In the workforce world, the all-too-common refrain is, “My region has lots of unemployed people AND lots of employers saying they can’t find qualified workers.” Much of this speaks to the fact that certain industries are shedding workers and the skills and knowledge these workers have don’t transfer very well to occupations with more demand. So essentially the US faces a big “skills mismatch” between the unemployed and employers.
It’s quite a mess to untangle.
It also points to the importance of not overtraining for occupations — especially in this tight labor market. A good way to avoid this is to look at the difference, or gap, between who is being trained and who is needed. In the infographic below we selected some typically hot jobs and then matched up openings for each vs. the number of people being trained to move into them.*
The results are interesting.
This data should certainly be evaluated on a regional, statewide basis as well by regional institutions, from high schools all the way up to graduate schools. If you want help performing such gap analysis for your area, please contact us.
*The selected data points were 2008-09 openings vs. 2009 completers using county-level national data (EMSI Complete Employment, 1st Quarter 2011). Please note that the selected occupations were taken from the article linked to above from mindflash.com and do not represent a comprehensive list of the fastest-growing jobs in the US.