The unemployment rate in the United States for EEs rose to 8.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 29 000 EEs were unemployed in the second quarter, more than double the first-quarter’s 13 000.
In a press release, IEEE-USA, a U.S.-based unit of the IEEE devoted to career issues, noted that the previous quarterly record was 7 percent, in the first quarter of 2003. “These data suggest that engineers laid off last year and early this year are having trouble securing the new engineering jobs being created,” IEEE-USA president Gordon Day was quoted as saying.
The U.S. isn’t the only country in which engineers are feeling the pinch. In Germany, the “engineering and electrical sector has shed 124,000 jobs since December,” the Bloomberg news agency reported in June.
“German engineering orders, a key component in Europe's biggest economy, were almost half in May what they were a year ago, data from the sector federation VDMA showed on Wednesday,” reports Agence France-Presse. That comes after monthly drops of 49 percent (February), 35 percent (March), and 58 percent (April). The data were compiled by the German engineering association VDMA.