$20 billion of unfilled IT industry jobs has productivity, tax implications

By Jonathan Hassell

Thousands of open yet unfilled jobs in the IT industry could have a calculable effect on the US economy, according to the chief economist of job listing and review company Glassdoor, as reported by CIO. As recently as the third quarter of last year, the unemployment rate in the IT industry was a stunningly low 2.8 percent, while 263,500 jobs in the sector were open. Glassdoor calculated the value in aggregate of all those open jobs at just over $20 billion. It used algorithms and machine learning to assemble an estimate of salaries for all open job descriptions and then collated those results and added them together to arrive at the $20 billion number.

According to CIO, there are a couple of important implications. First, the $20 billion in potential payroll left on the table would be a huge source of tax revenue and economic juice for many regions. Hiring 250,000 more workers would also significantly reduce the country’s overall unemployment rate. Second, filling a quarter of a million jobs would raise productivity in the IT sector and perhaps unleash new waves of development as more skilled workers apply their expertise to pending problems. These open jobs are not just nice-to-have positions, but rather represent real needs that are not currently being met.

“This reinforces what we’ve been seeing for years: Demand for these roles is far outpacing supply,” said Scott Dobroski, a community expert who collaborates with data scientists in Glassdoor’s Economic Research group.

“There’s a lot of economic opportunity that’s going unfulfilled in technology right now, both inside and outside purely IT companies,” Dobroski said. “Retail, professional services, manufacturing, healthcare, web and mobile platforms — all these types of companies are IT companies, and they all need software engineers.”

Filling these roles with qualified candidates will not only benefit the IT industry, but the US economy as a whole.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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