Trump, Clinton, Cruz, Canada, and the battle for brainpower

In Research by Michael Rae

The McKinsey Global Institute has said that the world could have 40 million too few college-educated workers by as soon as 2020. In the United States and other developed economies in North America and Europe, companies will require 16 to 18 million more college-educated workers than will be available in 2020. While there’s a good deal of controversy surrounding future supply and demand conditions for highly skilled labour, the broad consensus seems to be that developed economies will require millions more college-educated workers, especially in the sciences and engineering, than will be available at current real wages as early as the next decade.If this development comes to pass, companies in North America will either need to raise real wages substantially, find ways to substitute capital for labour or tap new sources of skilled labour. With respect to the last option, increasing the immigration of highly educated workers is seen by the governments of a number of developed economies as a partial solution to a looming scarcity of skilled labour. Both Canada and the U.S. draw upon skilled and highly educated foreign workers and, indeed, arguably compete for many of the same types of immigrants.The main U.S. immigration program for highly skilled foreign workers is the H-1B visa. In 2015, 233,000 people applied for the H1-B visa; however, currently there are only 85,000 H-1B visas available each year. An expansion in the number of H-1B visas available to be filled could indirectly and adversely affect the supply of skilled immigrants available…Read More —