The mismatch between today’s jobs and today’s skills

by Ryan Streeter on November 25, 2013. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

The latest jobs report shined some light on the skills gap. Caroline Baum writes:

Job openings rose to a five-year high of 3.9 million in September, before the government shutdown. The jobs opening rate (2.8 percent) matched the highest level since May 2008.

Despite an unemployment rate over 7%, lots of employers can’t find people to fill jobs they have open.

Many small manufacturers complain that they can’t find skilled workers. Today’s [Job Openings and Labor Turnover] report supports the second story, which may reflect a skills mismatch or the inability of families to move to where the jobs are.

The post-recession skills gap has sent a much-needed wakeup call to how we approach vocational training and certification. Many jobs with solid upward mobility potential don’t require a 4-year college degree but require much more than a high school degree.

This is especially true in manufacturing-intensive states such as Indiana. Indiana Governor Mike Pence has created Indiana Works Councils across the Hoosier state to ensure industry-relevant skills training is available in every high school. I expect other states will follow this approach.