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Electrical engineers, electricians in high demand in these markets

Electrical engineer is the most popular job on ZipRecruiter right now. In fact, among millions of daily job searches, the top five in June were all for positions within the electrical engineering field.

The top jobs ranged from electrical service technicians to roles that require PE licensure (the highest standard of competence that can be achieved in the field). 

On one end of the spectrum there is an abundance of job seekers looking for opportunities in the highly specialized field of electrical engineering, and on the other, there are droves of skilled laborers seeking construction-related jobs as electricians.

Lots of seekers, even more jobs

It’s important to note that this high volume of searches does not necessarily mean more workers are entering the labor force. Our data show that a labor shortage still persists, especially in mid-sized metro areas. Given the high demand for and low supply of these workers, it’s likely that most of these job hunters are already employed and looking to level up into higher-paying positions.

Using the ZipRecruiter Opportunity Index, which compares the number of available jobs to job candidates, we found that demand for electrical engineering and electrician skills still far outpaces supply.

In June, there were four electrical engineer jobs available for every job seeker and five electrician jobs available for every job seeker. For comparison, the overall Opportunity Index in June for every job in the U.S. was 1.9 — less than half of what it is for each of these jobs.

So we know electrical engineers and electricians are looking for the next best gig. We also know employers need their skills in a bad way. But where are the workers, and where are the jobs?

Jobs are where the talent is not

A lack of worker mobility is hurting many industries. People just aren’t moving as much as they used to, according the latest data from the U.S. Census. And within engineering, we’re seeing a stark divide between where job seekers and available jobs are located. Using the Opportunity Index, we found that most of the talent is looking for a new gig in places with the least demand.

The New York metro area had the highest number of available electrical engineer jobs in June, but it also had the most candidates. With about one opening for every applicant, New York is still a job seeker’s market, but not compared to some other metros.

Detroit was the metro with the greatest labor shortage of electrical engineers. The recovering city is adding thousands of jobs in the burgeoning field of autonomous driving. 

And in nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan, there were nine electrical engineer jobs for every applicant on the market, as of June.

The job market for electricians showed an even greater disconnect between talent and location. Again, the New York metro area had the most available electrician jobs, but it was one of the cities with the lowest opportunity for these jobs. In June, there was one electrician job for every five applicants.

In Lancaster and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, however, there were 20 openings for every electrician looking for a job in June. Cities throughout Pennsylvania are undergoing a building boom and need skilled electricians to get the lights turned on.

These data send a clear message to employers who need electrical engineers and electricians: Companies need to step up their game when it comes to enticing talent to move. It’s also a signal to skilled workers that advancing their career may depend on their willingness to move.