The American job market


If you’re looking to work in the US, this is the time to do so. With record numbers of job openings and the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, it is safe to say the American job market has finally recovered from the recession.

For expats, this is great news. There are more jobs available than people who are unemployed, which means companies are looking to hire more foreign nationals to fill these openings. The information technology, media, education, health and service sectors are all booming and are in need of highly qualified workers.

However, it can still be difficult for non-US citizens to find work in the US. Rules for visas are becoming tighter, and the process for obtaining a work visa can be long and complicated.  

Getting a job as a foreigner

The main problem facing people wishing to work in the US is not finding a job, but obtaining a visa. Unless you already have a green card, the first step toward being able to work in the US is to find an employer who will sponsor your work visa. Most employers would rather not go through this hassle if they can hire a native worker instead, so don’t be discouraged if it takes you a long time to find a job.

Most work visas are given to people with specialized skills and qualifications. There are three main types of work visas to the US: visas for people moving within the same company, visas for temporary workers, and permanent work visas. More information about specific types of work visas can be found here.

If you speak two or more languages, or have other special skills, you will have better chances of landing a job in the US. There are also certain states, such as New York, California and Texas, that are known for hiring many international workers.

The American way

People choose to work in the US for many reasons: the broad range of job opportunities, the potential for upward mobility, and the prospect of a high salary are just a few of the benefits of working in the US. However, these benefits come at a price, and many are surprised by how hard and competitive the American work culture can be.

On average, Americans work over 40 hours a week, which can be difficult to adjust to when you are first starting out. Employees are usually given two weeks of vacation a year, and new parents aren’t guaranteed any paid leave from work.

Job protection laws are also less strong in the US, meaning that companies have greater flexibility to hire and fire employees as they wish. Though the strict working conditions can seem harsh to newcomers, working in the US can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Further reading

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Other comments

  • Brian, 25 February 2012 Reply

    Gimme a break

    I think people who learn about the US, by watching the BBC or read the Guardian, shouldnt be giving advice to people about America.

    • Chrissie 16 Jun 2012, 11:41

      I agree...

      Don't expect to get a cushy job here if you don't want to work for it. That is just life. Work hard to succeed. We are not a third world country. Learn by failure. We all have failed at sometime in our life and that is how we learn to better ourselves for success.
      America is good and believe in God