Late Fall 2021, First Quarter 2022 RA Optics/Photonics Talent Outlook


As the US and world slowly emerge to the new normal of the post Covid Pandemic, global labor/talent markets have seen noticeable seismic shifts. Professionals have changed the way they view work and their careers. Employers have changed the way they operate day to day and longer term. These paradigm shifts to all parties in the labor market represent incredible opportunities to both professionals, ie. the “talent” and to those organizations that employ them.

On the talent side we are at an unprecedented moment, harkening back to the telecom / internet employment boom of the late 1990’s early 2000’s. At this time there are more than 1.5 open positions for every unemployed person. The number for employed professionals is surely higher.

For candidates/talent that means terrific opportunities to actualize career growth and career trajectory. Making the right career move today will insure a terrific future going forward.

For Employers/organizations acquiring talent is as challenging as it has ever been in 20 years. Retention is also a problem. Company culture, the company footprint, ethos, social mission and offering employee centric flexibility are all more paramount then ever before.

The “great resign” of the last six months is also unprecedented and offers challenges to organizations as they suffer attrition and talent losses, not to competitors necessarily, but to changes in lifestyle or values by their former colleagues.


There were 10.4 million job openings in the US as of end of August 2021. This increased from 8.1 million openings in March 2021.

In September 8 million Americans were unemployed, but there were an estimated 11 million jobs open, a ratio of ~1.5 open jobs per unemployed American.

The national nonfarm unemployment rate is 4.6% in October, down from 8.4% in July. The current rate/trend reflects improvements from the COVID peak unemployment rate of almost 15%.

As of this date there are ~150,000 job openings on Indeed that have the word laser, optics, fiber optics, photonics, imaging, in them.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineering related professions are expected to continue growing at 3% per year through 2029.

Competition for “A” level talent is fierce even during COVID.  Companies are facing both retention and talent attraction issues as a strategic gate to business growth.


Now more than ever organizations are turning to Rudzinsky Associates for assistance with key talent acquisition challenges. As SME’s (subject matter experts) in Optics/Photonic Talent Acquisition, Howard and Jenifer offer the valuable insight of 60 years of combined Photonics industry and talent acquisition experience. Reach out to Howard or Jenifer today with any questions or requirements that you may have., 781-862-6727 (ext 1) EST. 781-862-6727 (ext 2) PST.