Why 25,000 high paying jobs in Washington are unfilled

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 27 at 9:53 AM

SEATTLE - In its report titled "Great Jobs Within Our Reach,"  the Washington Roundtable, a business group comprised of senior executives from the employers around the state, concludes 25,000 high paying jobs are currently unfilled in Washington because the state's education system isn't producing enough graduates.

The report, released on March 26, 2013, and written by The Boston Consulting Group, concludes that 25,000 job gap will only grow, and forecasts if nothing is changed that number will double to 50,000 by 2017.

When job multipliers are considered, meaning other jobs in the economy supported by the high paying tech jobs that are going unfilled, some 160,000 jobs that could be created are not.

At the center of the report is STEM, short hand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Many of the unfilled job openings are in software, bio engineering and aerospace.

The report states "we define an 'acute' skills gap to exist when a company is unable to fill positions that have remained open for three months or more due to a lack of qualified candidates."

Boston Consulting Group says it analyzed employment data and interviewed senior executives and human resource experts at member firms in its effort to identify the size of the job skills gap.

"We have a pipeline problem," said Steve Mullin, president of the Washington Roundtable. The report looks not only at trying to generate more interest in STEM subjects in the the K-12 system, but says technology and engineering programs in higher education, including the the University of Washington, are not creating enough slots for students, and therefore not enough graduates to fill the jobs.

The concern, says Mullin and others, is that if nothing is done companies could move more of their operations or even entire companies out of state in search of a better labor supply.

The roundtable includes most of the state's large employers from aerospace, banks, transportation, and computer technology.

Read the report at www.waroundtable.com.

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