World Competition for Skilled Labor

June 21, 1967

Report Outline
Growing Concern Over the ‘Brain Drain’
Immigration Policy and Manpower Needs
Means to Limit Entry of Skilled Persons
Special Focus

Growing Concern Over the ‘Brain Drain’

An old problem with a new name—the “brain drain” —is stirring concern in both developed and underdeveloped countries. Skilled persons have always tended to migrate to places where opportunities are brightest—to ancient Athens, to imperial Rome or, today, to the United States. The modern brain drain is more serious than that of old, however; it involves the scientific, medical and engineering talent that poorer countries desperately need if they are to provide a better life for their citizens.

It is said that the United States, as principal beneficiary of the brain drain, is in effect receiving substantial foreign aid from the rest of the world. Current U. S. immigration policy encourages the influx of skilled labor. Thus, the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty—“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore”—now seems out of date. Today, “We ask for your alert, your privileged, your brainy, your talented.”

Migration of Skilled Labor to the United States

In the past 20 years, around five million immigrant men, women and children have been admitted to the United States. Slightly more than one-half of these immigrants were housewives, young persons, retired people, and others with no occupational attachment. Of the remainder, some 400,000 were classified as “professional, technical and kindred workers.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jobs and Skills
Feb. 04, 2022  The New Labor Market
Sep. 17, 2021  Career Change
Aug. 28, 2020  The Nature of Work
Sep. 21, 2018  Labor Shortage Debate
Mar. 30, 2018  U.S. Trade Policy
Oct. 04, 2013  Worker Safety
Mar. 02, 2012  Attracting Jobs
Jul. 22, 2011  Reviving Manufacturing
Jun. 04, 2010  Jobs Outlook
Feb. 20, 2004  Exporting Jobs
Jan. 11, 2002  Future Job Market
Apr. 24, 1998  High-Tech Labor Shortage
Oct. 24, 1997  Contingent Work Force
Feb. 28, 1992  Jobs in the '90s
Jun. 27, 1986  America's Service Economy
Jul. 22, 1983  Technology and Employment
Dec. 10, 1969  Jobs for the Future
Jun. 21, 1967  World Competition for Skilled Labor
Sep. 03, 1965  Shortage of Skills
Oct. 31, 1962  Retraining for New Jobs
Nov. 28, 1956  Shortage of Critical Skills
Immigration and Naturalization
Outsourcing and Immigration