Archive for category Economy
People are back at work after a long Labor Day weekend – though perhaps not as many as economists had predicted. Let’s take a look at the August 2016 BLS jobs report.
1. Pay didn’t increase as much as predicted. Average hourly wages were only up .12% (3 cents) from last month, whereas last year they were up 2.4% from a year ago. According to the Wall Street Journal, this could have something to do with the fact that the lowest-paying sector – “food services and drinking places” – also added the most jobs of the month.
2. Fewer jobs were added. While 270,000 jobs were added in July, only 151,000 jobs were added in August. That’s a sharp decrease, and also less than the consensus, which had been 180,000. Still, that number is considered enough to absorb workforce growth, says bankrate.com.
3. It’s not as bad as it sounds. For some reason, possibly due to school starting, August numbers have often been disappointing. This is why economists say month-by-month reporting isn’t as reliable as year-by-year reporting. Plus, while the numbers aren’t great, they still show steady if slow growth.
A 2013 study funded by Microsoft found that each year, 230,000 new tech jobs are created. The report also showed that each year, only 49,000 students graduate with a computer science-focused degree. That leaves more than 70,000 jobs available – so why are eight million people in the U.S. unemployed, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics?
It’s called a skills gap, and the U.S. job market as a whole is experiencing it. There are Millennials straight out of college applying for jobs that they are under-qualified for – not because they lack field experience, but because they didn’t receive the college education needed to complete the tasks at hand.
Though the entire job market is being affected by the skills gap, the technology market is taking one of the hardest hits. In a recent article about the tech skills gap, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that software development, data science, and systems engineering are among those STEM fields suffering the most from the talent gap.
Another skills gap study, conducted by Microsoft and Washington State, finds that one out of two jobs requires tech skills. Within the next ten years this number is predicted to increase to three out of four jobs. With Millennials unable to land these jobs, and employers unable to hire candidates, the market is not progressing.
This all sounds pretty negative . . . but it’s actually the perfect opportunity for people interested in pursuing a career in technology. Here’s why. By 2020, IT salaries alone are predicted to rise by 5.1% per year. The fewer qualified candidates there are for the technology field, the more invaluable tech gurus will become.
One way the tech industry is tackling the problem head on is through education. Companies are offering mentorships, industry experts are sharing their knowledge for free through blogs and online coding tutorials, and companies are even providing free training. For example, the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy teaches technology courses to active-duty military service members, in an effort to prepare them for the workforce upon completion of their military duties.
As for those who want a great career in technology – the key is to get the education needed to be successful – the education that, for some reason, others are not receiving. Research programs and education tracks before attending any program or school. Ask about success rates and investigate what the tech community has to say about those programs. The opinion of the tech community will tell you a lot about whether or not an education program will lead to a successful career.
Have you already received a great education? Are you ready to dive in to the technology field? Check out the Top Five Stem Cities for Employment on the TRC Professional Solutions blog to find the perfect city for your career.
In today’s economic conditions, have you noticed a shift from an employer-based job market to a candidate driven one? If so, you’re not alone because over the past few years, there has been an adjustment in our nation’s hiring strategy. So the real question is, what are the driving forces behind these practices and what is causing them to change?
Zach Sines, Recruiting Team Lead for TRC Professional Solutions shares his insight on the candidate vs. client job market conditions. He states, “Today, the market is candidate-driven because there are less job seekers available for the positions clients are looking to fill. Candidates are more selective about what they want in a new role. Due to this shift, employee perks and benefits have significantly improved at multiple organizations. As a result, salaries are steadily increasing and employers are looking to hire more valuable employees.”
A recent report from the MRI Network Recruiter Sentiment Study reveals that 83% of recruiters described the labor market as candidate-driven, which is an overall 29% increase from 2011.
The study also reveals that 31% of candidates refused job offers due to accepting outside offers.
Other reasons candidates are rejecting these offers were of various reasons:
- Candidates accepted a counter-offer from their current place of employment.
- The salary and/or benefits package was lower than expected.
- Candidates had a change of heart regarding switching jobs.
- Relocating for the position was not a top concern for the candidate.
Newly created positions continue to be the top reason for job openings. Staffing firms such as TRC Professional Solutions can help locate and place candidates for opportunities at many well-known organizations. Job seekers and hiring companies can learn more about TRC Professional Solutions, or feel free to engage with us by providing your insight on today’s candidate-driven market.
As job seekers continue to broaden their careers, take a look at the following trends to watch for in 2015:
- Shift from Temporary to Full-Time Employment: Business News Daily reveals, “Employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers in 2015, fifty-six percent plan to transition some of those workers into full-time permanent roles.” Studies have also shown organizations are planning on hiring more employees in 2015.
- Big Data: If you are in the tech industry, then you have probably heard this term. Big Data is one of the hottest topics within the job market right now. Organizations are determining how to use Big Data to help them operate it effectively and efficiently. The need for candidates who know how to, mine for, manage and use this data for businesses will continue to grow.
- Mobile Focus: Did you know that 86% of job seekers who have a smart phone would use it to search for a job, but 50% of career sites aren’t optimized for mobile? Moving forward, more companies are spending additional funds to ensure their technologies are mobile friendly, which will provide more opportunities for candidates with related skill sets who can fulfill these needs.
- Help Desk Roles: In 2015, there will be a higher need for staffing agencies to place candidates in positions catering to technical support and help desk associates. As technology continues to change, the number of devices and variety of hardware and software that organizations support will sky rocket. As a result, it becomes more difficult for organizations to support these platforms and hiring needs will increase.
The real question at the end of the day is, how can you, as a job seeker prepare for these trends? Stay on top of the latest updates within your industry, learn new skills to make yourself marketable, and over-prepare for the interview. If you have any other key technology trends to look out for in 2015, we would love to hear from you!
This Christmas season, I bring you good tidings of great joy! No, not the ones proclaimed by the Angelic Host in Matthew, but ones from a recruiting leader on the front lines of the technical job market. I believe that we are at the beginnings of an uptick in salaries for IT and Engineering Professionals.
For purposes of my thoughts here, I am talking about pay raises in excess of 5%. According to the HR consulting firm, Mercer, the average pay increase for employees in 2015 will be 3%. For top performers, it will be close to 5%.
Here are 3 reasons why I believe more significant pay raises will be coming for Technical Workers in 2015 and beyond:
- Improving Economy-While the economy isn’t growing at a record breaking pace, it is much better than it was 2 or 3 years ago. Keep in mind, that we had 5% growth in GDP in Q3 of 2014. The economy is also seeing positive trends in the areas of housing, job creation, gas prices and consumer sentiment.
- Demographic Changes-An improving economy has led to an increased stock market. As I write this, the Dow Jones broke the 18,000 market for the first time. Many people who had put off retiring 5 years are ago are now financially able to do so. This shortage of talent has been particularly painful in the manufacturing sector where an aging workforce exists. There simply aren’t enough young people that choose the manufacturing field as a profession. I recently had one client tell me, that they anticipated losing nearly 40% of their Engineering workforce over the next decade due to retirements.
- Supply and Demand-Employers are hiring again. In the recruiting world, we are now in what is known as a “candidate market.” This manifests itself in our world by counteroffers from current employers and candidates with multiple offers. Employers need to expedite the hiring process or risk losing top talent.
Pay raises are the primary “arrow in the quiver” of employers in the retaining key workers. Employees that recognize this early will be on the front lines of hiring and attracting the best talent.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!