IEEE-USA’s Free May E-Book Offers Members a Reference on Employment Trends

IEEE-USA’s Free May E-Book Offers Members a Reference on Employment Trends

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The IEEE-USA Employment Survey Report–2015 Edition offers IEEE members a good reference, as well as a better understanding of U.S. IEEE members’ employment trends in 2014. In this free e-book, 3,411 U.S. IEEE members who reported being unemployed during 2014 were surveyed, using a self-administered, online questionnaire. 

Although 68% of respondents reported losing their job in 2014, the 2014 Survey revealed several promising indicators for renewed optimism in the U.S. job market.  Among the respondents in the survey, almost two-thirds (63.4%) rated the long-term outlook for engineers as good to excellent.

Only slightly more than one-third (34.1%) of the engineers surveyed cited national economic conditions as a barrier to re-employment, a decline from 44% in the 2014 survey.  And although the number was still high, somewhat fewer people became unemployed during 2014 due to layoffs–63.3%–down from 67.5% the previous year.

At the time of the 2015 Survey, nearly seven in ten respondents (68.0%) reported being unemployed. The largest proportion was involuntarily unemployed (42.7%); while 9.8% were unemployed voluntarily. More than 15% of these respondents were retired (7.6% involuntarily, and 7.8% voluntarily). About a third of respondents (32.0%) were re-employed: 15.3% full time, as technical professionals; 5.0% part time; and 3.4% as, other than a technical professional. Less than a tenth (8.3%) were self-employed.

Unemployment duration varied widely, with a low of one week, to a high of 350 weeks (just over 6.7 years). The average unemployment duration was just under two years (at 98 weeks). The median was much lower at 60 weeks, or slightly over one year; however, the median also better represented a typical unemployment period for this population.

Not surprising, most participants (76.1%) saw age as a barrier to employment or re-employment. More than a third (34.1%) said their geographic preferences and national economic conditions (33.7%) created barriers.

In the 2015 Survey, job search techniques’ perceived effectiveness remained one of the report’s most interesting aspects.  Consistent with the 2014 report, the majority used five of the seven most common techniques, with networking (80.8%), and responding to Internet or print job postings (78.7%) most popular. Slightly less than half (46%) were aware that IEEE-USA offers employment assistance services.

Despite being unemployed during at least some part of 2014, most respondents (83.2%) said they want to remain in their primary technical area of competence (PATC); and 66.3% are not contemplating moving out of the engineering profession entirely. The majority (72.8%) said they would not return to school; while 6% planned to return full time; and 22.2%, part time.

The IEEE-USA Employment & Career Services Committee has conducted the survey since 1995, repeating it frequently, in a continuing effort to understand the issues of unemployment among U.S. IEEE members. In 2015, online surveys were sent to 3,414 U.S. members, who had reported being unemployed during the 2014 membership year. Exactly 818 participants responded, representing a 24% response rate.

The book provides historical employment trends, references and information for members. And you can have it free, for a savings of $7.99 off the member price.

From 1 May through 15 June, IEEE members can get their free eBook by going to:

​Log in with your IEEE Web Account, add the book to your cart, and use promo code​ MAYFREE18 at checkout.

Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager; Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA E-BOOKS; Department Editor for IEEE-USA InSight’s InFocus Department; and Co-Editor of the IEEE-USA Conference Brief.

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