Austin’s economic development story turns on the mutually reinforcing relationship between technology and talent that has propelled the region’s growth over the last 30 years.

So when Austin Technology Council (ATC) member companies began reporting difficulty filling job openings, the organization sought to develop solutions to help its members meet this emerging challenge.

ATC wanted to avoid repeating the experience of many other regions where attempts to address a similar challenge frequently produced debates over whether talent shortages are real or perceived but little in the way of practical solutions.

ATC turned to Civic Analytics to design a research approach that would reveal the scope and nature of the challenge and provide a starting point for identifying specific, targeted strategies ATC could employ to help members meet current and future hiring needs.

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Civic Analytics designed a study that gave tech talent realities and perceptions equal billing since both determine whether open positions get filled. Employing a combination of labor market analysis and survey research, the study shed light on the pace of demand for critical tech occupations drawing from secondary data such as job postings, payroll records and labor statistics and captured the perspectives of employers on hiring for those occupations with survey data. The observations from each analysis checked and informed those of the other.

Among the substantive insights ATC and its member companies gained from the study are which tech workforce occupations are most critical for growth and innovation; the extent to which regional education and training programs meet employer needs; and a measure of employer perceptions that creates a baseline for future assessment.

Armed with these insights, ATC is well positioned to advance a data-driven conversation with private and public partners around strategies for maintaining the strong tech talent pipeline on which the region’s continued economic growth depends.

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Survey Design and Analysis
Labor Market Analysis
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Testimonial
Civic Analytics’ approach is grounded in the practical realities our members face, and their insight enables us to promote consensus and inspire action. When we undertake new research, Civic Analytics keeps us focused on how we can use information to advance our member companies’ business interests. Understanding the academic arguments around the talent shortage debate is important context, but it doesn’t tell us how we can help our members. Finding out from the study that our region produces less than half as many graduates as there are open positions in a given year? That we can help our members tackle because it’s specific, measureable, and data-driven.

Julie Huls
President and CEO