The Department of Labor published statistics for cases filed in 2014, year to date. The statistics can be found at this link: http://www.
foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/ pdf/PERM_Selected_Statistics_ FY2014_Q3TD.pdf.
Some interesting observations are PERM applications are down 7% from 2013 year to date. The decrease in PERM numbers can either be attributed to the backlog or retrogression seen for China and India. Its unlikely that a decrease in jobs is the reason as it appears that the department of labor jobs numbers have indicated a creation of jobs. As an Immigration lawyer we get to hear a lot of feedback from Employers. Unless there is a reason to extend the H1B numbers beyond 6 years, there is not as much motivation to file PERM Applications for Indian and China born Beneficiary’s.
Another interesting statistic is that India accounted for 21,447 or 55% of all applications. China only accounted for 7% of the PERM applications. Clearly, Indian PERM applications are the majority of the filings. Its an interesting observation that China accounts for approximately 80% of all EB5 applications. India seems to be the PERM market which is reflected in the Visa Bulletin numbers while China appears to be the EB5 market which may also be reflected in the Visa bulletin Numbers. The Department of State has indicated that China EB5 numbers will retrogress later this summer.
A very interesting statistic is that Advanced degree PERM Applications (ie. a Master’s Degree or Professional Degree) account for 55% of all applications while Bachelor’s Degree filings only account for 38%. Clearly, the labor force is becoming more educated and having an advanced degree is no longer an advantage for PERM filings. While I am not hearing any more news about Immigration Reform for 2014, a properly drafted bill should hopefully take into account that the labor force is becoming more educated. The allocation of more Immigrant Visas for advanced degree holders should be accounted for.