STEM-related jobs going unfilled in Tucson

2014-07-10T00:00:00Z STEM-related jobs going unfilled in TucsonBy Gabriela Rico Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Job seekers without science, technology, engineering or math skills face “extraordinary competition” for work while jobs that require STEM skills remain vacant.

The Brookings Metro Policy Program has released a new report with analysis of job openings and hiring difficulties for STEM-related jobs.

It compiled data from the 100 largest U.S. metro areas, including Tucson — where more than 40 percent of job openings require some STEM skills.

The report says “post-recession, STEM skills, particularly those associated with high levels of educational attainment, remain in high demand among employers.”

Meanwhile, job seekers possessing neither STEM knowledge nor higher education face extraordinary levels of competition for a scarce number of jobs,” said Jonathan Rothwell, associate fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

The shortage of STEM workers means that the gap in earnings and unemployment between STEM and non-STEM workers will worsen, exacerbating income inequality across all demographic groups,” he said. “Strategies to help the unemployed get jobs and low-wage workers improve their earnings should include improving educational and training opportunities to acquire STEM knowledge.”

Alex Rodriguez, Southern Arizona director of the Arizona Technology Council, called the report “yet another siren call for why we must move with greater urgency, competence and collaboration. Manufacturing jobs are critical to household income, vital for Tucson’s future and key to sustained national economic growth. Without STEM-trained talent, it’s like going into a boxing match and fighting with only one glove.”

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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