A new report finds that the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs available in the Bay Area will soon vastly outpace the number of skilled workers who are available to fill such jobs. On the surface, this appears to be good news for STEM workers, who will soon have a wider range of job opportunities available to them. However: such market conditions can also place greater pressure on employees once they have been hired, and increase the potential for wage and hour disputes. These conditions can also increase the potential for workers to be misclassified as independent contractors. Learn more about the projections for the STEM market, and how a California employment attorney can help STEM employees negotiate the working conditions to which they are legally entitled.
The San Francisco Business Times examined the future of California’s STEM job market by analyzing a series of statistics. In May 2015, the California Employment Development Department reported that there were twice as many online job postings for STEM jobs as the number of unemployed STEM workers. This current scenario is likely to be exacerbated in the coming years by a series of factors. First, California is projected to add about 200,000 STEM jobs over the next five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and reports issued by the State of California. Next, many STEM employees will soon age out of the job market. Over half of California’s STEM employees face retirement in the next five to ten years. Finally, STEM jobs require advanced degrees that greatly narrow the field of suitable applicants. For reference: 33% of the working population in California holds college degrees, but 75% of STEM jobs will require a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The technology sector, in particular, could be hit especially hard by the lack of available workers. Market indicators suggest that Silicon Valley may be particularly vulnerable to economic changes. The Press-Enterprise reports that startup formation in the high-technology industry dropped by half between 2015 and 2017. It also notes that the current technology “boom” is dominated by a few large firms and hit startups (such as Lyft and Uber). This lack of diversity makes the entire economy of Silicon Valley vulnerable to changing market conditions. It can also cause working conditions for employees in the technology to devolve quickly. Employees do not have to fall victim to unfavorable market conditions. With aggressive representation by an experienced employment attorney, workers can ensure that their legal rights are protected in the workplace.
How an Employment Attorney Can Help Protect Workers’ Rights
There are many ways in which employers may attempt to cut corners in unfavorable job markets. Existing employees may face pressure to work longer hours at reduced wages. Employers may attempt to reclassify certain employees as independent contractors, in order to save the expense of payroll and unemployment taxes (as well as worker’s compensation insurance premiums). Yet employees are protected from such actions by state and federal employment laws. For example: California law protects workers’ rights to be compensated for working overtime. An experienced California wage and hour attorney can protect employees’ rights to fair compensation, and misclassified workers can also be protected with effective legal representation.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.
Will California’s STEM pipeline run dry?, October 29, 2017 by Hannah Norman, San Francisco Business Times
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New Job Report Sheds Light on the California Job Market, August 12, 2017 by Employment Lawyer Blog