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Four out of five H-1B staff get higher wages than US average, ETHRWorld |

Four out of five employers who hire H-1B visa holders in the US pay 20% higher wages to those with the work permit than average market salaries, an analysis of data from US labour department shows, reflecting continued demand for hi-tech talent.

The average offered wage for all 61,420 H-1B requesting employers in FY 2019 was $100,461, while the average prevailing wage determination for that skill level was $83,619, according to the analysis done by American think-tank Cato Institute.

As much as 78% of H-1B employers had average wage offers above their average prevailing wage determination, David J Bier, an immigration policy analyst at Cato Institute’s Centre for Global Liberty and Prosperity, wrote in a study released last week.

It contradicts a recent study by another US think-tank, Economic Policy Institute that had said 60% of H-1B workers are paid below the local median wage for the job.

The Cato Institute report attributed the difference in findings to how the definition of median wage has been interpreted.

The labour department (DOL) provides four wage levels based on skills, experience and responsibilities, and firms employing workers on an H-1B visa must pay the prevailing median wage or higher for each role.

The Cato Institute analysis found that nearly all H-1B employers pay higher than the median wage for each skill level. The market wage takes into account the average wage for workers in the same geographic area…

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