It is true that for certain categories of engineers, wages are not going up as sharply as one would expect if good engineering talent were indeed hard to find. But it is also true that engineers with certain specialties, like software development, are hard to find.
Intel, for instance, which has more than 50,000 employees in the United States, said it has 1,000 openings. Motorola Solutions said it was scrambling for software engineers. And unemployment among technology professionals is generally about half the national average, buttressing the industry’s claims.First, is anyone else annoyed by companies complaining about their numbers of openings? I don't really think it's indicative of very much; perhaps I am incorrect. I do believe in advertised openings, even though those can be tricky too -- there doesn't seem to be much incentive to spend money to advertise some position that doesn't really exist.* But I'm really crazed by this comparison of the high-tech community's unemployment rate versus the national average. That's a meaningless comparison by the New York Times -- are we really going to compare a group of people with highly in-demand skills and 85+% bachelor's degrees against a society where 30% have a bachelor's degree? (If you compare against all bachelor degree holders (linked helpfully by the Times themselves, 4th chart down), the gap between non-STEM B.S. holders (4.4%) and STEM/computer B.S. holders (3%) narrows to something more realistic.)
Finally, there's this gem from Intel in the article:
Already, the fight over high-skilled immigration has led to arguments and counterarguments on the Senate floor, with one side warning that jobs will go to workers from overseas and the other rallying for Americans first.
But Ardine Williams, the vice president for human resources at Intel, said that hiring Americans is not always practical. Asked about hiring unemployed engineers in this country, she said, “I encounter those folks as well. They are skilled and have expertise outside of an area where we need engineers. In some cases they haven’t kept their skills current.”Well, I find that supporting tax cuts for large profitable multi-national consumer electronics firms is getting less and less practical, myself. Perhaps we could come to some agreement, yes?
*I'm sure there are reasons, and that you'll tell me about them.