Engineering Job Outlook Dims Slightly

Although confidence among engineering professionals remains high, Q2 2012 engineer worker confidence index slips due to economic concerns

engineering-jobs-outlook-dims-slightlyEngineering is one of the most stable and confident sectors in the U.S. employment marketplace. But the Q2 2012 Randstad Engineering Employee Confidence Index showed a decrease of 5.9 points to 59.0, after reaching a four-year high during Q1.

Though slight, the decrease in the Randstad index is indicative of engineering professionals’ increasing anxiety over the U.S. economy as well as the strength and vitality of their employers.

“Engineering professionals continue to be one of the most confident sectors tracked by Randstad,” said Richard Zambacca, president of Randstad Engineering. “Despite this dip in overall confidence, engineers remain highly confident in their ability to find alternative employment, as well as in their intentions to do so in the near future.”

Recent statistics reveal less than 85,000 engineering graduates in 2009, 11% less than the number of engineering bachelor degrees awarded in 1984. According to Zambacca, the engineering field is currently experiencing both a shortage of young engineers entering the industry and a shortage in the supply of engineers with ten to sixteen years of experience.

Across the field, the areas of highest demand are currently mechanical and electrical engineers to resource the auto industry, and engineers for civil construction projects and green/sustainable structures.

Additional findings from the Q2 2012 report include:

  • Approximately 38 percent of engineers think the economy is getting stronger, down from 40 percent in Q1.
  • There was a 5 percentage point increase (39% to 44%) in the number of engineers who believe there are fewer jobs available.
  • 58 percent of engineers are confident in their ability to find a new job, virtually unchanged from Q1 (57%).
  • 45 percent of engineers intend to look for a new job in the next 12 months – an astounding 19 percentage point increase from Q1.

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