Back on April 27, 2011, shortly after the FY 2012 H-1B Cap opened, I posted that H-1B visa usage statistics going back to 2007 demonstrated that U.S. employers were not hiring as much as some reports would like us to believe.
Looking at the numbers going back to 2007, it was clear that H-1B usage was WAY down, and we estimated – based on usage for the first two weeks – H visas would be available until March 2012.
While this year’s demand was nowhere near the level in 2007 or 2008 – when the demand for H-1Bs was more than twice the supply and getting an H-1B meant that had win a lottery – this year we ran out of H-1Bs three months earlier than last year.
In my world, increased H-1B visa usage is the best indicator of an economy moving in the right direction.
After the break, please find a comparative analysis of H-1B visa usage from FY2008 to FY2011.
2010 H-1B Season [FY2011]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 13,500
Cap Hit: January 27, 2011 [ten months later]
2009 H-1B Season [FY2010]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 42,000
Cap Hit: December 21, 2009 [nine months later]
2008 H-1B Season [FY2009]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 140,000
Cap Hit: Immediately! First days of April 2008
2007 H-1B Season [FY2008]
Cap Subject H-1Bs filed during first week of April: 123,000
Cap Hit: Immediately! First days of April 2007