A new study has found that nearly 300,000 IT jobs are currently vacant in the United States, costing the country about $20 billion in potential economic opportunities.
According to data compiled by the US employment website Glassdoor, the estimate shows that 263,586 jobs are available, with software engineers being one of the most sought-after professionals in the country.
Despite being the state where Silicon Valley is located, California has the highest number of unfilled jobs.
By industry, information technology ranks fifth for the highest value of unfilled jobs, with healthcare at number one.
The economists at Glassdoor who conducted the study say unfilled jobs cause a reduction in consumer spending and slow down the economic engine.
“Every job that’s open is money left on the table, in the form of lost productivity for employers and earnings in consumers’ pockets,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist.
“When more open jobs are filled with the right people, economic gains include greater business productivity and consumer spending, thanks to more people earning wages, then saving, investing and spending those wages.”
The value of unfilled U.S. jobs is based on unique, online jobs that are open in the U.S. on Glassdoor as of December 9, 2016.
The report comes amid growing debates in U.S. power corridors about whether or not the country will restrict temporary work visas, one of the job permits widely used by technology firms, particularly in the Valley.
A similar survey by executive search and technology firm Harris Allied shows how IT firms are struggling to find and hire tech talent. More than 50% of IT executives interviewed for this study expressed concern at finding the right talent and retaining the best brains.