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New Study Shows More Than 12 STEM Jobs Posted for Every Available STEM Worker

For Every Available STEM Worker, North Dakota has 87 STEM Job Postings, South Dakota has 71, and Iowa has 63, Respectively

New York, NY – As the U.S. government begins accepting applications for the H-1B temporary visa program, a new New American Economy (NAE) research brief finds that between 2010 and 2016, U.S. science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields face persistent and dramatic worker shortages.

By analyzing data from the Burning Glass Technologies, a leading labor market analytics firm that searches 40,000 job boards daily, NAE compared the number of online STEM job postings from 2010 to 2016 to the number of unemployed STEM workers available to fill them. The study shows that in 2016, there were more than a dozen STEM jobs posted online for every available, trained STEM worker. In 2015, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska had between 45 and 88 STEM jobs posted online for every one unemployed eligible worker.

“With U.S. companies so drastically short of STEM workers, we should be rolling out the welcome mat for high-skilled talent,” said John Feinblatt, chairman of New American Economy. “Updating our immigration system to close the STEM skills gap would only help businesses innovate, grow, and create more jobs across America.”

The report, “Sizing Up the Gap in our Supply of STEM Workers,” finds:

Between 2010 and 2015, the ratio of STEM jobs posted online to unemployed STEM workers grew dramatically.

  • In 2016, STEM employers faced a dire picture: 13 STEM jobs were posted online for each unemployed worker that year—or roughly 3 million more jobs than the number of available professionals who could potentially fill them.
  • By 2015, such job postings outnumbered unemployed STEM workers by a factor of almost 17 to 1.
  • In 2010, just 5.4 STEM jobs were posted online for every one unemployed STEM worker.

In 2015, some states faced far greater shortages of STEM talent than others:

  • In 2015, employers in four relatively rural states faced the largest gap between the number of STEM jobs advertised online and the size of the unemployed STEM-trained population who could fill them.
  • In North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska each, there were between 45 and 88 STEM jobs posted online for every one unemployed eligible worker.
  • In a total of 14 states, the number of advertised STEM jobs outnumbered unemployed STEM workers by more than 20 to 1. This group included places as varied as Indiana, Virginia, Arkansas, and Alabama.

Between 2010 and 2016, the unemployment rate for U.S. STEM workers dropped to well below the “full employment” rate (4 percent):

  • In 2010, the unemployment rate of U.S. STEM workers was 5.9 percent, compared to 9.6 percent for the entire population of American workers.
  • By 2016, the STEM unemployment rate had fallen to 2.7 percent.

About New American Economy

New American Economy (NAE) brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today. NAE members include mayors of more than 35 million people nationwide and business leaders of companies that generate more than $1.5 trillion and employ more than 4 million people across all sectors of the economy, from Agriculture to Aerospace, Hospitality to High Tech and Media to Manufacturing. Learn more at

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…