- February 5, 2018
Recruiting More Engineering And Technical Talent With STEM
Recruiting of technical, engineering, scientific, IT (information technology), R&D (research and development) and manufacturing technology talent has been increasing over the past 18 months. Unfortunately, the supply has not kept up with the demand!
Many Recruiting Clients Lobbying For Improved STEM Skills
Our recruiting firm is receiving constant feedback from our clients that there is a shortage of good engineers, scientists and technology talent for their open recruitment assignments. Furthermore, many have had to spend heavily to formulate their own internal training to bridge the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills gap!
One of our top R&D clients heavily involved with AI (artificial intelligence), robotics and blockchain even said last week, “I really wish these politicians would focus more on STEM education than internal squabbles. This would make our job of hiring a lot easier.”
Unfortunately, this employer comment is the norm and not the exception. Therefore, many hiring companies have had to spend heavily to improve employee science, math, engineering and technology skills. This has adversely impacted their bottom line and diverted scarce resources from other technology and innovation projects.
Recent Labor Department Job And Wage Numbers Only Borderline
Last month’s U.S. Labor Department figures showed 200,000 new jobs created. As a result, many economists and politicians were euphoric singing the praises of strong economic expansion, beginning in mid-2009 and resulting in 88 straight months of job creation, which is the longest streak of continuous hiring on record.
They are claiming that U.S. hiring was solid last month as the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% for the fourth straight month, which is its lowest level in 17 years. They also trumpeted that wage growth picked up to its strongest pace since the recession.
For their wage growth argument, they cite average hourly earnings for private-sector workers climbing 0.34% on the month and up 2.9% over the past year. They say that this is the strongest year-over-year gain since June 2009 and a sign that the tightening labor market may be finally producing notably larger pay raises.
They also cite that in January, most industries added jobs, including a 196,000 gain for private payrolls and 4,000 new government positions.
Furthermore, they point to the labor-force participation rate in January holding steady at 62.7%.
Other evidence that they use is the U.S. economy entered 2018 with healthy momentum after posting its best year of growth since 2014. Gross domestic product expanded 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with a year earlier. Furthermore, many forecasters expect solid consumer and business confidence, stronger conditions overseas; will support growth this year and tax cuts at home. They even say that six states had record-low unemployment rates in December.
Moreover, they claim that low and falling unemployment could boost wages in the coming months, along with minimum-wage increases that took effect in more than a dozen states at the beginning of the year.
A number of large employers have recently announced one-time bonuses for their employees, with some crediting the recent tax-code overhaul. However, the Labor Department excludes irregular bonuses from the earnings data featured in Friday’s employment report.
The Federal Reserve is watching for evidence of stronger price and wage pressures. Officials have said they expect these will emerge in response to a tight labor market and continued economic growth.
Inflation has been sluggish in the wake of the 2007-09 recessions, and the Fed has struggled to hit its 2% target for annual price growth. Prices rose 1.7% in December from a year earlier. So-called core prices, excluding the volatile categories of food and energy, were up 1.5% on the year. This is according to the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal-consumption expenditures price index produced by the Commerce Department.
The Fed’s policy-setting committee said Wednesday in a statement that “the labor market has continued to strengthen,” with low unemployment and solid hiring, and inflation was “expected to move up this year.”
Investors and analysts widely expect the central bank will raise short-term interest rates at its next policy meeting in March.
This was versus economist expectations of 177,000 new jobs in January, an unemployment rate of 4.1% and a 0.2% monthly gain for hourly earnings.
Much More High Wage Job Recruiting Through Improved STEM
As I shared in my last article, “STEM Education Improvement: Answer To More High Paying Jobs” Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) educational improvement is urgently needed for recruiting more high paying American jobs.
This is the case because future leaders in the STEM fields will provide the foundation of new product development in cutting edge fields like engineering, scientific, information technology (IT), research and development (R&D) and manufacturing technology. These innovative businesses historically generate the most high pay jobs.
There are many current, negative warning signs, which substantiate my argument, including the average workweek shrinking by 0.2 hour to 34.3 hours in January, holding down weekly paychecks.
Additionally, job recruiting was revised downward by the Labor Department by 24,000 for November and December. Job creation has averaged 192,000 over the past three months, a little above its average of 181,000 for 2017 as a whole.
Moreover, though unemployment rates rose last month for men, Hispanics, blacks and Asians, they fell for women, whites and workers lacking a high-school diploma.
Still, wage growth has for years remained stubbornly modest compared with past expansions. Among other factors, sluggish productivity gains can restrain firms’ ability to increase pay, and demographic changes also might be depressing wage growth as higher-paid baby boomers retire.
A broader measure of unemployment and underemployment, which includes people working part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time employment, ticked up to 8.2% in January.
The key is technology remains the catalyst for future research and development (R&D) and innovation. Unfortunately, U.S. STEM education has been sliding for several decades. We now need to take this matter seriously and improve our STEM education competency. This will quickly result in more technical, engineering, scientific, IT, R&D and manufacturing innovation for our industries and more high paying jobs for our citizens!
The caveat is most worldwide companies have a high demand for skilled workers. Unfortunately, the supply of qualified R&D, IT, engineering, technical, scientific and manufacturing technology talent is far below the demand.
STEM education is the way to generate more demand for these technology workers. Unfortunately, the U.S. is NOT the leader in this talent supply. Instead, India now produces 25% of the world’s estimated 7.5 million technical, engineering and scientific bachelor degrees. This is according to the publication from the Economic Times entitled “India Tops In Producing Bachelors In Science, Engineering.”
As in any field the more production you have over your competition, the more likely you will succeed. STEM education is no different. Therefore, if India is minting ¼ of the world’s engineers, scientists, IT, technical and R&D experts, then will continue to have a differential advantage in future innovation and technology.
Therefore, we need to make a greater push to improve our STEM education in America in order to improve the supply of qualified R&D, IT, engineering, technical, scientific and manufacturing technology talent for the growing demand. Failure to do so will only yield more low wage, service jobs for our citizens.