Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Is there a shortage of technical people in the U.S.?

Although some corporate executives, such as Craig Barrett, speak of a shortage of technical talent in the U.S., it is more likely that there is a surplus. From the Arizona Republic (July 11, 2004):

"Over the past 20 years, there's been no increase in purchasing power for technical jobs," said George McClure, a Florida engineer and past chairman of IEEE-USA's career and work force committee. "Productivity has reduced the number of jobs, and with the trend toward offshoring . . . it reduces the opportunities for newcomers."

Such fears are backed up by a RAND Corp. report last year. Analysts at the California-based think tank studied employment and salary figures since 1990 and found no evidence that a shortage of scientific and engineering workers is on the horizon. Boosting the supply, the authors warned, increases the risk that young people with years of training would enter a market where such workers are in surplus.


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