When the New York Times writes about the H-1B program for foreign workers, it is often sympathetic to it and is rarely critical.
When the same publication needs (rather well-paid) workers, it often uses the H-1B program, seeking 163 such workers in the years 2014-2018. It also filed 31 green card petitions.
Are these items directly related to each other? Probably not, but both probably reflect a management tolerance for the program.
This is not to suggest that the Gray Lady is using the system to lower wages, as the average cohort salaries for those years varied from $118,249 to $134,104 a year.
Most of the workers sought by the Times are not for the City Room; most of the job titles carry ties to computers ("Lead Software Engineer") or to the business side of the paper ("Account Manager, Financial Services"). There are some exceptions, such as one business reporter and, at an annual salary of $160,000, "Assistant Editor, Opinion".
Bear in mind the term we used above is "sought". Typically employers that are not universities get only about a third of the workers they seek because of the H-1B numerical ceilings (totaling 85,000 a year for first-time hires). The green card petitions are likely to produce an equal or near equal number of approvals, but the effective date (because of backlogs) is sure to be months to years in the future.
The really exploitative H-1B employers never seek green cards for their workers.
Looking over the list of job titles requested by the Times on the Myvisajobs website reminds me that A) the paper is a major corporation; and B) a number of new job titles have arrived on the scene since I last worked for a daily newspaper. There are, for example:
- A "Marketing Operations Manager";
- Several "Graphics/multimedia Editors";
- An "Oa Engineer, Content Management Systems"; and
- My personal favorite, "Producer, Fake Love".
The last entry is not on high on the Times priority list. The salary is low by their standards, $70,000 a year, and the job carries a Brooklyn address. Most of the jobs are in Manhattan. ("Fake Love" is a marketing firm acquired by the Times in 2016.)
Read more about H-1B use in the media: Mainstream Media Employ Many H-1B Workers, Mostly in Tech
I am grateful to a faithful reader for calling my attention to the Times' hiring practices.