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The U.S. software industry is larger than the food processing industry in terms of revenue, according to an IT trade group that wants Congress to raise the annual cap on H-1B visas, give permanent residency to foreign nationals who graduate from U.S. colleges and back trade policies that give companies unfettered access to global markets.
The Software & Information Industry Association says that policy makers should be aware that software vendors and digital content providers employed 2.7 million people in 2006, a net gain of more than 400,000 jobs over the 1997 level. That's a 17 percent increase in head count, the group says.
Maintaining the industry's current level of growth in the U.S. will require immigration reform. Without the ability to add talented workers as needed, the country is creating an incentive for the industry to create knowledge centers outside the United States," he said.
The average annual wage paid in the software industry during 2006 was $75,400, according to the SIIA, which says that figure is about 78 percent higher than the median wage for all workers in the private sector.
Source: Computerworld, http://computerworld.com
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