As Idaho’s employment projections indicate an increased demand for STEM jobs in the next decade, the state’s employers will face even more challenges when filling those positions in the near future if supply does not increase to match the growing need.
With record low unemployment rates in Idaho and the nation as a whole, help wanted ads have languished unfilled for longer stretches of time. Close to 70 percent of the job postings in a given month were unfilled/reposted from the previous month, and more than 50 percent of them have remained unfilled for more than 90 days.
Employers looking for STEM applicants are facing even tougher times given the relatively smaller pool of STEM workers available and the higher educational and training requirements for these jobs. Openings of lengthy duration can be interpreted – with some caution – as a shortage. In that case, targeted occupational and regional STEM training and education would have enormous benefits in addressing a growing need. Continue reading
The Idaho Department of Labor has recently published long-term projections forecasting what Idaho’s labor market will look like in the year 2024. The outlook is very optimistic. Idaho’s employment is projected to grow by 1.8 percent annually through 2024. This compares favorably to the national growth projections of only 0.6 percent annually over the same time period, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. This forecast would surely put Idaho in a familiar place among the fastest-growing states.
Optimism is warranted by more than just the overall growth rate. Within the projections program, Idaho Labor has forecast scenarios for dozens of different major sectors and industries in the economy, with accompanying forecasts for occupations. According to these projections, Idaho’s economy will see significant growth in two important areas: service sectors and STEM occupations – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The graph below shows the projected growth rates across various sectors of the economy.
Source: Idaho Department of Labor