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Overall Jobs Creation Declined, But Engineering and Technical Recruiting Remains Strong!

May 6th, 2016
Despite only 160,000 new jobs created in April, Engineering and technical recruiting remain strong

Labor Department: 160,000 new jobs created in April

The overall U.S. jobs market declined in April. This was a strong sign that employers are getting worried that the economy will slow next year.

The Labor Department reported Friday that non-farm payrolls rose by only a seasonally adjusted 160,000 in April. This was a drop of 55,000 jobs over last month and contrary to the 205,000 new jobs forecasted by many economists.

Several Positive Jobs Signs Including Continued Healthy Technical And Engineering Recruiting

Many R&D, engineering, scientific, IT and technical recruiters we have surveyed over the month have reported that demand continues to outpace supply for many technology positions. This is a continuing trend that our technical and engineering recruitment teams have stated over the past six months!

Additionally, April was the 67th straight month of jobs creation. This included several key sectors including:

1.   Professional And Business Services, which rose by 65,000 jobs in April and an average of 55,000 new jobs over the past 12 months.

2.   Health Care, which continues to grow and added 44,000 new jobs last month and 502,000 over the past 12 months.

3.   Financial Activities, which added 20,000 last month and 160,000 over the past year.

Furthermore, wage increases firmed and the workweek grew longer last month, both signs of solid underlying demand for labor despite slower hiring.

Additionally, the broadest measure of unemployment, which includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work, fell to 9.7% from 9.8% in March. That’s the lowest rate since 2008.

However, There Are Several Major Jobs Warning Signs

The pace of job creation slowed so far in 2016 after consecutive years of robust gains. Tara Sinclair, Chief economist with job search site Indeed, warned that,  “This could signal we are coming to the end of our run of [monthly] 200,000-plus average job gains.”

Moreover jobs revisions by the Labor Department showed employers added 19,000 fewer jobs in February and March than previously estimated. As a result, so far this year, job gains have averaged 192,000 a month. That’s slower than the 229,000 jobs added monthly, on average, in 2015.

The pace of job creation recently peaked in 2014, which was the best year for employment growth since 1999. Steady gains since have been consistent with a healthy labor market, and drew a contrast with sluggish economic growth that decelerated further early this year.

While the unemployment rate held steady, the size of the labor force shrank, partially reversing increases in the prior months. The share of Americans participating in the labor force fell to 62.8% in April from 63.0% in March. The measure bottomed out at 62.4% in September (the lowest level since 1977), but has crept up in recent months. The share of Americans with jobs last month was 59.7%, also a small decrease from March.

Please leave your comments below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter



Can Government Mandated $15 An Hour Minimum Wages Really Help Workers And Create More Jobs?

May 4th, 2016

S.T.E.M. educational improvement better for wages creation

Tuesday’s Indiana primary victories for Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump showcased two major, conflicting visions for jobs and wages creation. Who is right?

Democrats Strongly Support A Government Mandated $15 Minimum Wage.

Mr. Sanders proposes more than doubling the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $15 per hour. This is in step with several state efforts including New York and California.

For example, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown plans to raise California’s state minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. This will be a 50% increase over the existing $10 per hour minimum wages; already one of the highest of any state. As a result, more than five million low-paid California workers or 38% of California’s workforce will receive an average pay increase of about $4,000 according to University of California, Berkeley economist Michael Reich!

Leading Princeton Economist Disagrees

Princeton economist Alan Kruger feels this is not the right answer for increasing wages and adding new jobs. His research suggests raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour would be a better option saying, “$12 per hour would not destroy jobs, but a $15 national minimum wage could well be counterproductive, destroying jobs creation.”

Something Must Be Done To Boost Wages

Four years of nationally averaging more than 200,000 jobs created per month has reduced the unemployment rate from just above 8% in early 2012 to 5% last month. However, little progress has been made in overall wages growth. Most recent figures from the Labor Department show that wages and salaries for private sector workers rose only 2% in the first quarter from a year earlier.

Additionally, states’ job creation has been very uneven. For example, the most recent Illinois state jobless rate climbed to 6.5%, which is 1.5% above the national average! Moreover, Illinois is one of ten states, which have still not recovered all the lost jobs from the Great Recession 6 ½ years ago! As a result, much more needs to be done to boost wages and jobs creation.

Can Government Initiatives Really Create More Jobs And Higher Wages?

The other big primary winner in Indiana, Mr. Trump, says “no.” Instead, he feels that taking the shackles off of business will release the engine of free enterprise to do so.

The April 17, 2016 issue of Parade Magazine’s Annual Report tends to substantiate this. Listed were wages earned by a wide range of Americas. Among them: a) Rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z at about $56 million b) U.S. Coast Guard Marine science tech and ice observer Brett Reel at $29,800 and c) Uber driver Randy L. Shear at $42,005. They had very little in common except for one thing; few of their professions and corresponding wages were created by government intervention.

Additionally, most state and city politicians who have worked hard to raise the minimum wage have found it very difficult to enforce those laws. Recent research from Seattle, Washington, which increased their minimum wage to $15 per hour in 2014, found that 25% of businesses were cheating their workers by not offering the mandated minimum wage. Without enforcement, these mandates are meaningless, but policing is very expensive.

A Better Path Towards Higher Wages And Increased Jobs: Improving Our Nation’s S.T.E.M. Education!

The tech industry, the main focus of my technical and engineering recruiting practice, dominated top median salaries and wages in a recent study by career site Glassdoor. Among the top ten wages were companies were A.T. Kearney, Google, Twitter, VMware and Cadence Design Systems. All are routinely paying over $150,000 to attract key talent.

Additionally, my technical recruitment team has announced for months that R&D (research and development) and engineering positions in software, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and VR (Virtual Reality) have a lot more demand than supply of good candidates. This Glassdoor survey reinforces our anecdotal information with strong statistics demonstrating growing technical industry wages as the war for talent is continues.

However, not everyone can work in and enjoy the high wages of technical fields. Technical recruiters will reject many desiring to entire technology fields because they are handcuffed by shortcomings of the American educational system. Especially a lack of S.T.E.M. skills holds many back.

As I wrote previously one area government could help is improving S.T.E.M. education. We sadly trail the rest of the world in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math training. As a result, not enough engineers, scientists, R&D, IT, and technology professionals are minted each year to meet demand. Therefore, if the government really wanted to help create a lot more jobs with high wages, they would focus on improving education in general and S.T.E.M. education in specific.

Please leave your comments below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter


Recruiting Effective Management: The Key To Technology Company Success (Or Success In Any Field)!

April 26th, 2016
Good Recruiting Results In Company Success!

Good Recruiting Results In Company Success!

The recently concluded 2016 NFL Draft proves that successful recruiting is the cornerstone of team success. Additionally, during my 30 years of executive search I have repeatedly witnessed a strong correlation between exemplarily staffing practices and exceptional organizational achievements. This has been the case not only for technical recruiting, which we specialize in, but also recruitment of top management in any field!

Two Examples Of Successful Recruiting: The Chicago Blackhawks And Microsoft

For example, despite the disappointment surrounding Chicago with the Chicago Blackhawks elimination by the St. Louis Blues, the hiring of coach Joel Quenneville stands as one of the best recruiting coups in the history of one of the oldest NHL franchises! This is confirmed by not winning three NHL championships in eight years as coach, but also by guiding the team back from the brink of elimination with a 3-1 deficit to just barely loosing the seventh game 3-2 on their enemy’s home ice!

Additionally, Microsoft’s recent accomplishments also demonstrate this. As I shared previously, I was one of the few executive recruiters who thought Microsoft’s naming of Satya Nadella as CEO was a stroke of genius. History has proven me right with the share price of Microsoft stock more than doubling since January 2013.

One of his main projects, the Cloud, has been a particularly bright spot for the company. Mr. Satya’s vision led to heavy spending on state-of-the-art data centers and infrastructure necessary to provide cloud-based services to businesses. As a result, Microsoft’s “Intelligent Cloud” accounted for about 28% of the company’s revenue in the second half of last year, which was up from 23% in 2014. This has helped Microsoft to offset losses in its businesses tied to personal computers. Moreover, the share price is less than 7% from its December 1999 record!

An Example Of Poor Recruiting: The Chicago Bulls

However, the reverse is also true, not only in technology, but also in any field. Case in point, the very team that shares the stadium with the Blackhawks, the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Last year, their inept leaders John Paxson and Gar Forman erroneously fired one of the best coaches in the NBA in Tom Thibodeau. At the same time, their recruitment of an unproven, college replacement in Fred Hoiberg resulted in disaster for the team!

A pre-season pick by many to win the NBA title, the Bulls meandered their way through the year winding up with only 42 wins and failing to make the playoffs after succeeding for 7 straight seasons! Two facts make this even more astonishing. First, Forbes valuing the Bulls as 3rd highest franchise in the NBA at $2.3 billion. Second, their owner Jerry Reinsdorf being recently named to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Based upon these two facts, one would expect that he would quickly fire these two ineffective managers. However, unlike a similarly successful organization in Microsoft, which moved quickly and decisively to replace its ineffective leader, Steve Ballmer, Reinsdorf demonstrated the epitome of nepotism by enabling bad behavior!

In summary, in technology or any field, the key to success is recruitment of strong leadership. This will result in a vibrant organization that will create new jobs, have strong esprit-de-corps and outshine the competition. Successful organizations like technology based Microsoft or sports teams like the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL, successful engage in strong and decisive recruiting practices. When the leader is not performing up to par, they move quickly and effectively to replace them as was the case with Microsoft replacing Steve Ballmer with Satya Nadella. Incompetent ones like the Chicago Bulls do just the opposite. As a result, their fortunes turn southward.

Please leave your comments below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

215,000 New Jobs Created In March; Need To Employ Thorough Background Investigations!

April 1st, 2016

Engineering and technical recruiting remain strong

The Labor Department reported on Friday that 215,000 new jobs were created in March. This was the 66th straight month of jobs creation. Furthermore, staffing increases were broad based including the R&D, engineering, scientific, IT and technical areas we specialize in as a technical recruiting firm. As a result, hiring companies need to employ more investigative methods to quickly uncover the best talent to fill their professional vacancies

Thorough Background Investigations Are Paramount To Quickly Filling Recruitment Needs

Regardless if you pursuing technical talent or general professionals, a sound and thorough background investigation strategy is essential. As I shared in my 9th Commandment of Recruiting (please go to and click on #9 below) , this should include examining criminal and civil records. It should also include verifying educational degrees and very thorough drug screening. This is the case because past behavior is the best predictor of future missteps. That is why we include a comprehensive background investigation on all on retained searches for our clients!

Labor Department Reported 5% Unemployment And 215,000 New Jobs Created in March

The U.S. economy continued to add jobs at a vigorous pace in March, a sign of the domestic labor market’s resilience despite economic turmoil overseas. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 215,000 in March, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate, obtained from a separate survey of U.S. households, edged up to 5.0% in March.

Economists And The Fed See Continued Jobs Strength

“The continued strength in employment increases the likelihood that global economic and financial developments’ will not stop unemployment from continuing to trend down in the year ahead,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

In a speech Tuesday, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen emphasized proceeding “cautiously” on rate raises, noting that global developments, particularly in China, “pose ongoing risks.”

The Fed in December increased short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. At the time, Ms. Yellen said the economy appeared to be “on a path of sustainable improvement.”

Wide Spread Jobs Creation

Our engineering recruitment and technical recruitment divisions have been seeing more demand than supply for key technology talent for the past 8 months. Additionally, Friday’s jobs report demonstrated continuing strength in domestically oriented service sectors, and jobs reductions in sectors more exposed to global headwinds such as the strong dollar and low energy prices. Retail Trade, construction, health care and food service and drinking places all rose.

Unfortunately, manufacturing and mining declined. Manufactures lost 29,000 jobs in March, after losing 18,000 in February. Mining fell for the 15th straight month by loosing another 12,000 jobs.

Worker Participation Rose

The share of Americans participating in the labor force rose to 63.0% in March. The measure bottomed out at 62.4% in September, which was its lowest level since 1977. However, it has crept up steadily as more people joined the workforce or began searching for work.

Wages Were Up!

Average hourly earnings of private-sector workers rose by 7 cents last month to $25.43, following a 2-cent drop in February. Wages rose 0.3% from the prior month, matching economists’ expectations, and have climbed 2.3% from a year earlier. Year-over-year wage growth had reached 2.6% in December, it’s highest pace since 2009.

“I feel that we are due for more of a bounce-back in wages going forward, but there would be no compelling reason for Fed officials to get excited unless or until we begin to break new ground on a year-over-year basis,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities.

Please leave your comments below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

Technology Staffing Is Strong In the Beauty Industry

March 12th, 2016

there are many occupations in the beauty industry that are growing including technical jobs

On March 12th to 14th Chicago will be hosting America’s Beauty Show. Since 1912, this annual event has showcased cutting edge cosmetology including hairstyling, skin care, cosmetics, manicures/pedicures, and electrology. Many technology advances will be spotlighted including new hair and skin formulations as well as new engineering breakthroughs in blow dryers and clippers.

The Salon and Spa Industry Provided Much Needed Job Growth During The Recent Recession

According to recent Labor Department figures, almost 10% of America’s overall population is either unemployed, underemployed (involuntarily working part-time) or has just given up looking for work. Contrast this with the beauty field, which presents a positive jobs creation role model.

One only needs to look at recent history to see that the salon and spa industry is an engine of job growth for the U.S. economy, even when many other industries are shedding jobs. During the challenging economic decade of 2000 to 2010 that included two recessions, job growth in the U.S. economy stagnated.

In fact, between January 2000 and January 2010, the nation’s private sector declined by 3 percent in shedding 3.2 million jobs. In contrast, employment-based salons and spas added 70,000 jobs during the same 10-year period, which represented an increase of 17 percent.

Overall, salon industry job growth outperformed the overall economy in 11 of the last 14 years. No Lost Decade for the Salon and Spa Industry

Strong Prospects For R&D, Scientific, Engineering, Manufacturing And Technical Talent

Technical recruiting in the beauty field is also growing. The need for new research and development and scientific personal to develop new hair and beauty care formulations is growing. Staffing up key manufacturing talent is also critical to produce beauty industry products.

As a result, jobs are plentiful for technology professionals in the beauty field. They can range from a product developer of the latest hairspray to an electrical engineer developing the key components of the latest hair clipper.

Opportunities To Be Your Own Boss

Almost 30% of those in the field are self-employed. Over 1.2 million professionals work in personal appearance occupations in the United States. Individuals in these occupations have a much higher rate of self-employment, as compared to the overall workforce.

Thirty-two percent of all individuals in personal appearance occupations are self-employed. In comparison, only seven percent of the overall U.S. workforce is self-employed.

Of the 786,000 Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists, 34 percent (or 268,000) are self-employed.

Barbers have the highest proportion of self-employed individuals, at 36 percent.

Job Opportunities For Women and Minorities

The nation’s salon and spa industry provides many first jobs and career opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds, and has a broader representation of women and minorities than the overall U.S. workforce.

Eighty-five percent of individuals in personal appearance occupations are women, compared to 47 percent of employed individuals in the overall U.S. workforce.

Thirteen percent of individuals in personal appearance occupations are Black or African American, compared to a national average of 11 percent.

Eighteen percent of individuals in personal appearance occupations are Asian, compared to just six percent of the overall U.S. workforce.

Fifteen percent of individuals in personal appearance occupations are of Hispanic origin, slightly below the national average of 16 percent.

Sixty-one percent of all salon businesses are owned by women, compared to just 30 percent of businesses in the overall private sector.

Twenty-one percent of businesses in the salon industry are Black or African-American-owned, versus just seven percent of total private sector businesses.

Seventeen percent of salon businesses are Asian-owned, nearly three times the six percent Asian-ownership rate for businesses in the overall private sector.

Nine percent of salon businesses are Hispanic owned. This matches the proportion of Hispanic business ownership in the overall private sector.

The Beauty Field Is Strong, Growing And An Engine For Minority And Women Opportunities

In summary, the beauty field is a growing one. There are many opportunities for women, minorities and technology professionals. Job candidates can find employment either working for someone or starting their own salon. Hiring is on the rise including technical recruitment of engineers, scientists, R&D and other technology experts.

Please leave your comments below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

Jobs Report Points To Staffing Rising And The Need To Ramp Up Recruiting!

March 4th, 2016
Engineering and technical jobs remain strong

Need to constantly recruit to address high demand and short supply of key talent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy added 242,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9%, which is its lowest rate since November 2007.

As a result, employers are scrambling to fill many open positions. Especially, the demand for technical positions far outstrips the supply!

Most Jobs Indices Are Getting Stronger

This was the 65th straight month of jobs creation! Additionally, the labor market participation rate moved up a full half-point from near-40-year lows to 62.9% in February. This points to job candidates getting off the sidelines in serious numbers and going back into the workforce as the market continues to tighten. Moreover, the employment-population ratio edged up to 59.8% over the month, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 62.9%. Both measures have increased by 0.5-percentage point since September.

Even the broadest measure of unemployment, the so-called U-6, fell to 9.7% in February from 9.9% in January, and is down from 11% a year ago.

Technical Recruiting Continuing To Ramp Up

Our technical recruiters and R&D, scientific, engineering, IT and technical recruitment professionals we have polled at other staffing firms over the past six months have reported that technical recruiting has been rising at an accelerated rate.

Hiring for software developer (esp. AI and VR) in specific and in general engineering, manufacturing, development and most technology jobs remains robust. Technical recruiting firms like ours are scrambling to find the best talent for our technology clients.

For example, we continue to find a dearth of excellent Electrical Construction Project Managers. These candidates have a B.S.E.E degree with strengths in bidding and managing new electrical projects. These positions pay $90,000 to $130,000 depending upon experience.

Across The Board Jobs Gains

Many job sectors are growing with three sectors at the top of jobs growth in February: Health Care, Retail Trade and Food Services and Drinking Places.

Health care and social assistance added 57,000 jobs in February. Wages for education and health services rose 2.1%, to $22.40 from $21.94.

Retail trade added 55,000 jobs in February. Wages in that sector rose 2%, to $14.95 from $14.65.

Food services and drinking places added 40,000 jobs in February. Leisure and hospitality wages rose 2.5%, to $12.64 from $12.33.

Fourth on the list was education, which created 28,000 jobs in February. Its wages are captured in that education and health services number I referenced above.

Construction came in fifth, adding 19,000 jobs, and was the last sector that added enough jobs for the BLS to break it out in the release. Wages in that sector rose 2.9%, to $25.41 from $24.69. Employment in construction is up by 253,000 over the past 12 months, with residential specialty trade contractors accounting for about half of the increase.

Economists and Strategists Confirm That The Jobs Market Is Getting Stronger

SouthBay Research’s Andrew Zatlin, shared, “In terms of economic stress and weakness, most of the payroll data points to continued strength. There wasn’t any uptick in overtime, but there wasn’t a down tick either. The overtime trend is in a holding pattern, which is consistent with minimal wage inflation. Manufacturing layoffs stopped, and seasonal temp demand was the same as a year ago, which is a good sign of small-business strength.”

David Lefkowitz, senior equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management Research, said, “Together with other positive U.S. economic data, the February jobs report looks good to stock investors. There has been a lot of concern about the strength of the US expansion, and in the last few weeks we’ve seen better economic data, and the jobs report confirms that data is getting a little bit stronger and recession fears will continue to diminish.”

Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at, said, “With payrolls up, the unemployment rate remaining below 5%, wages declining and rate expectations little changed, February’s report further quells fears of a possible U.S. recession.”

The Need To Constantly Recruit

One of the mistakes many recruitment departments make especially with technical recruiting is waiting until hiring vacancies occur and then engaging in vigorous recruiting efforts. Instead, we recommend to Constantly recruit.

Especially with technical staffing needs, one needs to be very vigilant all year round! This means don’t wait for a job opening to seek out talent. Instead, attend trade shows and industry events to build your staffing network.

Then when you have a staffing need, you can quickly fill it by taping into your employment database. So remember to constantly recruit.

Please go to my 12 Commandments of Recruiting and click on #8 below for my video on this important recruiting tip.

Please leave your comments below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter


Growing Recession Probability; But Job Prospects Remain Bright For AI, VR and EE (Electrical Engineering)

February 19th, 2016
3 Hot Technical Recruiting and Engineering Recruiting areas

My interview on WGN Radio’s “Opening Bell” on Februrary 8, 2016

There is growing sentiment among corporate executives and economists that a recession will commence within in the next 12 months. For example, according to The Wall Street Journal’s recent, monthly survey, the probability of a recession among economists has climbed to 21%, which is double the level of a year ago and the highest level since 2012.

Additionally, only 151,000 new jobs were created last month according to the Labor Department. This left 9.9% of the work force either unemployed, involuntarily working part time or having just given up looking.

However, as I shared in my recent WGN Radio interview, three engineering and technology categories continue to create jobs. They are AI (Artificial Intelligence), VR (Virtual Reality) and EE (Electrical Engineers). Let’s take them in order.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) The Cornerstone of Search Engines, Driverless Cars And Manufacturing Automation

Google promoting its head of AI, John Giannandrea, to replace departing Amit Singhal, evidences the magnitude of artificial intelligence. Google and others increasingly view artificial intelligence as central to their products. This has created a lot more demand than supply for advanced software engineers capable of creating these deep-learning systems. For example, Google’s RankBrain AI system was introduced last year to handle complex or rare queries including the 15% of searches that are new to Google each day.

Additionally, many startup companies involved with driverless vehicles also need AI experts. Thilo Koslowski, a senior automotive analyst with Gartner, Inc., says, “There are dozens of startups adding autonomous functions to military and farm equipment.” For example, Cybernet Systems Corporation is creating cutting edge systems that can convert military vehicles into semiautonomous or autonomous machines. These machines employ AI to pick up shipping containers and then move them around.

As a result, every day a new AI advertisement is posted by engineering staffing firms. Job vacancies abound for experienced artificial intelligence professionals. Engineering recruitment teams are constantly devising new ways to attract key AI talent.

VR (Virtual Reality): Bringing Us The Future Of Entertainment

The future is already upon us. That’s why Facebook spent $2 billion for virtual reality startup Oculus. Recall how much more engaging a video is than a photo and you will truly grasp the significance of VR. Even The New York Times has embraced VR, offering readers content that takes full advantage of Google Cardboard.

The market for Virtual Reality is not as fully developed as AI, but as social media expands, more and more consumers will be demanding VR products like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. That is why there is an insatiable appetite among companies for VR engineers, scientists and research and development (R&D) experts. Any technology guru with VR expertise can probably get hired quickly. As a result, we are already seeing talent vacancies growing. Like with AI, VR candidates are in short supply and high demand.

EE Project Managers, Construction

Not as sexy as AI or VR, EE’s (electrical engineers) with strong Project Management skills are in very short supply and high demand in the construction field. Especially, electrical engineers with strong bidding and estimating skills, who have managed projects of at least $1 million!

With worldwide construction projects growing daily, many employment opportunities have been created for skilled electrical engineering Project Managers. Employers advertise, employ engineering recruiters and utilize any staffing method imageable to uncover skilled professionals who have a B.S.E.E. with strong project management skills including proficiency with: a) bidding software like Accubid and b) project management software like Sage 300. One company head told me recently, “we had such a hard time finding a skilled Project Manager with a strong electrical engineering background that we decided to take the time to train someone right out of school. This was not optimum, but we couldn’t find the right talent to fill our recruiting needs.”

Please leave your comments below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

Employment A Mixed Bag; Engineering And Technical Recruitment Remains Robust!

February 5th, 2016

Engineering and technical jobs remain strong

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this morning that January’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since November 2007 at 4.9%! Please go to for the full report from BLS.

Technical And Engineering Recruitment Remains Strong

Recruitment of top technical talent is increasing. Many online advertisements exist for engineering and technical vacancies. Not only our engineering recruiters at Strategic Search Corporation, but also many technical recruiters we have surveyed over the past 8 months confirm this.

Additionally, a recent salary survey by the technical recruitment site Dice confirmed that technical professionals saw their largest ever salary increases last year with seven new metro areas reporting six-figures for the first time in the history of their annual salary survey!

This has prompted many engineering and technical staffing and search firms to invent creative, new recruitment strategies to better attract key talent. This has included electronics engineers and mechanical engineers as well as information technology, quality assurance, construction, computer, Project Manager professionals. In general, most engineering, technical, manufacturing and science talent remains in short supply with job vacancies far exceeding viable candidates regardless of job function!

Jobs Report Was A Mixed Bag

The euphoria of engineering and technical recruitment has not carried over to macro level employment. On the positive side this was the 64th straight month of jobs creation. Furthermore, wage gains accelerated last month. The average hourly earnings of all private-sector workers grew by 12 cents in January to $25.39. Wages rose 2.5% in January from a year earlier.

However, only 151,000 new jobs were created. Most economists expected a rise by 185,000 jobs. Moreover, a broad measure of unemployment that includes Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to work held steady at 9.9% in January, where it has been since November.

Some Areas Of Long Term Concern

Some reports in recent weeks suggest the U.S. economy lost steam in recent months amid recent stock-market turmoil and economic weakness abroad, including plummeting oil prices and a slowdown in China.

Also Friday, the Labor Department released its annual revision of overall employment in the U.S. It showed the U.S. had 206,000 fewer jobs in March 2015 than previously estimated.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

The State of Engineering and Technical Recruiting for 2016

January 23rd, 2016
State of Technical And Engineering Job Market

My interview on WGN Radio’s “Opening Bell” on January 11, 2016

This is a summary of my interview with Steve Grzanich, host of WGN Radio’s Opening Bell, on Monday, January 11, 2016. We discussed the U.S. Labor Department’s first job figures for 2016. These provide a yearly outlook for jobs creation and technical and engineering recruiting, which my technical recruitment firm specializes in. Included are my comments and suggestions and an unedited audio clip of our discussion including many interesting nuggets that time did not permit to be included on the air. I hope you enjoy it.

State Of Technical And Engineering Jobs

In my fields of technical recruiting and engineering recruiting, the unemployment rate is a lot better what the U.S. Labor Department announced on Friday, January 8, 2016. They reported that overall employment increased by 292,000 jobs and the overall unemployment rate remained steady at 5%, which continued to be the lowest figure since April 2008. However, technology recruitment is doing a lot better with the unemployment rate for engineers at almost zero!

Can We Catch Up In Science, Engineering And Technical Fields?

I was asked if it was too late to catch up in science, engineering and technical fields? I shared a positive outlook for our future technical endeavors including that there is always time to catch up. If you look back at our history, we weren’t the first in space. The Russians beat us, but we caught up and passed them up. At the beginning of World War II we weren’t the premier military power, but we caught up because of innovation. So we can catch up to the rest of the world in research and development, scientific, engineering and technical endeavors, but it is going to take a lot of effort including a renewed focus on S.T.E.M. education.

The Overall Strength Of Our Economy?

I also shared that the Labor Department figures point to overall strength of our economy with the 63rd straight month of jobs creation. Many sectors showed jobs growth including: a) Professional and Business Services which added 72,000 new jobs b) Healthcare employment rose again with 39,000 jobs c) Food Services and Drinking Places added 37,000 jobs and d) Construction added people for the 3rd straight month at 45,000 new jobs.

Three Fields In High Demand?

As proof of technical and engineering employment vacancies, I shared three areas that are hampering technical and engineering recruitment efforts due to short supply and high demand are:

1.     In the confectionary industry, maintenance mechanics with high-speed packaging and filling equipment experience including Hayssen equipment.

2.     In the construction industry electrical engineers and Project Managers with commercial construction and renovation experience.

3.     Overall healthcare continues to grow including nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Are These Unemployment Figures Real?

Additionally, I was asked if 5% is the real overall unemployment rate? I said that it was not. If you add in figures for both: a) those who are involuntarily working part-time and b) those who have given up looking for work (and are not even counted in the BLS figures) then the real unemployment is almost double or 9.9%.”

In addition, I was asked if the figure of 93 million people being out of work, looking for work and not counted by the unemployment rate was an accurate figure?  I shared that it wasn’t because if you look at the recent figures from the BLS the total unemployment figures were only 15,700,000. That breaks down into: a) 7,900,000 unemployed b) 6,000,000 involuntarily working part-time and c) 1,800,000 who have given up looking. As a result, I think that the BLS figures of 15,700,000 are a bit low, but the figure of 93,000,000 unemployed seems very, very, very high.

Job Tips

I also offered a few suggestions for job seekers including the mantras:

1.     Resumes don’t get you hired, you do. Instead, focus on networking to generate interviews. There are two types of networking: a) traditional, which is telling everyone you know you are looking for jobs and b) Social media networking, which is the high technology version of networking, leveraging social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to generate interviews.

2.     Numbers, numbers, numbers. This means to seed your resume and your presentations with a lot of quantitative information. This can include: a) any ways you made money for past employers b) any ways you saved money for past employers or c) any awards or patents.

To help with networking, I shared the 30-second elevator pitch, which is an excellent tool to help you network. During this pitch you want to convey three things: 1) who you are? 2) What you are looking for and 3) your 2-3 greatest strengths. For example, if you are a technical candidate pursuing a technology job advertisement within a software engineering firm, you want to emphasize impact your software coding had on your past employer.

Employment Among Recent College Grads?

I was asked why recent college graduates having a tough time landing a job?  I shared that this directly relates to their school choices and the lack of good trade schools. For example, there is a shortage of good maintenance mechanics and building engineers.

Students and schools focus on liberal arts and pre-law training instead of S.T.E.M. skills. Our students rank very low worldwide in science, technology, engineering and math, which will adversely impact future innovation.

What are your findings? Please leave your comment below and I will reply.

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter

Companies Filling Technical Or Engineering Jobs In Trouble

January 8th, 2016

U.S. Department of Labor Flag

The monthly Labor Department report released on Friday confirms our engineering recruiters’ findings over the past 8 months. Their figures showed 292,000 net new jobs created in December and an unemployment rate remaining steady at 5%. This is consistent with our surveys of employment opportunities among engineering candidates, other engineering staffing firms and engineering recruiters within client companies. All have pointed to increased engineering and technology job openings.

Technical and engineering vacancies are on the rise. Increased demand on R&D (Research & Development), engineering, technical and scientific aspects of all products, processes, operations and projects, has resulted in a new technical or engineering job advertisement posted every minute! This has put the technical or engineering candidate in the driver’s seat with more technical and engineering vacancies than good candidates.

The implication to companies looking to recruit engineering and technical talent is you need to take extraordinary steps to fill job vacancies. This is the case because both: a) the official unemployment rate is at its lowest level since April 2008 and b) the unofficial engineering unemployment rate is near zero!

For more details on the engineering market, please go to our engineering recruitment information page.

Above Economist’s Expectations

Many economists expected payrolls to rise by 210,000. For example, Beth Ann Bovino, economist at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, said, “The jobs figures stand in sharp contrast to the negative economic news emanating from China. People are finding jobs and getting paid more for them.”

Labor Department Revisions Show Even More Jobs

Moreover, Labor Department revisions showed additional jobs creation. For example, 50,000 more jobs created in October and November than previously estimated. November’s payroll gain of 252,000 was revised from an initially reported 211,000. October’s gain was raised to 307,000 from a previously estimated 298,000. This resulted in the fourth quarter being the best three-month stretch of job creation in 2015.

For all of 2015, the economy added an average of 221,000 jobs a month. That’s a slowdown from the 260,000 averaged in 2014, but still the second-best year for job creation since 1999.

Most of U.S. employment gains last year occurred in private service industries. Those jobs, including positions in health care, retail and professional services, tend to be more shielded from international pressures like the problems in China.

Jobs Creation Was Wide Spread

Professional and business services led last month’s job creation, adding 73,000 jobs. Construction jobs increased for the third straight month with 45,000 and also rose by 263,000 for all of 2015. Employment also grew in health care, food services and drinking places and on all levels of government. Retailers added a seasonally adjusted 4,300 jobs, a slowdown from November’s gain of 32,000.

Mining and Manufacturing Were Hurt

Inexpensive energy continues to hurt the U.S. mining industry, which lost another 8,000 in December and the industry has posted job losses every month since December 2014. The mining industry, including support services, shed nearly 130,000 jobs last year.

Manufacturing, a sector feeling the brunt of an export slowdown tied to a stronger dollar, added 35,000 jobs during 2015 after adding more than 200,000 in 2014.

The labor force expanded in December. The labor-force participation rate rose 62.6% last month from 62.5% in November, though it remains near a 40-year low. An expanding labor force could suggest that the unemployment rate’s decline this year is prompting some Americans on the sidelines to search for jobs.

Unfortunately, Macro Level Unemployment Remains at 9.9%

Unlike the engineering and technology fields our technical recruitment firm covers, the broader job market was not as rosy. If you include Americans stuck in part-time jobs or too discouraged to look for work stayed at 9.9% in December. This 15,700,000 figure includes: a) 7,900,000 unemployed (as reported by the Labor Department) b) 1,800,000 who have given up looking and are not counted and c) 6,000,000 who are involuntarily working part-time when they want to find a full time job.