Talento | Employers

What you should know about the tech labor shortage in the US

by Carlos A. Vázquez    |    January 8, 2018    |      4 min read


labor shortage in the united states

The increasing demand for developers and engineers shouldn’t be news. Technology has permeated every industry in some form or fashion. It is my belief that in the world we live today there exists no such thing as a “tech company”, rather every company has now become a tech company, even if they admit it or not.

In order to stay relevant, growing companies require some form of online presence as a bare minimum. In addition, the use of software to improve internal operational processes has become a must in today’s competitive landscape — companies go as far as to create proprietary software for their internal processes. All of this requires developers and engineers. Some decide to outsource them, and some decide to do it in-house depending on how technology intensive their other activities are. All-in-all, hiring a good developer has become a hot commodity.

This begs the question — how does that look like in terms of labor supply and demand?

Below you’ll find some bite-sized informational pieces that answer this question and provide some context about the current and future state of the tech job industry.

  • 4% of the Total US Workforce is Employed in the Tech Sector, 2016 Q4
  • 6.9 Million Employed Workers in the Tech Industry
  • $109,000 Average Tech Industry Yearly Wages
  • 625,000 Tech Job Openings as of 2016 Q4
  • 100,000 Engineers Approximately Graduate Every Year
  • 180,000 Net New Jobs Added in Tech 2015–2016
  • 80,000 Net Shortage in 2015–2016 (New Jobs vs New Graduates)
  • 921,268 Projected New Job Openings Thru 2021

Total jobs to be created in Tech according to projections

At the risk of stating the obvious, what these numbers tell us is that it will not only become more complex to find the right developer, but will also cost more in dollars and time to attract talent. This can have a direct impact into our ability as an economic power to continue innovating.

Such is the case that out of 1,000 HR manager and recruiters surveyed, 86% reported that they find it challenging to find and hire technical talent and 75% think the time-to-fill for roles has increased in the past three years.

This has sent company’s scrambling to find talent abroad via remote staff augmentation or outsourcing; the rise of bootcamps and associate degrees in technology; and even Government programs pushing for more STEM graduates.

What if we can create a global push for engineering talent? What if we could do more?

Let me know what your solutions would be for this in the comments below! If you’d like me to talk about any topic surrounding tech recruiting, outsourcing or remote work leave a comment as well!


National Center for Education Statistics

Bureau of Labor Statistics

CyberStates 2017

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