- Job growth in IT has “hit a wall” according to TechServe Alliance, an association for the IT and engineering staffing industry. The group says that with only 0.03% growth in May to 5.3 million jobs, a talent shortage is to blame. Employers simply are not looking to create new jobs with no prospect of filling them, it said.
- Since May of last year, the industry grew by only 0.85%, adding less than 45,000 jobs, according to the report. With IT occupations at essentially full employment, the growth is stagnant. The group says more restrictive immigration policies also are to blame.
- In engineering fields, growth since May of 2017 has been low as well. About 50,000 new jobs have been added at a rate of only 1.98% growth. Despite the lack of growth in STEM, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports job growth in retail, healthcare, construction and manufacturing.
Another dip in the unemployment rate in June could signify significant issues for business growth, according to some experts. Korn Ferry says that if employers don’t find ways to manage shortages, business growth will be impacted through 2030. Some predict unemployment will drop to 3.5% by May of 2019.
The labor crunch is causing many employers to get get creative in their recruitment processes. Higher wages, more flexible shifts and less focus on what formerly were resume ‘red flags’ are changing the way businesses recruit and hire.
For STEM and IT openings, government agencies, bootcamps, and universities are working to improve supply in a demanding marketplace. Stricter enforcement of H1-B visa guidelines isn’t helping, some say. And even without the administration’s tough stance, hiring foreign nationals can be a complex and lengthy process. But in IT, particularly where cybersecurity threats loom large, the skills gap could have a catastrophic impact.