Unemployment up for engineers

The unemployment rate for engineers increased in the second quarter of 2009, thanks to the combination of a bad economy and heavy supply.


Electrical engineers have been hit hard by the struggling economy and increased overseas competition, as a report from the U.S. Labor Dept.'s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the unemployment rate for that field hit a record high in the second quarter of 2009.

According to USA Today , the BLS study stated that 8.6% of electrical engineers were out of work between April and June, a huge jump from 4.1% in 2009's first quarter.

The data highlight struggles that all engineers have faced. In the second quarter, engineers of all kinds had an unemployment rate of 5.5%, up from 3.9% in the year's first three months. While that number is still below the national unemployment rate of 9.7%, it is not a good sign following 2008, where the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter for engineers was at 2.9% .

According to the National Science Foundation , U.S. colleges awarded diplomas to 460,000 scientists and engineers combined in 2005, while emerging nations such as India and China produced nearly 700,000 engineers alone. This heavy increase in competition has allowed employers to be more selective in their hiring process.

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