Tech jobs suffer lack of talent, panel says. Trouble ahead: Without an influx of highly skilled workers, some trades could grind to halt

The thriving technology and life-sciences industries are being caught in a job crunch because of low unemployment, a lagging domestic pool of highly skilled labor, and caps on visas for scientists and high-tech workers from abroad.

For the nation and Utah alike, these conditions could combine to dampen, if not undercut, the ongoing economic boom, warned Pat Vaughn, director of Talent Access Programs for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

"The conditions are ripe for a ‘perfect storm’ . . . an economic climate in which all of us [globally] are seeking to recruit" the next crop of highly skilled and educated workers, she told a GOED-sponsored technology breakfast Friday.

Competition for brainpower also plays out regionally. Utah’s 3.4 percent jobless rate in March – well under the national’s rate of 4.7 percent – and the state’s red-hot 4.3 percent job-growth rate make the state especially vulnerable, Vaughn said.

By Bob Mims
The Salt Lake Tribune

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