Lack of Engineers and Other Technical Professions in the USA
The US economy continues to grow, but its growth potential is limited due to a shortage of professional personnel and higher prices for raw materials. This statement is received from a regional review published by the Federal Reserve System (FRS), which is called the Beige Book by the cover color.
At the same time, the threat of large-scale trade war raises more and more fears.
Business activity in the US economy continued to magnify in June and early July 2018, with growth rates ranging from modest to moderate in 10 out of 12 counties.
Dallas County is out of the overall picture, where there was great growth, was noted, in particular, thanks to the energy sector. St. Louis County is also out of the picture where the increase in business activity was weak (slight).
Manufacturing enterprises in all districts have expressed concern about the issue of trade duties. Many counties also reported higher prices and supply disruptions as a result of changes in trade policies: companies are now paying more and more for oil and gas, metals and building materials.
All counties reported that the labor supply in the labor market has become more limited. The lack of a sufficient number of skilled employees has been cited as a factor constraining economic growth in many districts.
The lack of employees was noted in a wide range of professional areas, including highly professional engineers, specialized workers in the construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as IT professionals and truck drivers.
A very limited choice in the labor market improved the position of workers in negotiations with employers. Many companies increased basic salaries and benefits to attract or retain employees, the review notes. In particular, one trucking company in St. Louis offered employees a record-high salary increase in its history.
In general, salary increases ranged from modest to moderate and varied across sectors, but two districts reported accelerated salary growth.
Consumer spendings increased in all states of the United States, particularly rapid growth in this segment was noted in Dallas and Richmond.
A favorable factor for consumers is that inflation is still not too fast.
Manufacturers are shifting the increase in prices for their products to consumers at a pace from “weak” to “moderate”.
The Beige Book review, which is based on the data from the twelve Federal Reserve Banks, is published approximately two weeks before the meeting of the Federal Reserve. The next meeting of the leadership of the American Central Bank is scheduled for July 31 – August 1.