Skills Gap Weighs On U.S. Jobs Growth

Career College Central summary:

  • It’s one of today’s most vexing economic puzzles: why do U.S. employers have an estimated 4.2 million open jobs when 10.5 million Americans are still out of work? One answer is the “skills gap,” a mismatch in which job seekers lack the skills or qualifications for the jobs employers need to fill. According to a CareerBuilder poll published in March, 54% of employers say they’re unable to find qualified applicants for open positions.
  • Among the top areas in which employers have trouble matching jobs to applicants, the survey says, are computer and mathematical occupations (with 71% reporting difficulty filling positions), architecture and engineering (70%), management (66%) and health care (56%).
  • Workers aren’t the only ones who suffer from the skills gap. CareerBuilder notes that it can be costly to leave positions empty, resulting in declines in customer service, employee morale, work quality, and revenues. Leaving a job vacant for three months or longer can result in a $14,000 loss for a company, the study estimates.
  • “The skills gap is an issue that is not going away anytime soon,” says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “There is a growing disconnect between the skills employers need and the skills that are being cultivated in the labor market today. This causes workers and companies to miss out on realizing their full potential and, in turn, causes the economy to fall short of its potential.”

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