Skip to comments.Skills gap is hampering labor market (ZERO job growth in small-business sector)
Posted on 09/09/2012 6:20:57 PM PDT by Libloather
Skills gap is hampering labor market
By Vicki Needham - 09/09/12 05:25 PM ET
Two recent reports underscore the complexities of the flagging labor market and provide backing for more action by policymakers to help narrow the skills gap in the workforce.
A survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and a report by Deloitte show that employers are struggling to find workers with skills that fit their openings.
With about 12.5 million unemployed workers and millions more underemployed or so discouraged they are leaving the workforce, job creation in the United States is hampered not only by supply and demand, but by a lack of highly skilled and adaptable workers whose talents don't match current job openings, according to new research from Deloitte.
So, there is a growing push from business groups, along with the White House, to provide programs for workers to help meet the challenges of a rapidly changing job market.
We have reached an inflection point," said William Eggers, director of Deloitte Research.
"Individuals, firms and policymakers can no longer remain complacent about developing the U.S. talent base.
We must refocus, re-imagine and reshape our domestic policies, Eggers said.
An August survey found that 49 percent of business owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 37 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions, according to the NFIB.
In order to maintain our global competitiveness, there is an urgent need to reassess a broad range of public policies through the talent lens rather than only narrowly focusing on education as the key to promote a highly skilled, more adaptable and a more competitive American workforce, said John Hagel, director, Deloitte Consulting and co-chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge, a group that conducts research for new corporate growth.
The report suggests that despite the warning signs of record high unemployment, the contraction of the job market and pressure across the globe, the United States lacks the "comprehensive policies needed to develop the most valued American commodity of all: good jobs."
"This challenge will not be resolved on its own without a significant reassessment of a broad range of public policies," the Deloitte report said.
There is little debate that many industries are struggling to fill jobs requiring specific technical skills, even with the unemployment rate at 8.1 percent and the job market clawing for measly monthly job gains.
The reports lend further credence to the White House's months-long efforts to acknowledge and find solutions for the growing problem.
In February, President Obama followed up with his call in the State of the Union address for a national commitment to spend $8 billion for a three-year program to train 2 million workers that would ramp up connections between businesses and community colleges to better train future workers.
"You can choose a future where more Americans have the chance to gain the skills they need to compete, no matter how old they are or how much money they have," Obama said on Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
"Education was the gateway to opportunity for me. It was the gateway for Michelle. It was the gateway for most of you. And now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life," he said.
Meanwhile, some congressional Republicans have called for the elimination of job-training programs amid burgeoning federal and state deficits.
"No company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldnt find any with the right skills here at home. Thats not our future," Obama said Thursday.
The August jobs report showed that the economy added only 96,000 jobs last month, below expectations, and slower growth than previously estimated in June and July.
"In the coming years, America will need to fill millions of good-paying mid- and high-level skilled positions in high-growth industries from healthcare to advanced manufacturing, clean energy to information technology," according to a White House fact sheet released in February.
NFIB's chief economist William Dunkelberg said the jobs numbers reflect virtually no growth among businesses his group classifies as small, according to an economy survey set for release on Tuesday.
"Essentially zero. That is the amount of job growth the small-business sector saw last month," he said.
"Any serious job creation this year will have to come from large firms or new small firms created to meet the needs of millions of new consumers due to population growth. But existing small businesses are unlikely to expand before the election."
The Deloitte report suggests policy discussions should focusing on how the United States can improve the performance and quality of K-12 and higher education.
"Reforms addressing K-12 should focus on expanding technical and vocational training and apprenticeships as an alternative pathway to highly specialized skills," the report said.
"White and blue-collar workers must be able to continually learn and adopt new skill sets to keep up with job requirements."
If you get a degree in Women’s Studies or Black Studies, expect to be unemployed or working at McDonald’s.
There is no such thing as a labor shortage. Their is only a shortage at the wage being offered.
Or in the Obama Cabinet.
This article is BS, just meant to keep the H1-B gravy train going.
And in other cases, "does not speak Mandarin or understand Chinese culture".
This is all tripe, and an excuse to bring in more aliens...because that's who the Dims like better then the Americans anyway.
Beat me to it
LOL - but only until January.
The problem I have with this article, it that it lacks details on exactly which skill sets are needed. Categories like IT, advanced manufacturing, and health care are way too generic.
I heard a talk not long ago by a former SECNAV. He said that the there were simply not enough welders. Now maybe I’m naive, but how long can it take to train a welder?? I wouldn’t think more than 6 months of OJT.
I wish I shared your optimism.
I have no problem with NFIB. They do a good job. BUT I have a very hard time believing the above statement. There are a lot of experienced well educated people unable to find a job. FACT.
This is exactly right. A lot of employers want someone that is both skilled and will work for little to nothing. This is especially true in the IT field. I know a lot of people that work as contract developers because their income potential is better than someone doing that same job at just one company. And these are people that want stability (i.e. staying in one location for an extended period of time).
I was in sales or sales related jobs for 30+ years. Looked very hard for a similar opening for a long time. Worked for 2 privately held companies for that period of time (35 yrs).
I applied with a number of companies that had one thing in mind. Are you working for one of our competitors? Can you bring a big bunch of their customers to our company immediately?
It was that simple. If you could not do both, you were not qualified.
Then you read that companies are trolling through people’s Facebook pages and refusing to hire them because there’s a picture of them drinking a beer.
That isn’t how people who are desperate for qualified employees act.
Plus are the qualifications realistic? They put together these ridiculous specifications that no one can match. There’s even a phrase for it - searching for a unicorn.
All of these body shops Deloitte, Accenture etc. bill out at $200/hour and pay the person doing the work $30-$40/hour. Do the math.
I’m just trying to stay positive.
I guess I’ve always believed in being a pessimist, that way you’re never disappointed.
The people of which you speak are not in the right places and refuse to move.
There is fundamental change many will not acknowledge and continue to believe the past will return as it was. It will not......ever
Basically, they’re saying that they want to hire drop in place consultants without paying consultant rates.
about 2 mos ago, the MSM featured an employer who had a good paying job available for over a year and the article went on to lament people not wanting to put in a hard day’s work or start at the bottom etc.
FReepers Fisked that article pretty good. No medical/retirement benefits, low pay, relatively high requirements, international travel, no training, income based on omission and a listless commitment to hire anyone at all from management.
The company that employed me for 20 years began posting internships for high level company positions - FREE employees as it methodically laid off staff. Who wouldn’t want free employees, eh? No intention of ever giving them regular benefited positions. They had, for many years, planned 60 hour work weeks for large project teams - excluding vacation or sick time( but paid a flat salary based on 37.5 work week - legal because these are ‘intellectual property’ workers). This job crunch has really brought out the beast in companies that were already half way there.
I think this article is an attempt to help Obama explain away his failed jobs record. They are trying to shore him up by saying that we need more government programs to train people BEFORE Obama can lift the employment stats.
I think there is something to this, and the problem is that the prospective employees can’t do simple math.
My wife went out to lunch with a friend yesterday, and the friend mentioned her front door security gate lock is jammed so she leaves and enters her home via the garage. I went to the friend’s house with my tools to fix the problem. I was going to suggest she call an expert, a locksmith, to fix her problems. Now get this, she had several different locksmiths over there to fix her locks over the last year. None fixed her problems, and left the locks in worse shape! And on several doors. And left them jammed and non-openable with keys.
I spent an hour, including drilling out the jammed locks and running out to buy lock hardware, and fixed her problem. Swapping tumblers and parts is easy.
What the heck, why is it so hard to find young people with skills? In my day, most young guys could pick locks and figure out what makes them work.
Highly skilled go getters have learned to into business for themselves.
IRL (In Real Life) experiences are largely foreign to most young males.
Hell, the shop class is full of girls who have no idea why they are there.
Gaffetastic!... Obama Pulls a Biden, Tells Audience, “Three Proud Words — Made in the USA!”
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Posted on 09/09/2012 6:08:54 PM PDT by grundle
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Posted on 09/09/2012 6:54:21 PM PDT by Innovative
Most small businesses do not have a problem finding qualified people, only a huge problem in finding people who WILL WORK! You know, get up in the morning, every workday morning, and go into work and do 8 hours of work. The small businesses that I have talked to have told me some amazing and frightening stories of what they have to put up with when dealing with employees.
Remember fellow Americans, as the news sponsored by our bosses said for the thousandth time, foreign communists are better than us.
That's where the wood is.
Not making excuses, simply pointing out there's a lot of hurdles in the way of some businesses. Fortunately for me, I have non IT skills that allow me to make a bit of extra money on the side.
Of course, an amount is agreed upon at hire but the sentiment is, why hold out for more when I can take a job when no other offers are available. Some of us choose to not be a burden on society. At least I know that was my thinking when I got hired. My main thing is, with contract work, I'd be out of work every 3 months, 6 months or a year. As someone that likes to pay their bills, I take comfort in knowing that pending a major screw up on my part, I'll still have my job.
I will be 65 in December. I own 2 homes. I cared for my mother-in-law in my home for 2 years before she died last March. Helped care for my mother, not in my home, for 3+ years of her cancer treatment. She died 3 weeks ago.
Also a sick son, uncle, aunt and my father. Pretty steady diet of hospitals and doctors with family. Wife had a hip replacement and has health issues.
Family has been here since 1889. I was first to move away, gone 25 years. Moved back in 1995.
No, I am not going to move.
Yes you are correct, but there is no simple solution to the problem we discuss.
hee hee hee
Between the jobs training programs we have and states that give unemployment benefits while you retrain, there should not be a huge job mismatch. Especially if there are a lot of illegal aliens with no English and few skills working.
Sheesh....it seems Businesses are becoming more whiny-er Socialists than individuals....”Government needs to educate/train more people”
It was not too long ago that businesses did not complain about “lack of skilled people” and actually trained people on their own. These days, businesses want government help more than the Welfare Queens
It is time once again for businesses to hire and train their employees....and stop asking the government to do so. Governments are broke, and the taxpayer no longer has the money to fund every little educational endeavor
That IS a big part of it. At my former job, one of my many responsibilities was to write the assembly instructions for the myriad of models that ran down our production lines. These had to be clear, detailed, and precise enough to satisfy our other engineers, as well as satisfy our OEM customers with a quality product in which a lot could go wrong if assemblies were not followed to the letter. Yet these instructions also had to be appropriate for our production line employees, almost all of whom had a high school degree at most. In a prior life I sometimes wrote instructions for electromechanical "kit" type assemblies for my own customers.
In fact, for my entire life my technical writing skills, and my writing skills in general, have been very good.
So... When the company I worked for essentially imploded, and I was laid off in 2008, I initially spent some months futilely looking for work in my own field. After essentially getting nowhere, I also began to look very seriously for work as a technical writer. If nothing else, I certainly could write a better owners manual for most consumer items than, oh, about 95% of what one comes across these days. What I found though, in my job searches for technical writing positions, were all sorts of those "specifications" and qualifications that you mention. Per those, I was not qualified. Whether one could actually write clearly did not even seem to be a major consideration.
As it turned out, parallel to job hunting, I restarted my "prior life" business, including contract work services. It took a "frightening" length of time, but before our savings ran out, the contract work came through. Plus some other parts of my work, while not always immediately profitable, at least help build the business. The funny thing is, in almost all of it (my present work), good technical writing skills are a large plus. I even occasionally get compliments on it. :-)
I think that part of what is going on is that companies post lots of openings, but they are actually lukewarm about hiring someone. If they find what they consider to be a perfect match, at a modest salary, and they do not have to invest much in training, they might hire. But if they don't find that person, it's ok to keep looking for "the unicorn".
Now, someone else did mention the uncertainty of contract work. That's true, but there is not much certainty in employment by others, anywhere, anymore, I'm afraid...
Almost every thread like this has posts like the above. And, I suppose there's some truth to it. But in the (geographical) area I'm in, my experience, in almost 20 years at a company that employed over 300 people when times were good, was that the poor employees didn't last long, and the rest had a pretty good work ethic. "Hourlies" worked four 10 hour days, plus 5 hours overtime when we were busy. Salaried employees generally worked even more; I certainly did.
That doesn't mean there were not problems, but to be fair, I'd have to say as many were caused by the company's top management as by those managed. Those managed are usually pretty well attuned to how their managers think of them.
These days I'm self-employed and do mostly contract work. The company I'm doing such work for now is in a much different (geographic) area, and I don't have as much knowledge of what goes on with the hourly workers. Due to the location, I'd expect more problems, but, this company seems to have a relatively stable hourly workforce, and a very stable salaried workforce. From what I have seen, I think a lot of that has to do with emphasis on a team effort, pride in the work being done, and at all levels, management's treatment of labor as a valuable and integral part of the team, instead of just a "commodity".
It should be no surprise that government-subsidized student loans and grants that have no connection to the needs of the business community are producing a whole lot of unqualified graduates that are unprepared to do any real job. I believe the government-subsidized college education is a big and highly underreported factor in the high unemployment number. Just like the government subsidized mortgages for people who were unqualified to pay them back, the government is subsidizing education for people without any standards in place to make sure those students will be able to match the value of their loans with useful production in the real economy.
Problem is as long as the welfare state is doling out the welfare bucks, they don't need to move. The conventions had so many great stories of people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, making difficult decisions that built their character, helped their families and made them who they are today. But the agenda of the liberals is to coddle these people with so many free handouts that no one will ever be in a position where they have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps again.
Generic is the keyword. Your qualifications need to be generic. The cottonheads called it being a "quick study". Back in the eighties, the watchword was "learns from manuals".
To get properly and thoroughly tooled?