IT Positions Lead H1B Occupations in FY2015

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has released data on labor conditions applications (LCA) filed in connection with H1B petitions during fiscal year 2015 (FY15). The information reflects the number of LCA filings, as well as the most common occupations, the locations of employment, and the largest employer-sponsors of H1B workers.

Background: Labor Condition Application

An LCA must be approved by the DOL before a corresponding H1B petition may be filed. LCAs are also required for cases filed in the less common H1B1 and E-3 categories. LCAs are intended to protect the U.S. labor market, and contain employer attestations related to the position. The FY15 statistics cover the period from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

Almost 600,000 LCAs Received in FY15

The DOL received nearly 600,000 LCAs during FY15. By far, the busiest quarter for LCA filings was the second quarter (i.e., January 1 to March 31, 2015), which included the months leading up to the April 1, 2015 initial filing date for fiscal year 2016 H1B cap cases. The 295,541 filings during the second quarter accounted for approximately half of the annual filings. The lowest quarter for filings was the first quarter (i.e., October 1 to December 31, 2014).

It should be noted that it is common for employers, especially those in the tech industry, to file multiple LCAs for a single worker. This can occur in various circumstances, such as changes in work location or job duties.

LCAs are Routinely Approved, Unlike PERMs for GC

It is relatively rare for an LCA to be denied, as the DOL is reviewing for completeness, rather than for more substantive issues. The seven-day LCA process results in roughly a 98 percent approval rate. This should not be confused with the far more rigorous PERM labor certification process, which is required in many employment-based, permanent residence (commonly referred to as “green card”) cases.

H1B Occupations Include IT Industry

As would be expected, the top H1B/LCA occupations fell within the information technology (IT) category. Computer systems analysts accounted for 28 percent of the LCA positions. Software developers (applications) and computer programmers each accounted for 12 percent of the LCA positions. The generic category of “computer occupations / all other” had nine percent of the filings, followed closely by software developers (systems software) at six percent.

It is worth noting that H1Bs are not only used for IT positions. There are many varied occupations that fall within the H1B category, including doctors, engineers, researchers, and teachers. Positions such as these made up about 21 percent of the LCAs filed.

Leading H1B Usage Among States

As has been the longstanding trend, the states of California, Texas, New York, and New Jersey topped the list of work locations indicated in LCAs. These states have large populations and are home to many of the country’s major businesses. Also in the top ten states were: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Washington, Florida, and North Carolina.

Leading H1B Employers

The top filers of employer LCAs in 2015 were, in order: Deloitte Consulting, LLP; Cognizant Technology Solutions; Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd; Wipro Limited; iGate Technologies; Infosys Limited; Mindtree Limited; Syntel Consulting, Inc.; Deloitte & Touche, LLP; and Accenture, LLP.


This data provided by the DOL reinforces the fact that there is a clear need for skilled workers in the United States, especially in the IT industry. MurthyDotCom will continue to update readers on trends in H1B filing and other important immigration topics.


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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.