DOL Issues Foreign Labor Certification Statistics

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), released selected statistics for fiscal year 2012 (FY12). The statistics provide insights into trends for employment-based, permanent-resident sponsorship. The DOL revealed data regarding the number of PERM labor certifications received, denied, withdrawn, and certified. The information also breaks down the content of PERM labor certifications by occupation, location, and industry types as well as the required educational levels for the offered positions. The key statistics released have been summarized for the benefit of MurthyDotCom readers.

Approval and Denial Rates

DOL confirmed that for FY12 (October 1, 2011 to September 16, 2012) employers filed a total of 67,400 PERM labor applications with the DOL. (Although the fiscal year ends on September 30th, DOL had statistics until Sep 16th.) Of the applications, 51,600 or approximately 76 percent have been certified. Denials were issued to 7,800 of these applications, and 3,200 were withdrawn by sponsoring employers. The rest of the applications remain pending for adjudication.

Pending Cases: Over 90% in Analyst or Audit Review, 3% in Appeal

The DOL reported having 23,700 active PERM labor applications as of September 16, 2012. At that time, 45 percent of the cases were in audit review; 47 percent were in analyst review; four percent were undergoing supervised recruitment; three percent were under appeal, and two percent were in review of the sponsorship.

Computer and Math Professions Comprise Over 50% of Cases

The top job family occupation, using the DOL’s O*Net classification system, was computer / math. This accounted for 27,800 PERM labor certification applications or approximately 54 percent. The rest of the top occupations each accounted for between six and ten percent of the cases. The second most prevalent occupation was architecture / engineering, which accounted for 5,300 applications. The third occupation was management, which accounted for 4,600 applications. The fourth occupation was business / financial, which accounted for 3,300 applications. The fifth highest occupation was healthcare practitioners / technical, which accounted for 2,900 of the applications.

Top Worksites and Industries

The top five worksites for the offered position by state were: California, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington. The top five industries were information-technology (IT) related, manufacturing, information / media / telecommunication, education, and finance / insurance.


The statistics reveal that, although PERM labor approval rates are fairly high, audits occur on a frequent basis. This is reflected by statistics showing 45 percent of the cases pending in audit review. The statistics also make it clear that, while as expected, the top occupation field during FY12 was computer / math, almost half the cases fall into other occupational classifications. The Murthy Law Firm regularly provides representation in PERM labor cases. Our attorneys are available to assist MurthyDotCom readers with immigration matters related to PERM.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.