PERM Statistics from the Department of Labor


The PERM labor certification program allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work in the U.S. permanently. In most cases, the employer must first obtain a certified labor certification application from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration, however, certifying that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that the foreign workers’ employment will not adversely impact wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

According to the Association of Corporate Counsel, the DOL released the following statistics for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 (October to December 2013):

  • 17,623 PERM applications were received.
  • 9,076 PERM applications were certified.
  • 1,039 PERM applications were denied.
  • 949 PERM applications were withdrawn.
  • The denial rate continues remains steady at approximately 11%.
  • The appeals rate more than doubled from fiscal year 2012 from 3% to 9%.
  • Audit rates decreased from 45% at the end of fiscal year 2012 to 25% for first quarter 2014.
  • Most PERM applications were filed in the Computer and Mathematical fields.
  • Remaining PERM applications came from the following fields: Architecture and Engineering, Management, Business and Financial Operations, and Education, Training and Library.
  • The states with the most work sites in decreasing order are: California, Washington, Texas, New York, and New Jersey.
  • The Professional, Scientific and Technical Services remains the top industry, followed by Information, Manufacturing, Educational Services and Finance and Insurance.

What Employers Need to Know about PERM Labor Certification and other Immigration Options

Employers today have a number of immigration options for employing foreign workers, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the L work visa is available for multinational companies that want to transfer overseas employees to the United States, but to qualify the petitioner must show that (1) the employee who is transferred to the U.S. is continuously employed abroad for one continuous year within the three year period of time preceding the L visa application being submitted to USCIS, and (2) the transferred employee is employed abroad as either an executive, manager, or as an employee who possesses specialized knowledge.

The H-1B program is often used to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations – such as engineers, scientists, and computer programmers – that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, but the visa is subject to strict quota requirements with a limited number of H-1B visas available each year.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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