Mapping New England: Intensity of Demand for H-1B Visas, 2012 Mapping New England: Intensity of Demand for H-1B Visas, 2012

December 1, 2014

The employment-based H-1B visa allows for temporary employment of foreign guest workers in "specialty occupations." Demand is largely for STEM-related occupations (science, technology, engineering, math). About 97 percent of H-1B requests are from metropolitan areas, where STEM jobs tend to be concentrated. For example, 55 percent of New England's H-1B visa requests come from the Boston, Massachusetts- New Hampshire area.

When H-1B requests are normalized to total employment by metropolitan area, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, area is shown to have had the highest H-1B demand in New England in 2012: 6.6 requests per 1,000 payroll employees. Demand was large in other Connecticut metropolitan areas, along with Boston and Worcester. However, the intensity of demand in New England was relatively small compared with that of Silicon Valley, which showed 23.9 requests per 1,000 payroll employees.

Total Intensity of Demand, FY 2012
H-1B Requests Payroll
Intensity of
United States 371,557 130,287,700 2.9
New England 25,247 6,763,630 3.7
Massachusetts 14,758 3,202,080 4.6
Connecticut 7,115 1,620,620 4.4
Rhode Island 1,210 453,020 2.7
New Hampshire 1,375 612,710 2.2
Vermont 266 294,090 0.9
Maine 523 581,110 0.9
Source: Office of Foreign Labor Certification Labor Condition Application database FY 2012 and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Survey 2012

map depicting intensity of demand for h-1b requests per 1000 payroll employees

Note: This map is based on data from Robert Clifford, "Demand for H-1B Visas in New England: An Analysis of Employer Requests for Highly-Skilled Guest Workers" (report, New England Public Policy Center, 2014). H-1B requests are from the Labor Condition Applications employer file, a first step in the application process.

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