Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Talent Economic Indicators

The global talent trade is picking up speed. Relative increases in geographic mobility are a strong sign of economic recovery. The tale of the tape H-1B visa style:

Last week, the immigration agency received 17,400 petitions in the general category and 8,200 in the advanced category, for individuals who usually have a Master's degree.

In contrast, last year in the first week, the government received 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and about 4,500 petitions for the 20,000 visas set aside for people with advanced degrees.

In all of April 2011, the government received a total of about 14,000 petitions in the two categories.

In the first application week in 2010, the agency received 13,500 general petitions and 5,600 petitions for individuals with advanced degrees.

Demand for the skilled-worker visas has fluctuated in past years, with the visa limit exhausted on the first few days of filing in 2007 and 2008. ...

... "We're the busiest we have been in four years," said Steve Miller, a Seattle attorney who specializes in business immigration. His clients include large and midsize tech companies, as well as architecture firms.

"We're seeing a widespread increase in hiring of new employees," he said, adding that there appears to be "greater competition in the marketplace for top talent."

Migration is the measure of the Talent Economy. Right now, the payoff in the United States is worth the risk of relocation. People move to access personal economic development that remains locked in place:

A rift is opening up. The first, globalized sector is producing a lot of the productivity gains, but it is not producing a lot of the jobs. The second more protected sector is producing more jobs, but not as many productivity gains. The hypercompetitive globalized economy generates enormous profits, while the second, less tradable economy is where more Americans actually live.

The "less tradable economy", namely education, is what drives talent migration. That's a legacy of the Knowledge Economy. The new dynamic driving the Talent Economy is that cities replace universities. The draw isn't so much Carnegie Mellon University as it is Pittsburgh. Rust Belt Chic is economic development.

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