writes "In September, Microsoft claimed it couldn't fill some 6,000 domestic jobs due to a shortage of qualified Americans and a lack of available visas. In February, it paid to promote a Code. org 'documentary' that highlighted the nation's programmer shortage. And in March, Microsoft joined other tech firms to press the President and Congress to address the lack of 'qualified, highly-skilled tech professionals, domestic and foreign.' So, techies must really have Microsoft over a barrel when it comes to pay, right? Wrong. This is Microsoft economics, kids, where a shortage of in-demand programmers can lead to a lower equilibrium price, not higher. GeekWire reports that a Microsoft manager informed hundreds of vendors Tuesday that the company is increasing its 'chargeback' fees — the amount it requires these firms to pay Microsoft for vendor workers based inside Microsoft's Seattle area facilities. The rate is going up from $450/month ($5,400/yr) for every workstation to $510/month ($6,120/yr) starting on July 1. GeekWire adds that these cost increases can ultimately impact work compensation for workers as some vendor companies effectively pass along the costs rather than take a further hit to their own profit margins."