The U.S. labor shortage has been ongoing for three years. Changes to immigration laws are being blamed for the low number of seasonal visas. Businesses use seasonal visas in Pennsylvania to bring non-U.S. workers to the state. The White House has committed to issuing 20,000 additional H-2B visas over the next year.
What is a seasonal visa?
The H2-B visa allows non-U.S. citizens to legally work for up to one year. The H2-B visa is known as seasonal because workers often find employment over the summer months. Ski resorts are another employer taking advantage of seasonal visas. There are regulations for the H-2B visa, including a requirement that no U.S. citizens are available to take the job.
Immigration and the labor shortage
The labor shortage is posing issues for U.S. employers. The number of jobs available is larger than the number of workers available. Slowing the immigration process over the last three years is blamed for limiting the number of seasonal workers available from outside the U.S. Changes to the application process have led to long delays in processing H-2B visas and limited the number of workers available.
What does the future hold?
Expanding the H-2B visa program will add additional workers to address the labor shortage. Some experts fear a 20,000 increase in visas will not be enough to impact every business sector. Reports suggest the U.S. has 10.4 million unfilled jobs. The hospitality industry will see an increase in workers in the short term. Additional visas will be needed to affect the labor shortage positively.
Seasonal visas are a tool used by employers to fill jobs in different sectors. A small increase in the availability of H-2B visas is the starting point for limiting the effects of the labor shortage.