Career Advice

Engineering Job Market Growth is Slow Entering 2016
Meghan Brown posted on January 15, 2016 |
Individual engineering disciplines anticipate future growth higher than the workforce average.

Over the past year, the engineering job market saw low levels of growth, a trend that industry leaders expect to see continuing into 2016.

Engineering job growth continues to be slow into the beginning of 2016, up only 0.1 percent sequentially to a total number of 2,532,600 jobs according to a recent report released by TechServe Alliance.

On a year-over-year basis, engineering employment has grown by only 0.6 percent since December 2014, adding 16,200 engineering workers to the workforce. This growth rate is underperforming compared to that of the overall workforce growth rate of 7 percent.

The TechServe report also offered stats on the IT industry, listing a sequential growth of 0.2 percent in the number of IT jobs in December, reaching 5,021,900. The year-over-year comparison shows a 3.7 percent increase in IT employment since December 2014, adding 178,300 workers to the IT industry—but it’s still growing more slowly than the overall workforce.

"As we closed out 2015, the rate of IT job growth slowed with engineering employment barely making it into positive territory," said Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance. "While the US economy is on a reasonably solid footing, there is increasing uncertainty associated with the macroeconomic and geopolitical picture."

"Although we expect IT job growth to continue to outperform the overall job market with an ongoing shortage of talent in high-demand skill sets, growth will likely not be as robust as we experienced earlier in the economic recovery,” Roberts continued. “Engineering employment has been particularly vulnerable to a number of industry sectors such as oil and gas that are experiencing significant headwinds. We anticipate these pressures will continue throughout 2016, inhibiting engineering job growth.”

Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a somewhat more optimistic growth rate for petroleum engineers in the oil and gas industry (about 10 percent over 2014-2024) this rate will likely be significantly affected by changes in oil prices and throughout the overall oil and gas industry.

In comparison to the low growth rates for IT and engineering overall, the BLS expects greater-than-average growth from several individual engineering fields, including:

 For more information on engineering job market growth and trends, visit TechServe Alliance.

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