In a piece for the Huffington Post, Colin J. Parris of IBM raises a flag over America’s dwindling tech resources:
The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 60 percent of the new jobs that will be created in the 21st century will require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the current workforce. Experts predict that 123 million high-skill, high-paying jobs will exist in 10 years, but just 50 million Americans will be qualified to take them.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that computer and information technology occupations in the U.S. are projected to grow by 22 percent, adding 758,800 new jobs by 2020. Where will the workers come from to fill those jobs?
As an engineer and executive within the industry, it worries me to see the number of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals within the U.S. has drastically declined. Four decades ago, about 40 percent of the world’s scientists and engineers resided in the U.S. Today, that number has declined to 15 percent.
The full op-ed is worth the read.
There are two new reports worth checking out today. FIrst up, a look at the benefits of broadband for businesses courtesy of Connected Nation:
• Nearly one in three businesses (32%) earn revenues from online sales. This translates into more than 2.4 million U.S. businesses
• Broadband-connected businesses bring in approximately $300,000 more in annual median revenues than non-broadband adopting businesses
• An estimated 4.4 million U.S. business establishments have websites, including more than 2 million businesses with fewer than five employees
• Teleworking also continues to have an impact in the marketplace, with 24% of rural businesses and 35% of non-rural businesses currently allowing employees to telework or telecommute
• Minority-owned businesses in the U.S. account for $49 billion in annual sales revenues from online sales (or 12% of total online sales in the U.S.). A large percentage of minority-owned businesses report using broadband to handle some or all of their business functions (79%, compared to 76% of all businesses on average)
Connected Nation’s full “2012 Jobs and Broadband Report” is available on their website (PDF). It’s worth digging in to.
Also worth checking out is “Connecting the Dots: Linking Broadband Adoption to Job Creation and Job Competitiveness” (PDF) from the National Urban League, which examines where the digital divide persists in America, and highlights how expanding access helps drive employment and opportunity in the African America community. From the report’s findings:
• Overall broadband adoption gap is narrowing: In 2010, the home broadband adoption gap between African Americans and white Americans was 11 percentage points—in 2009, this was 19 percentage
points (56% for African Americans and 67% for white Americans in 2010).
• Target broadband adoption efforts at high school dropouts and households below $20,000 annual income: This group has persistently low broadband adoption—38% of African American and 51% of white American high school dropouts adopted broadband in 2010.
• Close broadband adoption gaps by linking it to jobs: Segment of African American population with low adoption has the most interest in using broadband for jobs—77% of African Americans and 17% of white American high school dropouts used broadband to search for jobs in 2009.
• African Americans are underrepresented in broadband jobs and businesses: African Americans were 8% of broadly-defined STEM occupations in 2010 and made 0.23% of revenues in information sector businesses in 2007. Broadband adoption can be leveraged to change this.
Via GigaOm’s Kevin Fitchar, comes word that T-Mobile is doing some major restructuring:
T-Mobile USA is consolidating its customer service call centers, shutting down seven facilities in six states by the end of June but hiring new staff in its remaining 17 call hubs. The reorganization will result in as many as 3,300 losing their jobs, but T-Mobile said it would begin hiring up to 1,400 new staff at the remaining call centers.
When all is said and done, T-Mobile will be 1,900 employees smaller and will lose about 5 percent of its U.S. workforce.
In a case of unfortunate irony, one of the major concessions of AT&T’s bid to merge with T-Mobile last year was the company’s pledge to bring thousands of call center jobs back from overseas.
In response to recent stories that some employers have been asking potential hires for their social media passwords, Facebook is weighing in. As Mashable’s Sarah Kessler reports:
“This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends,” [Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin] Egan wrote on the Facebook Privacy blog. “It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.”
Among the risks to employers, Egan says, are that they will come across information such as age or sexual orientation that could open them up to claims of discrimination if the applicant doesn’t get the job. Employers may also become responsible for information they uncover while pursuing private profiles, such as that which suggests a crime.
Manuel Valdes and Shannon Mcfarland of the Associated Press report on a growing trend in the hiring of new employees:
In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person’s social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.
“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it “an egregious privacy violation.”
Not surprisingly, privacy groups are criticizing the practice. And the ACLU is getting involved:
Bottom line: we believe you shouldn’t have to choose between privacy and technology. The same standards of privacy that we expect offline in the real world should apply online in our digital lives as well.
Over at The Hill, Gautham Nagesh looks at a new study from the Phoenix Center on the effect access to the Internet has on keeping people looking for work:
By examining data from 2009 the researchers were able to confirm their earlier findings showing access to the Web, whether at home or through shared public computers, prevents workers from abandoning their search for a new job.
“It appears that all forms of Internet use, including dial-up and public shared use, are important tools for job search, reducing discouragement by a sizable and statistically significant amount,” wrote Phoenix Center chief economist Dr. George Ford.
You can read through the full study, “Internet Use and Labor Market Participation: Additional Insights from New and Old Data” at the Phoenix Center website.
A Brookings Institution study estimated that every one percentage-point increase in broadband penetration is accompanied by an increase in employment of 0.2 percent to 0.3 percent per year.
— Robert Shapiro and Kevin Hassett, “A New Analysis of Broadband Adoption Rates by Minority Households.,” Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, June 22, 2010.
Learn more facts in our ever-expanding Broadband Fact Book.
A recent study shows that employment levels within Internet companies are up 13 percent since the recession officially started in December 2007.
— Mandel, Michael, “The Coming Communications Boom?” Progressive Policy Institute, April 2010. Web. 28 Jul 2010.
Learn more facts in our ever-expanding Broadband Fact Book.
Communities with new access to broadband experienced 6.4 percent higher employment growth, on average, than they did before getting broadband.
“Where Jobs Come From, The Role of Innovation, Investment, and Infrastructure in Economic and Job Growth.” By Jessica Milano, February 2010.
More facts about broadband.
According to Blair Levin, executive director of the FCC’s omnibus broadband initiative, more than three quarters of U.S. companies now accept resumes only online.
Grant Gross, “FCC still looking for broadband ideas,” IDG News Service. September 22, 2009.
More facts about broadband.
Via the New York Times “Bits” blog comes news of a new study that finds of employers are now using social networks to screen job applicants:
According to a new study conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.com, 45 percent of employers questioned are using social networks to screen job candidates — more than double from a year earlier, when a similar survey found that just 22 percent of supervisors were researching potential hires on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The study also found that Facebook was by far the most used site for employers—not too terribly surprising since the site has over 250 million users.