As the American economy enters its eighth year of post-recession growth, the unemployment rate continues to fall. In fact, May’s reported unemployment rate of 4.3% is the lowest in sixteen years, marking just how far we’ve come since a high-point of 10.0% in October 2009. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence from workers and employers and a deeper dive into labor statistics indicate that, despite these improvements, structural issues remain. While concerns such as underemployment and reduced participation in the labor force remain problematic, perhaps the biggest issue for American jobseekers and businesses today is a growing gap between the skills companies seek and the abilities of the workforce. Known as the ‘skills gap,’ this asymmetry can have a damaging ripple effect that weighs on everything from individuals’ opportunities for employment to overall economic productivity.
Continue reading “The Growing Skills Gap and What to Do About it”