Semi conductor workforce shortage

The CHIPS and Science Act was passed by bipartisan support (64-33 in the Senate) and signed into law by President Biden on August 9, 2022. As part of its goal to increase semi-conductor production in the United States, it aims to resolve the shortage of workers to staff new production facilities, each costing some $20 billion. It is hard to find this staffing without relying heavily on foreign-born workers.

Chips are critical to manufacturing. Per Deloitte, the absence of a single critical chip, often costing less than a dollar, can prevent the sale of a device worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Here is one analysis of the labor shortage: Sure enough, technology can automate most processes in a fab. But the reality is, the semiconductor industry still needs professional skilled workers to manage some roles. According to a whitepaper by, the US alone will need around 70,000 to 90,000 workers to be added by 2025 to meet the most critical workforce needs for the new fab facilities….the US for example needs to increase its current workforce by a minimum of 50% — and likely significantly more.

The American Immigration Council says that Immigrants made up almost one-fourth, or 23.1 percent, of all STEM workers in the United States in 2019, a significant increase from just 16.4 percent in 2000. While the overall number of STEM workers in the United States increased by 44.5 percent between 2000 and 2019, the number of immigrant STEM workers more than doubled over the same period. By 2019, there were almost 2.5 million immigrant STEM workers, compared to just 1.2 million in 2000.


Three quarters of electrical engineering students in the U.S. are foreign born.


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