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How unfilled tech jobs impact the U.S. economy

Sharon Florentine | March 2, 2017
How much are those open IT roles costing the economy and your company? The answer is probably a lot more that you think.

With IT industry unemployment hovering at around 2.8 percent (as of Q3 2016) and organizations struggling to find talent, many companies find themselves with open, unfilled jobs. That's a problem not just for individual companies, but for the U.S. economy as a whole.

"Filling open jobs doesn't just help workers. It also helps companies and the broader economy. Every job that's open is money left on the table, in the form of lost productivity for employers and earnings in consumers' pockets. When more open jobs are filled with the right people, economic gains include greater business productivity and consumer spending, thanks to more people earning wages, then saving, investing and spending those wages," says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist, Glassdoor.

Open roles are costly

In IT, a combination of rapidly changing markets, high demand for and short supply of talent means thousands of open, unfilled roles are costing companies -- and the economy -- money every day. In fact, the value of the approximately 263,586 unfilled IT jobs posted by employers in the U.S. adds up to $20.1 billion, according to new Glassdoor research.

Glassdoor calculated the value of unfilled U.S. jobs based on unique, online jobs that are open, direct from employers, in the U.S. on Glassdoor as of December 9, 2016. Glassdoor used a proprietary machine-learning algorithm to calculate salary estimates, based on millions of salary reports, and this was used to calculate the annual median base salary estimate for each open job. Annual median base salary estimates for each open job were then added together to determine total value.

The value of IT jobs

By industry, IT ranks 5th for the highest value of unfilled jobs (263,586; $20.1 billion) and 4th for the level of economic impact those unfilled jobs have on the economy as a whole, says Scott Dobroski, a Glassdoor community expert who works closely with data scientists in Glassdoor's Economic Research group. When broken out by job title, roles with the highest levels of demand and in shortest supply tend to have the greatest value associated, like software engineers, for which there are 13,198 open jobs with a value of $1.3 billion.

"This reinforces what we've been seeing for years: Demand for these roles is far outpacing supply. There's a lot of economic opportunity that's going unfulfilled in technology right now, both inside and outside purely IT companies. Retail, professional services, manufacturing, healthcare, web and mobile platforms -- all these types of companies are IT companies, and they all need software engineers," Dobroski says.

 

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