The answer to the question is almost one of those ones where the Short Answer is NO but the Long Answer is YES!
Millions of people are being laid off in the US at the moment across all industries, in companies large and small and in all part of the country. So this of course includes foreign workers just as much as US workers. The small difference being legally under the E3 or H1B visa you can’t be out of work for more than 10 days or technically your status is invalid. Also despite the fact you are paying Social Security taxes, you are not eligible for any benefits like for unemployment.
What does mean for a new person who wants to come to the US to work and is seeking employment?
Well without mincing words, a tough challenge is slightly tougher, with less jobs available period let alone ones where companies are willing and able to hire foreign talent. Companies are cutting on all extra expenses and sometimes that includes legal expenses often associated with employing foreign residents.
However the underlying reason remain why companies want to hire foreigners and while there may be fewer positions avaiable overall. relative to the amount of visa there are available, there would still be more openings. So basically when you apply you just have to state your case all the more as to why you would be invaluable at this time and why they must sponsor your US visa be it L1, J1, H1B, E3 or H2B!
I mentioned in a previous post; Monster, Craigslist and LinkedIn as great job resources and that still is true now, but I can’t stress enough to target one type of position in a sector for you best results (i.e. Investment Banking and not all Finance related jobs) You need to own your sector and this impossible if you are trying to understand all sectors and apply.
I think the imprtant thing is just that if you do secure or are trying, be aware of the market environment you are heading into in the US which is probably 6 months further advanced than Europe or the UK as far as Recession goes and probably a year ahead of Australia and the Asia Pacific region. This also means it is closer to the end than the other regions but it can be a tense environment as people are ensure what is happening in the macro market.
I hope this post helped you gain a little perspective on the mood in the US and I look forward to your comments and experiences as always….