The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since President Obama first took office, but American wages remain stagnant. Despite an average of 200,000 jobs created every month for the past 12 months, the highest growth in 37 years, the average American worker wage hasn’t budged much since the 1970’s, according to the Pew Research Center.
However, there’s an opportunity to boost worker wages in the higher paying technology sector. The average web developer with an associates degree earns $62,000 a year at the beginning of their career. That’s nearly 50 percent more than someone with an equivalent degree, according to PayScale.
It’s also a fast-growing industry, full of jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago. According to the White House, about half a million of the 5 million currently available jobs are in IT.
The White House sees this as an opportunity to boost overall wages, particularly in underserved populations. Obama has announced a plan to fast-track American earnings with a $100 million federal grant-funded technology jobs training initiative called TechHire. This initiative will work with community colleges, universities as well as developer bootcamps and other non-traditional skills training organizations to place Americans in 120,000 open software development, network administration, and cyber security jobs.
About 300 companies in 20 regions throughout the country have already signed on to provide free training through online training slots and developer bootcamps for women, minorities, veterans and those within low-income communities.
“Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is a key element of the President’s middle-class economics agenda,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Jennifer Friedman said.