More evidence STEM jobs lead employment recovery

The Brookings Institution reports:

In fact, it is not stretching things to say that the sector led the post-recession jobs recovery in the United States, both nationally and in many regions.

That’s similar to the findings in this Washington Research Council analysis:

Washington’s vibrant tech cluster has had a strong, positive effect on the state economy. The sector accounts for nearly two-thirds of Washington’s job growth since 1990 and more than half of the growth in employee compensation. Major tax revenues generated by the sector grew 219 percent, to $2.9 billion in 2011.

The tech industry mitigated the effects of the national recession here, showing relatively stable income and employment patterns, even during the sharpest economic downturn in more than half a century.

 

More from Brookings:

At the national level, the 50-industry, R&D- and STEM-worker-intensive sector added almost 1 million jobs in the years 2010–2013, or nearly 18 percent of the nation’s total job growth. That’s not bad for a sector that represents little more than 8 percent of the nation’s job base. Over those years employment in the sector grew by 2.7 percent per year on average, nearly twice as fast as in the rest of the economy. 

Opportunity Washington recognizes that our state’s education system must improve STEM education opportunities for students at all levels. In particular, STEM education will help close the skills gap and expand employment opportunities for people throughout the state. 

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) examined the skills gap in Washington state in 2013. BCG found “approximately 25,000 ‘acute’ unfilled jobs in Washington as a result of the skills gap. Approximately 80 percent of those openings are in highly skilled STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines…”

These are real jobs, real opportunities that exist today in our innovation economy. Our state must assure that our students are ready to achieve now.