A look at how Envoy INSIGHTS used labor condition application filing data to pinpoint the fast growing cities in the U.S.
Publicly available immigration data from the U.S. government is helpful in a variety of ways. Data sets provide insight on the number of foreign nationals entering the U.S. annually, which visa types are utilized most frequently and even request for evidence (RFE) rates. On a more detailed level, government data can help everyone understand current hiring trends across the country, and data from the labor condition application (LCA) is the perfect jumping off point.
Twelve fast-growing cities based on LCA filings
What is the Labor Condition Application?
The labor condition application (LCA), ETA Form 9035, is a vital document in the visa application process. Companies submit the LCA to attest to the employment details of H-1B visa applicants (among other visas). LCAs establish that employers pay at least the prevailing or actual wage to their sponsored foreign national employees in a given geographical area for a specific position.
Additionally, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses the LCA to ensure fair working conditions at the employer. To sum it up, the LCA is a very important document in the H-1B and other visa processes.
Rise in LCA Filings Provide Insight
LCA filing data is publicly available and the numbers reveal interesting trends. An increase in the number of companies filing LCAs can indicate organizations are seeking to hire more foreign nationals.
Companies seek foreign national help to fill open positions in today's tight labor market. As of the Dec. 2019 jobs report, the unemployment rate was 3.5%. Foreign nationals can help fill some of these open roles at growing companies.
As such, these are the 12 fastest growing cities according to LCAs filed:
- Dubuque, Iowa
- New Rochelle, New York
- Grand Forks, North Dakota
- Morgantown, West Virginia
- Pueblo, Colorado
- Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Mojave, California
- Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Temple, Texas
- East St. Louis, Illinois
- Norfolk, Virginia
- Altoona, Pennsylvania
The growth in these cities is based off of LCA filing data from 2017 and 2018.
Surprising And Not So Surprising Cities
Some of the cities on this list aren't a surprise. For example, major employers in Norfolk include Sentara Healthcare and Old Dominion University.
From 2017 to 2018, Dubuque saw a 149% increase in the number of LCAs filed. That makes sense, as the city has been recognized for numerous achievements recently. In 2012, the city was ranked as the 12th best small city in the U.S. It was also named as one of the 10 best cities to work in the tech industry.
Grand Forks is North Dakota's third-largest city and home to the University of North Dakota (UND). It has established a strong presence in agri-business, professional services, manufacturing and unmanned systems.
Fayetteville, Arkansas, is also home to a major university in the University of Arkansas. Six Fortune 500 companies are located in or very near to Fayetteville and recruit heavily from the university. In 2016, Fayeettville business leaders declared their intention to make the city the "startup city of the South."
Talent Outside of Major Hubs
Based on this data, it's clear that companies outside of major cities are hiring skilled foreign talent. Not all foreign nationals are heading to Silicon Valley.
These areas are not typically thought of as major employment hubs, yet, the LCA data indicates that startups and large companies are just as able to attract high-skilled talent.
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