There are plenty of available jobs enough so that many companies are facing a labor shortage which has been affecting them for years. The numbers vary somewhat from month to month but the estimate is that there are some 6 million jobs going unfilled in the US. There are estimated to be close to 9 million people looking for work so it would seem that there really should be only 3 million of these job seekers if the others could fill the empty slots. Why is there a labor shortage in the midst of a job shortage?
Analysis: As we discussed before there are many reasons for the existence of open positions at the same time there are people seeking work. The jobs available may be nowhere near the people who need them and the unemployed are not all that mobile. There are many jobs that are not all that pleasant or don’t pay very well. There are reasons that people can’t take jobs when they are offered. They may be engaged in child care or elder care and they may have limitations related to health. The list is a long one but it doesn’t come close to explaining the gap between available jobs and available workers. There is another dynamic at play here.
The most salient fact is that available jobs demand skills that too few of the job seekers have. The list of jobs that are not being filled was compiled by the Conference Board and the range of positions available is wide and varied but they all have one thing in common. To get that job requires some combination of skill, ability and training. In general, there has been a disconnect between the companies that hire and the people who want to be hired.
The areas the Conference Board study highlighted are already short of available talent and the expectation is that the shortage will be worse as the decade progresses. The top ten sectors include: occupational and physical therapists, math and science occupations, health professionals at the treatment and diagnosis level, religious workers,plant and systems operators, nursing and home health aides, rail transportation workers, social scientists, construction workers, installation and repair workers.
This is a very broad list and contains a wide variety of wages and expectations as far as training and education. The common thread is that they all require some of that preparation. The people seeking jobs need to have the qualifications required and that is not something as easily reduced to the political sound bit. The bottom line is that we do not need to create jobs right now we need to fill the ones we already have. That will mean more attention to education and that involves the companies, the schools and most importantly the people who want to be hired. The workers are going to have to invest in their future at the same time that companies and schools and governments are investing in their ability to get that training.
Source: Armada Corporate Intelligence