The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) recently released its processing statistics for fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009). OFLC reviews and processes employer labor certification and labor condition applications under the H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C, D-1, H-2A, H-2B, E-3 and permanent labor certification programs.

In the permanent program, OFLC stated that there was a 40% decrease in fiscal year 2009 from the number of cases certified in fiscal year 2008. OFLC stated that the most significant decreases occurred in California, Texas and Illinois where the number of petitions approved declined over 45% from fiscal year 2008. Although the OFLC had a significant decrease in filings, its processing times increased in fiscal year in 2009 due to the "limited number of federal staff available to make final adjudicatory decisions."

In fiscal year 2009, there was a 35% decrease in the overall number of H-1B petitions certified. Positions in systems analysis in programming represented nearly 41% of the total H-1B certified positions. The top five states with the most approved LCAs were California, New York, New Jersey, Texas and Illinois. The largest decline in H-1B certified positions was seen in Michigan which experienced a 45% drop compared to fiscal year 2008. The DOL attributes the decrease in filings in its permanent and many of its temporary labor certification programs to the declining economy which has had an impact on employment throughout the United States.