Recent Employment Trends

This is a summary of a recent presentation given by Richard Serby of GeoSearch, Inc. at the 2015 GIS in the Rockies Conference.  This presentation was focused somewhat on the state of Colorado, however, there are national numbers included as well.

The Good News

  • Auto sales are up 8.1%  (17.5 million) in between 8/14 – 8/15
  • Housing 2.7% increase in between 8/14 – 8/15 (Masslive.com)
  • Unemployment 5.1% – August 2015 (6.2% – 8/14)

Unemployment in Perspective

  • National Unemployment: 5.1%
  • Colorado Unemployment: 4.2%
  • Denver: 3.8%
  • Grand Junction: 5.8%
  • If you do not have a high school diploma: 11.0%
  • High School Diploma: 7.5%
  • If you hold an Associate’s Degree: 5.4%
  • If you hold a Bachelor’s Degree: 4.0%
  • If you hold a Master’s Degree: 3.4%
  • If you hold a Doctorate or Professional Degree: 2.3%


Employer Survey

  • 58 Employers (U.S.) responded to the survey
  • 58.6% Commercial small to mid-size companies
  • 29.2% City – County – State public agencies
  • 1.7 % – Non-Profit
  • 10.2% – College – Universities


Number of Geospatial Employees

  • 89.6 % Fewer than 100 geospatial employees
  • 10.4 % more than 100 geospatial employees


Hiring Plans

  • 27.5 % are hiring in 2015
  • 18.9 % Will be hiring in 2016
  • 29.3 % Unsure of hiring in 2016
  • 20.6 % Will not be hiring in 2015 – 2016 – –

On the surface this looks like a high number, however, many organizations are cross-training current employees to avoid layoffs & utilize their staff more effectively in a seasonal business.

Prediction for Geospatial Employment

  • 15.5 % predict slower job growth in 2016
  • 39.6 % predict about the same rate of growth in 2016
  • 41.3 % predict that job growth will increase in 2016


Job Categories

  • 55% will hire GIS Technicians (0-4 years experience)
  • 32% will hire GIS Specialists (5+ years experience)
  • 50% will hire GIS Software / Web Developers
  • 28% will hire Sales / Marketing / Account Executives / Business Development
  • 26% will hire LiDAR Technicians
  • 17% will hire Photogrammetrists
  • 9% will hire Remote Sensing Technicians
  • 8% will hire Surveyors or Survey Technicians
  • 11% will hire Project / Program Managers
  • 15% will hire Sales/Marketing Personnel
  • 26% will hire Surveyors/Crew Chief/Field Technicians
  • 9% will hire Pilots
  • 13% will hire UAV Operators (Pending FAA)


Where the jobs are in Colorado:
Fort Collins – Boulder – Denver – Colorado Springs  (Front Range Corridor)

Hot Cities in the US for GIS Jobs:
Denver – Raleigh – Portland OR – Provo – Atlanta – Seattle – SLC – Indianapolis – Warren MI – Des Moines – Sioux Falls – Omaha

An outstanding skill resource:  Geospatial Technology Competency Model
http://www.careeronestop.org/CompetencyModel/pyramid.aspx?GEO=Y