Broadband development and deployment creates positive impacts on economic development and job growth. Expansion of services and infrastructure produces short term growth in technical and construction fields, increases that translate into new employment opportunities at the local level. Broadband expansion also supports long-term job growth by enabling new opportunities for employment in online commerce, financial industries, and social service delivery. An analysis done by the World Bank Group, based on consolidating data from multiple studies, found that “broadband can create between 2.5 and 3 additional jobs per direct broadband employment.” Broadband expansion in low- or un-served communities also shows positive impacts on employment levels. In one study, a 1% increase in broadband penetration in rural Kentucky led to a 5% increase in employment in the region. 
But new opportunities place new demands on the job seeker and the worker. Those looking for employment must be able to use digital platforms and online tools to locate and apply for work. Once hired, employees will be expected to have familiarity with basic digital tools and applications. And increasingly, all jobs, especially higher-paying positions, will require specialized digital skills and the ability to learn new tools quickly. Digital competency thus confers great benefits to job seekers, shortening the period of unemployment between jobs and increasing the likelihood of achieving higher salaried positions or professional advancement.
What does this mean for New Mexicans?
- Leaders must understood broadband access and digital skill as critical components of a framework for economic and job growth, and support them accordingly.
- Employment and unemployment agencies must recognize the need for digital competencies in all steps of the employment process, and emphasize and promote this skills for all applicants.
- Workforce development agencies must recognize shifting patterns within the economy and the workforce, and adjust training and re-training programs to emphasize technical skills.
- Employment seekers must reframe their vision of their professional futures in terms that forefront digital competencies and technical skills and depend on continual learning and re-training.
How do you get the skills you need to enter and succeed in the digital workforce?
Explore more learning opportunities with these employment training videos.
 Discussed in a 19 June 2014 blogpost by Sergiu Conovalu and Tim Kelly, “A new Toolkit to help develop national broadband strategies,” in the World Bank Group blog on Information and Communications Development. Accessed 20 November 2016.
 Image courtesy of Burning Glass: Careers in Focus. Accessed 20 November 2016.