US skilled immigration needed for mining and tech sectors

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A new report by Fitch Ratings states that the US resources industry which includes the mining and natural gas sectors, and the tech industry are facing a serious shortage of skilled workers. Experts say that skilled immigration could deal with this labor shortfall.

Karl Smith, an economist at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, told The American Independent that the report represents a "reasonable" look at the United States labor market. He said that a US policy of encouraging skilled immigration could alleviate these problems.

Smith said a points based system, similar to those in other countries such as Canada, Denmark, and Australia, would be a good idea because it enables top talent to come and live and work in the US.

Australia's recent mining boom has meant serious skills shortages. Australia benefits from a successful points based General Skilled Migration program; In Australia skilled immigration under points based immigration schemes helps businesses deal with the shortfall in skilled workers.

Smith added that increased immigration would also drive demand for homes, helping to prop up America's ailing housing market.

A points based immigration system would represent a significant change in the United States immigration system, which largely focuses on employer-sponsored and family-based immigration schemes.