Author Topic: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.  (Read 7365 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bluejonah

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: us
  • Heyooo
Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« on: July 31, 2014, 06:17:37 pm »
I was curios about what the employment situation was for Electrical Engineers over time. Mostly, I was feeling unsure about my choice to study EE and needed some reassurance. So, I went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and did some research. I pulled out some data going back to 1999 ( I felt that was good enough; and I'm lazy and didn't want to go further lol) and charted it in excel. Maybe others will find this reassuring or interesting. Here they are.
 

Offline nerdyHippy

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 37
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 05:48:03 am »
While as a recent graduate I agree that the median and percentile data is reassuring, I don't think you can rely on it for anything much more specific than reassurance. Geographic differences play a huge role in the US EE payscale (also COL, of course), and any analysis that ignores that is only useful for a ballpark at best.

Does this analysis take unemployment into account?

What exactly does employment vs medium wage plot?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 05:49:51 am by nerdyHippy »
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2938
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2014, 07:06:10 am »
...Does this analysis take unemployment into account?...

Given the way those numbers are formulated, what difference would that make?  Our (USA) unemployment counting method broke a long time ago.  We don't count long term unemployed.  Not counting long term unemployed used to work within reason when that number was small.  Now we have long term unemployment sky high.

Allow me an analogy: well, you have been sick for a year now, and you don't even go see a doctor since you ran out of money.  A whole year without seeing a doctor, it shows you are no longer interested in participating in society as a health adult, so you are not counted as sick.  Those who merely listen to lazy news would go "Geeze, look at how healthy we are!   We sure have fewer and fewer sick people..."

Info are in many sources except main-line news (they are too lazy and just repeat stories from each other).  Choosing at random: "Business Insider", only 47% of working age adult have full time jobs.
http://www.businessinsider.com/real-employment-rate-47-percent-2011-1

Even BLS' (Bureau of Labor Statistics) number of "worker participation rate" is 30 year low. 88 million working age adults not working.  (Sorry, not participating).  That number is bigger than the whole population of many smaller EU countries.  I think only France, Germany, Britain, and Poland has population that size.  Given BLS' allergy to real bad news, that number has odd to be bigger.

The downward pressure on wage is huge.  If you still hold a position, you may not feel it yet but impact always spread as more businesses close.  I have an EE buddy who has been out for 5+ year now.  With India and China in the pipe line, we (USA) has to move up the value chain somehow or we are toasted.  But, we first have to survive the next few years.
 

Offline bwat

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 278
  • Country: se
    • My website
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014, 07:19:52 am »
88 million working age adults not working.  (Sorry, not participating).  That number is bigger than the whole population of many smaller EU countries.  I think only France, Germany, Britain, and Poland has population that size.
German is nearly there at about 80mil but France and the UK is about 60 to 70 mil. There is no EU country of 88 mil or more.


The downward pressure on wage is huge.  If you still hold a position, you may not feel it yet but impact always spread as more businesses close.  I have an EE buddy who has been out for 5+ year now.  With India and China in the pipe line, we (USA) has to move up the value chain somehow or we are toasted.  But, we first have to survive the next few years.
We've all been forced to up our game (EU, US). Some peeps aren't going to be able to, or want to and they'll find it, or are finding it, very hard I think. Even those who do improve their skills to the point where they knock out a good percentage of the cheap competition are going to have to find work that absolutely must have those skills. I've got plans and I've spent the last few years putting them in place. Hopefully it'll raise my game to the point where I'm still attractive as I get older! I don't mind the effort as it's intellectually rewarding.
"Who said that you should improve programming skills only at the workplace? Is the workplace even suitable for cultural improvement of any kind?" - Christophe Thibaut

"People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware." - Alan Kay
 

Offline AndyC_772

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3714
  • Country: gb
  • Professional design engineer
    • Cawte Engineering | Reliable Electronics
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2014, 08:36:15 am »
It's probably also fair to emphasize that improving our skills doesn't necessarily mean improving our technical skills.

Since I started working for myself, probably only 1 in 4 jobs or so have been what I'd describe as "difficult" technically, ie. requiring a lot of theoretical knowledge, experience and skill and which may be beyond the capabilities of some professional engineers.

On the other hand, I've done a great many jobs which have involved understanding the customer's needs, and providing solutions which are appropriate under the circumstances. If that means a little board with a PIC on it that wiggles pins when provoked, but which comes with clear documentation, is easy and cost effective to build, and which means the customer can consider that problem 'solved' and doesn't have to think about it again, then so be it.

Offline bluejonah

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: us
  • Heyooo
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2014, 11:20:57 am »
I was going to plot the data for H1-B visas but the date is incredibly convoluted to pull out of multiple spreadsheets. This particular visa is the one for foreigners to work in the US under special skills (like EE). I figured it was pointless. I'm sure more persons from India are coming in to replace the so called "engineering shortage" for cheaper wagers. However, the wages are trending. BUT the number of companies that are "inverting" or otherwise going overseas is increasing faster. My goal is to work in the US for about two years after I graduate and then move somewhere else. I was hoping Scandinavia, but reading the other commentator above, that might not be a good idea. I was mostly just curious about the stats for EE. As far as UNemployment goes, I didn't even bother with that. 1) You're right. The numbers tend to be very skewed. So, finding a real count over time would be almost impossible. and 2) finding this data took me several hours. So, I couldn't imagine where to begin with that. I think things will be a little positive for, at least, the next five years; well, hopefully. But the march of that ever persistent parasite called "capitalism" only guarantees everything to be a mess, like Detroit, over time.
 

Offline dannyf

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8229
  • Country: 00
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 11:34:00 am »
Quote
we (USA) has to move up the value chain somehow or we are toasted.

Absolutely. In my business, 8-bit work has been gone for 10-15 years in the US: most of the  hardware / software designs on 8-bit work has been exported to China for sourcing and cost reasons. Software houses have to figure out a way to compete on other aspects of their businesses.

If you don't evolve, you die.
================================
https://dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/
 

Offline bwat

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 278
  • Country: se
    • My website
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 11:46:55 am »
My goal is to work in the US for about two years after I graduate and then move somewhere else. I was hoping Scandinavia, but reading the other commentator above, that might not be a good idea.
Re Scandinavia: you'll probably have a harder time getting a work permit than finding a position you could fill. You might be forced to marry an attractive Scandinavian type. Most people I know that have EE degrees are actually programmers. This is my experience in the low-level development field.
"Who said that you should improve programming skills only at the workplace? Is the workplace even suitable for cultural improvement of any kind?" - Christophe Thibaut

"People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware." - Alan Kay
 

Offline zapta

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6004
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 03:24:57 pm »
That explains why US companies are finding it so hard to compete in my industry. The hardware we produce has to run for at least 5 years on battery power alone, ideally much longer. Crashing or resetting is a major problem because it requires someone to go to a remote side, access an often dangerous area (e.g. in the middle of a road) and replace the device. US companies have had very little success in this area due to reliability problems, mostly down to poor firmware. The only area they are competitive in is manually operated equipment where occasional crashes or lock-ups can be fixed by power cycling.

He he, you don't miss an opportunity to trash the US. You must have a big chip on your shoulder.

This has American firmware:



Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2938
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 07:56:43 pm »
...
He he, you don't miss an opportunity to trash the US. You must have a big chip on your shoulder.
...

Many do; but when they put history into perspective, their views likely change.  Gun Boat Diplomacy did started with us the U.S. of A. going up and down the Yangtze with gun boats, but of all the colonial powers trying to "get a piece of the pie", America was by far the fairest and least colonialist.

Even smallish country like The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc, have colonies all over the world where as we the number of colonies the USA has can be counted on one hand (plus or minus).  When you get down to it, America never even held a Chinese Port when other much smaller countries took cities -  Portugal took Macau; Dutch took Taiwan (hence the name Formosa); Austria... not sure what they took but Captain Von Trapp (Sounds of Music) got his notoriety by his "heroic deeds" fighting off the "Boxers" of the "Boxer's Rebellion."  etc., etc...

I am not saying we the USA is pure.  I am however saying we the USA was the most restrained and least colonialist (given our ability/power to colonize had we wanted to).

But for the U.S. of A., China would have a much harder time beating off the Japaneses during WWII.  I know while there are many who dislikes the US of A, "many" however does not mean majority.  I know more Chinese people respect the USA than those hating USA -- until recent years.
 

Offline KF5OBS

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • Country: us
    • RF Electronics Blog
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 09:32:47 pm »
Quote
This has American firmware:

I love this. It's as good as "Made in the USA". Anyone giving me the "Made int he US" or whatever BS triggers my immediate response: "By who? " It should really say: "Made in the USA by Indians, Asians and Europeans or local Americans trained by Indians, Asians or Europeans". This may be stereotyping quite a bit, but the thing with stereotypes is, that they're often true for the majority of the target group.  But I don't want to start a fight of nations here. Bottom line would be, the we wouldn't be close to where we are without any of those nations (and others) involved.
Electronics enthusiasts and master of RF circuit design, also known as the art of Voodoo. My blog: http://jaunty-electronics.com
 

Offline bluejonah

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: us
  • Heyooo
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 09:40:28 pm »
...
He he, you don't miss an opportunity to trash the US. You must have a big chip on your shoulder.
...

Many do; but when they put history into perspective, their views likely change.  Gun Boat Diplomacy did started with us the U.S. of A. going up and down the Yangtze with gun boats, but of all the colonial powers trying to "get a piece of the pie", America was by far the fairest and least colonialist.

Even smallish country like The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc, have colonies all over the world where as we the number of colonies the USA has can be counted on one hand (plus or minus).  When you get down to it, America never even held a Chinese Port when other much smaller countries took cities -  Portugal took Macau; Dutch took Taiwan (hence the name Formosa); Austria... not sure what they took but Captain Von Trapp (Sounds of Music) got his notoriety by his "heroic deeds" fighting off the "Boxers" of the "Boxer's Rebellion."  etc., etc...

I am not saying we the USA is pure.  I am however saying we the USA was the most restrained and least colonialist (given our ability/power to colonize had we wanted to).

But for the U.S. of A., China would have a much harder time beating off the Japaneses during WWII.  I know while there are many who dislikes the US of A, "many" however does not mean majority.  I know more Chinese people respect the USA than those hating USA -- until recent years.

Oh god. Please tell me you are not this naive! America was less imperialistic/colonialistic?! Really?! Despite that fact that we literally wiped out several nations along the way.... including our own?! And then we bombed countries to smithereens and have, literally, been in war every year since the 1800's and we're not that colonialistic?!??!!? Oh jesys!
 

Offline sunnyhighway

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Country: nl
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 09:51:31 pm »
Even smallish country like The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc, have colonies all over the world

I stand to be corrected, but:

The Netherlands only has some Caribbean islands left.
Belgium doesn't have any colonies left since 1962.
Luxemburg never had any colonies at all.
 

Offline dannyf

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8229
  • Country: 00
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 09:57:43 pm »
Quote
And then we bombed countries to smithereens and have, literally, been in war every year since the 1800's and

Mostly true.

Quote
we're not that colonialistic?!?

The two don't seem to contradict each other, unless you have a different definition of "colonialistic".
================================
https://dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/
 

Offline IanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9767
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 09:58:09 pm »
Many do; but when they put history into perspective, their views likely change.  Gun Boat Diplomacy did started with us the U.S. of A. going up and down the Yangtze with gun boats, but of all the colonial powers trying to "get a piece of the pie", America was by far the fairest and least colonialist.

Did you forget that the USA is a colony? That the USA fought wars with all the nations previously occupying the land to drive them out, not to mention Mexico, Spain, France, the UK and others to expand  the US borders?

America is not a colonial power? Please...  :o
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline dannyf

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8229
  • Country: 00
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 10:04:26 pm »
Quote
Did you forget that the USA is a colony?

If being a colony makes one colonial, Canada is a larger colonial power than the US. So is China (by the Mongolians and the Japanese), India (by the Muslims and then England), Australia,....

So are the little Caribbean countries.

Your standard of who is a colonial power is quite interesting, to say the least.
================================
https://dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2938
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 10:13:25 pm »
...
He he, you don't miss an opportunity to trash the US. You must have a big chip on your shoulder.
...

Many do; but when they put history into perspective, their views likely change.  Gun Boat Diplomacy did started with us the U.S. of A. going up and down the Yangtze with gun boats, but of all the colonial powers trying to "get a piece of the pie", America was by far the fairest and least colonialist.

Even smallish country like The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc, have colonies all over the world where as we the number of colonies the USA has can be counted on one hand (plus or minus).  When you get down to it, America never even held a Chinese Port when other much smaller countries took cities -  Portugal took Macau; Dutch took Taiwan (hence the name Formosa); Austria... not sure what they took but Captain Von Trapp (Sounds of Music) got his notoriety by his "heroic deeds" fighting off the "Boxers" of the "Boxer's Rebellion."  etc., etc...

I am not saying we the USA is pure.  I am however saying we the USA was the most restrained and least colonialist (given our ability/power to colonize had we wanted to).

But for the U.S. of A., China would have a much harder time beating off the Japaneses during WWII.  I know while there are many who dislikes the US of A, "many" however does not mean majority.  I know more Chinese people respect the USA than those hating USA -- until recent years.

Oh god. Please tell me you are not this naive! America was less imperialistic/colonialistic?! Really?! Despite that fact that we literally wiped out several nations along the way.... including our own?! And then we bombed countries to smithereens and have, literally, been in war every year since the 1800's and we're not that colonialistic?!??!!? Oh jesys!

I think you missed the part (highlighted by bold-italic in this reply).

I stand by my statement(s).  To borrow popular expressions: "I've been around the block" and "I an't a spring chicken" either.

Many do; but when they put history into perspective, their views likely change.  Gun Boat Diplomacy did started with us the U.S. of A. going up and down the Yangtze with gun boats, but of all the colonial powers trying to "get a piece of the pie", America was by far the fairest and least colonialist.

Did you forget that the USA is a colony? That the USA fought wars with all the nations previously occupying the land to drive them out, not to mention Mexico, Spain, France, the UK and others to expand  the US borders?

America is not a colonial power? Please...  :o

I think that is precisely the reason why America was the most restrained: because it was at the receiving end at one time.

Consuming land to build a nation is part of human history.  Every nation today is  build upon land that once was another nation.  The war of 1812 (the American one) was I believe a turning point in American history.  That is when we switched off the gene of expansion (after we failed to expand).

« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 10:17:44 pm by Rick Law »
 

Offline bwat

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 278
  • Country: se
    • My website
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2014, 10:21:12 pm »
Did you forget that the USA is a colony?
Wasn't it 13 colonies?

Anyway, according to a book I'm looking at right now Atlas of Military Strategy,  (chapter "The Growth of the 'Second' British Empire"):
Quote
the triumph of the mercantilist view (whereby colonies existed to supply raw materials and local produce in exchange for the industrial products of the mother-country) came at the very moment when it was to be replaced by the doctrine of free trade.... Thus, by the 1840s, the possession of an Empire  was  widely regarded as unprofitable and irksome.

The Americans maybe missed the whole empire building craze. Didn't they go through their local expansion 1803 (Louisiana purchase) to 1845 (annexation of the Republic of Texas)?

Edit1: Just seen parts of the US were considered an  "undeveloped area" in the late 1880s (Dakotas).
Edit2: Forgot the civil war as well. Nah, they were too busy to build an empire.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 10:30:02 pm by bwat »
"Who said that you should improve programming skills only at the workplace? Is the workplace even suitable for cultural improvement of any kind?" - Christophe Thibaut

"People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware." - Alan Kay
 

Offline sunnyhighway

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Country: nl
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2014, 10:35:56 pm »
The Americans maybe missed the whole empire building craze. Didn't they go through their local expansion 1803 (Louisiana purchase) to 1845 (annexation of the Republic of Texas)?

They didn't miss out completely. Part of this empire building craze was trading colonies.
The USA purchased Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million from Russia. I can imagine the Russians where not particularly pleased when they later found out that they were on the short end of the deal when oil was found.
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2938
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2014, 10:41:50 pm »
Even smallish country like The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, etc, have colonies all over the world

I stand to be corrected, but:

The Netherlands only has some Caribbean islands left.
Belgium doesn't have any colonies left since 1962.
Luxemburg never had any colonies at all.

The error is mine.  Luxembourg was disputed "colony of Spain" but not the colonist themselves.

I understand that neither Netherlands nor Belgium has much colonies left even by WWI.  I called out the smaller nations to make the point that America for it size was a minor player in the game of colonialism.
 

Offline Phaedrus

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 714
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2014, 10:53:38 pm »
I think that is precisely the reason why America was the most restrained: because it was at the receiving end at one time.

Consuming land to build a nation is part of human history.  Every nation today is  build upon land that once was another nation.  The war of 1812 (the American one) was I believe a turning point in American history.  That is when we switched off the gene of expansion (after we failed to expand).

Expansion went on long after 1812; all the way into the 1860s. Alaska was purchased in 1867, for instance. And from 1880-1920 the US used military action to enforce US business interests in the Caribbean and Central America, destroying or supporting governments and nations (Cuba, anyone?) for the sole purpose of ensuring the output of raw materials and the purchase of American goods. This is well known. And some would argue that it continues to this day.
"More quotes have been misattributed to Albert Einstein than to any other famous person."
- Albert Einstein
 

Offline sunnyhighway

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Country: nl
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2014, 11:07:05 pm »
I called out the smaller nations to make the point that America for it size was a minor player in the game of colonialism.

The pioneers who started moving east from the initial 13 states where not emigrating to Sioux or Apache territory.
I'm inclined to call that colonization.
 

Offline miguelvp

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5549
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2014, 11:21:54 pm »
To get back on topic.

It's hard for companies to keep a large workforce when they need more workers on difficult projects. Sure they could hire temps but then they will have to be trained and you can't keep them when projects slow down.

So it's common to outsource to capable firms (usually foreign) to pick up the slack. You can't have a large task force that is just idle for long periods of time, so they resort to having the needed workers that can be kept busy most of the time and outsource tasks that are not crucial.

On the Visas, one of our strengths is to bring foreign students to US universities and let them stay here. But now they leave back to their country of origin, so pretty much we are training our competition.
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2938
  • Country: us
Re: Some general labor (US) stats for Electrical Engineers.
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2014, 01:22:14 am »
To get back on topic.

It's hard for companies to keep a large workforce when they need more workers on difficult projects. Sure they could hire temps but then they will have to be trained and you can't keep them when projects slow down.

So it's common to outsource to capable firms (usually foreign) to pick up the slack. You can't have a large task force that is just idle for long periods of time, so they resort to having the needed workers that can be kept busy most of the time and outsource tasks that are not crucial.

On the Visas, one of our strengths is to bring foreign students to US universities and let them stay here. But now they leave back to their country of origin, so pretty much we are training our competition.

Yeah, I love to argue more about colonialism, but we best stay on topic.

re: "But now they leave back to their country of origin, so pretty much we are training our competition."

The same thing that will make life good for ourselves (EE, IT, Technology workers in general) will make life good for the general public, and consequently will enable us to keep those we trained.  Our own college graduates are having a hard time finding jobs.  That makes it more difficult for us to retain the foreign students we trained.

There is no secret in how to create an employer friendly environment.  Everyone of us here in this forum are reasonably tech-oriented and can do some creative thinking along with math.  So we can imagine "what would make me risk my life savings to start a company?"  The answer of that question will highlight the thing we must support to make our economy "good for us."  Armed with that answer, we can then support only politician with those view.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf