Data availability: What should practitioners know?
• Money attracts partners, but
so can thoughtful analysis of
readily available data.
• Applied research in economic
& workforce planning is art &
science – focus on the story’s
ability to motivate action.
• Challenge now is maintaining
focus in an increasingly data-
What data has taught me about people and places
• Raised $20,000+ from regional
businesses to support applied
economic research program.
• Maintained participation and
buy-in from C-level executives
of telecom companies during
onset of dot-com recession.
• Viewed as unbiased source of
Data is a value-added service that people
will pay for and passes the market failure
test for justifying public sector role.
Compelling stories using objective data
and transparent analysis build trust and
get stakeholders around the table.
Data trumps frameworks.Lesson #3
Regions may be right unit of analysis, but
pretending jurisdictional boundaries or
service areas don’t matter is naïve.
No amount of federal or state money will
fill a leadership vacuum in a region.
21East Arkansas Planning & Development District http://eapdd.com
Indicators can be useful communication
device, but must be actionable.
Linking, leveraging, & aligning economic,
workforce, & education is impossible
without access to the right data.
Data availability is empowering (nudging)
planners toward commitment to change.
Tech Talent: Labor Market Overview
• 108,310 total jobs in tech sector
• 67,546 jobs in “core” tech talent
occupations w/ in-demand skills
• ~2,500 to 3,500 job openings in
core tech talent occupations are
expected per year in Austin for
2014-2024 time period*
• ~1,500 degrees and certificates in
core related programs awarded by
Austin area schools annually
How are we defining “tech”?
ATC generally follows the methodology
used by TECNA/CompTIA/TechAmerica
for their annual Cyberstates report.* It
currently includes 49 industries.
Austin’s largest tech sectors ranked by
minimum of $1 billion contribution to
regional gross domestic product:
#1 Computer & Peripheral Equipment
#2 IT Services & Applications
#3 Internet & Telecommunications
Source: EMSI, 2014. Jobs include self-employment. *Job postings are unique, de-duplicated average monthly openings advertised online during March 2014-March 2015 and include job openings at
tech and non-tech businesses (i.e. total demand for core technical workers). See full Tech Talent Report for details and explanation of methodology used for estimates.
70% reported moderate-significant difficulty in hiring
but majority confident in ability to grow in Austin
Source: ATC Tech Talent Employer Survey.
I don’t know
≥ Difficult: 70% ≥ Confident: 57%
How confident are you that Austin will be able to
meet your future workforce demand?
Overall, how difficult is it to find qualified people to
fill job openings at your company in Austin?
1 to 10 19 3.1 2.8
11 to 50 15 3.5 2.5
51 to 125 7 3.6 2.4
126 to 500 6 2.5 2.8
501+ 3 2.3 3.7
Total (Ans) 50 3.1 2.7
Source: ATC Tech Talent Employer Survey. Second-stage firms have reached a growth stage of $1M to $50M in receipts and 10 to 100 employees. For more on second-stage company
research see Edward Lowe Foundation at http://edwardlowe.org/who-we-serve/secondstage. *Complete responses only (n = 50). Differences not statistically significant.
1 = Not difficult
2 = Somewhat difficult
3 = Difficult
4 = Very difficult
5 = Extremely difficult
1 = Not confident
2 = Somewhat confident
3 = Confident
4 = Very confident
5 = Extremely confident
0 = I don’t know
2nd Stage/Growth Stage companies may be feeling
disproportionate impact of perceived shortage
difficult is it to
people to fill
job openings at
are you that
Austin will be
able to meet
31% respondents reported that unfilled jobs
having harmful to extremely harmful effect.
Not harmful/didn’t know: 33%
Tech Talent Pipeline Challenges
• 42% of respondents require at least 5 years
of work experience for job applicants to be
considered qualified for technical jobs.
• 25% of respondents don’t hire recent college
graduates and 24% don’t offer internships.
• Only 12% of respondents reported that they
consider recent college graduates qualified,
or don’t ask for min years work experience.
Source: ATC Tech Talent Employer Survey.
Cost of living is (still) lower in Austin, but salary gaps
are significant with other leading regional markets
Median Wage Bottom 10% Top 10%
San Jose $116,314 $74,110 $178,693
Seattle $102,066 $66,706 $148,824
Washington DC $101,712 $62,899 $154,565
San Francisco $100,547 $63,398 $155,480
Boston $96,616 $61,797 $148,387
Durham-Chapel Hill $88,691 $56,992 $135,886
Raleigh $83,054 $53,955 $123,386
Dallas $81,848 $50,710 $127,150
Austin $80,454 $49,150 $127,442
Salt Lake City $75,254 $47,424 $111,155
National $81,037 $49,275 $129,480
Table shows wage comparisons for
core occupation (19) jobs in tech
as of 2013 (latest available).
Bottom 10% and Top 10% refer to
the wage level signifying that 10%
of all jobs pay below (or above).
We need better grasp on
impact of lower salaries in
Austin to understand how
talent supply is affected –
e.g., where are most job
offer declines occurring,
early-career, mid, senior?
Source: EMSI, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data is for 2013. Includes self-employment.
Tech skills should be CTE priority in K-12 but current
offerings in Austin not aligned w/ employer needs
ISD Certifications Offered Avg N/A
Network+ 1.9 44%
Cisco Net Associate (CCNA) 1.8 47%
A+ 1.8 50%
Cisco Entry Net Tech (CCENT) 1.7 47%
Internet & Comp Core Cert (IC3) 1.7 48%
Sun Cert Java Associate (SCJA) 1.6 47%
Adobe Dreamweaver 1.5 48%
Internet Webmaster (CIW) 1.5 48%
Strata IT Fundamentals 1.3 55%
TestOut PC Pro 1.3 54%
1 = Not important
2 = Somewhat important
3 = Important
4 = Very important
5 = Extremely important
N/A = Not applicable
60% of respondents reported
that all certifications currently
offered in Austin area school
districts were not applicable
or not important.
Source: ATC Tech Talent Employer Survey. List of certifications offered in Austin area school districts was provided by E3 Alliance (October 2014).
Scores were averaged from number of respondents providing a rating or answering N/A (i.e. blank responses were excluded).
Employer Needs Avg
Career & tech education (CTE)
Data trumps frameworks, and also
buzzwords (skills gap).
EMSI deserves credit for anticipating how
data can empower economic/workforce
practitioners to drive change in regions.
We’ve made great progress breaking
down data and program silos.
Call to action for teachers/trainers:
helping next generation of applied
researchers raised on infographics,
dashboards, and “big data” learn
how to ask good questions.