Could increasing the cap onResearch shows that businesses with foreign H-2B work : The Indicator from Planet Money The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, meaning there are still about two jobs available for each unemployed person. Could expanding the H2-B visa program for temporary foreign workers help America's tight labor market?

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Could foreign workers unlock America's tight labor market?

Could foreign workers unlock America's tight labor market?

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JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
Migrant worker Francisco Nava (C) dumps out a bushel of crabs to be picked by migrant workers Eleazar Rubio (L) and Maricela Sanchez (R) at Old Salty's Seafood in Hoopers Island, Maryland on August 9, 2018. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP via Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

As the U.S. economy continues to grow, many businesses are applying for more temporary, foreign workers through the federal H-2B visa program. Every year, the U.S. offers up to 66,000 H-2B visas. But there's way more demand for these visas than available slots.

New research shows that American companies that hire H2-B workers produce and invest more—creating ripple effects for the broader economy. Today, we look into the history of this program, and how stalled immigration policy could be affecting the labor market.

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