- July 7, 2017
Jobs Surge: Technical, Engineering, Scientific, IT and R&D Hiring Up!
The Labor Department reported this morning that 222,000 new jobs were added by U.S. employers last month. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate also rose .1% to 4.4% as more workers joined the labor market. The past two months jobs figures were also revised upward with April’s job number increased to 207,000 and May’s adjusted up to 152,000, a net increase of 47,000.
Other Job Market Figures Were Also Mixed
The U.S. jobs market has been a bright spot in a long recovery marked by slow overall growth. But even with the 81st straight month of job creation, a historically large share of Americans have opted out of the workforce and wage gains have remained below pre-recession levels.
Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose 2.5% in June compared with a year earlier, little changed from prior months. In one positive sign, the average workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours.
The labor-force participation rate inched up to 62.8% in June from 62.7% the prior month. The rate, hovering near a four-decade low, has been little changed over the past year. Low participation is partly because the population is aging and more workers are retiring, though economic factors also are at play.
An alternative measure of unemployment and underemployment, which includes those who have stopped looking and those in part-time jobs who want full-time positions, was 8.6% in June, up from 8.4% from the prior month. The rate averaged 8.3% in the two years before the recession.
More Technical, Engineering, Scientific, IT, R&D & Manufacturing Jobs
As I shared in several previous few articles, cutting edge technology fields like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), robotics, machine learning, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) are experiencing a meteoric rise. Because of this exponential growth, technical, engineering, scientific, IT and R&D recruiting has also risen dramatically. This has created more staffing demand than supply for engineers, scientists and technology professionals.
Unfortunately, Few Are Qualified For Rising Technology Jobs!
Many of our recruiting clients often complain they can’t find enough qualified employees, a possible by-product of a limited pool of workers, employers demanding skills workers don’t have, geographical mismatches or wages that aren’t yet high enough to draw people off the sidelines.
For example, James Snee, chief executive at Hormel Foods Corp., shared during a June investors meeting, “What’s happening with food-service operators? We can’t get labor. Wages are escalating.”
Apprentice Programs May Be One Answer To Recruiting More Job Talent
President Trump recently called for an expansion of apprenticeship programs as the centerpiece of his labor policy. An underutilized workforce training tool in the U.S., it has been widely and successfully employed in Europe.
The success rates of apprenticeship programs have been very high with 90% of Americans who complete them landing starting jobs with an average salary of $60,000 per year! As a result, such programs could be used to successfully solving skilled worker shortages.
The Labor Department figures show more than 505,000 apprentices in training in fiscal year 2016. That was the highest level on record dating back to 2001. However, this still remains a small fraction of the 13,300,000 students enrolled at four-year colleges last year according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. Therefore, a lot more needs to be done to expand apprenticeship programs to compensate for the lack of key talent in such areas as CNC operators, CAD/CAM design technicians and maintenance mechanics.