in Santa Clara, Calif., and the last one is in New Jersey. The prevailing wages are based on the job code supplied by Vectra, not the job title. This is why the prevailing wage for "senior data scientist" is lower than that for "data scientist".

If Vectra's claim that they seek to hire "best and brightest" were true, one would expect all of the company's LCAs to have a higher than average wage.

The great mystery in this analysis is that, due to the H-1B quotas and lottery, it is unlikely that Vectra received visas for workers that correspond to all of these LCAs.

Hopefully President Trump will start making public the actual H-1B visa data so that we can see which LCAs translated into actual visas and remove all doubt as to what is going on in H-1B (and other guestworker programs).

This data shows that it is not just the Indian bodyshops that can save big money by going H-1B.