Wednesday, July 11, 2018

T - I - G - H - T

In your lifetime, how many times have there been more job openings than people looking for jobs?

Today, there are 6.6 million unfilled job openings and only 6.0 million people looking for work.  More precisely, there are 6.6 million openings for skilled workers and 6.0 million unskilled job applicants.  The "skills gap" has never been greater.

Another indicator of a tight job market is the number of people quitting their job.  Workers don't usually quit their job, unless they believe they will find another job quickly, often at higher pay.  The percentage of the workforce who quit their jobs last month was 2.4%.  That is the highest since 2001!

Most economists agree that one of the primary constraints on our GDP growth is our inability to grow our workforce.  Republicans take the easy route of blaming Americans for being lazy, ignoring the "skills gap."  Pulling more unskilled workers off the couch and into the workforce will NOT help.

As growth is largely inside smaller companies, those companies are unable to fund apprentice training programs.  Also, since government, at every level, cannot afford to educate the workforce, that burden just falls onto young people and their families.  If they cannot or will not fund job training, they might as well stay on the couch.  There is no agreement on how we bridge the gap between companies who need skilled labor and workers who want to learn skills.

Bring on the machines . . .