We can have a philosophical debate about which came first — the chicken or the egg. But when it comes to job creation there should be no such argument. Organizations and individuals who create new organizations are the chicken — they are the job creators. Employees and skilled workers are the eggs — they are the job holders.
That’s not to say that we don’t need skilled workers in the United States. But, as a wide variety of recent studies have demonstrated, the extent to which the skills of the workforce influences business decisions is a modest one and the actual “skill deficiencies” of the current American workforce may be significantly overstated.
For example, in a March Harvard Business Review article, Michael Porter and Jan Rivkin reported that a survey that they had done revealed that by far the leading reason that a company would move out of the U.S. was “lower wage rates in the destination country -70 percent.” Thirty-one percent of the survey respondents cited “better access to skilled labor” as a “reason for leaving.” But 29 percent cited “better access” as a “reason for not leaving.” So, that makes “skilled labor” a “push” rather than a clear and compelling driver of job creation for the United States.
After examining labor demand data from the Chicago Federal Reserve, Matthew O’Brien, associate editor of The Atlantic, in June wrote, “We should expect wages to be rising much faster in sectors where employers can’t find enough qualified workers. … But that hasn’t been the case.” Instead, in the period from May of 2006 through May of 2011 there has been a “general shortfall of demand” for the “low, medium and high skill workers” that has moved “more or less in tandem.”
Professor Peter Cappelli of The Wharton School supports O’Brien’s position in a June 12 article for Time Business titled, “The Skills Gap Myth: Why Companies Can’t Find Good People.” After analyzing a Manpower survey, which showed that “roughly half of the employers were reporting having trouble filling their vacancies,” Professor Capelli astutely notes, “roughly 10% of the employers admit that the problem is that the candidates they want won’t accept the position at the wage level being offered.” He continues to observe for those who indicate there is a skill shortage, “by far the most important shortfall they see in candidates is a lack of experience doing similar jobs.”..
The Global Skill Gap: 38 million to 40 million fewer workers with tertiary education than employers will need
Over the past three decades, as developing economies industrialized and began to compete in world markets, a global labor market started taking shape. As more than one billion people entered the labor force, a massive movement from “farm to factory” sharply accelerated growth of productivity and per capita GDP in China and other traditionally rural … Continue reading »
Book: Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It | Wharton Digital Press
Even in a time of perilously high unemployment, companies contend that they cannot find the employees they need. Pointing to a skills gap, employers argue applicants are simply not qualified; schools aren’t preparing students for jobs; the government isn’t letting in enough high-skill immigrants; and even when the match is right, prospective employees won’t accept … Continue reading »
Skills Gap – There won’t be enough A & P (airframe and propulsion) licensed mechanics for an Airbus Assembly plant when in Mobile
That’s the word from companies that specialize in recruiting and hiring skilled workers for several industries, including the marine and airbus 380 in Vancouver (Photo credit: Cyprien) aviation industries. Bud Collins owns Eagle Marine Services in Irvington. He’s been placing skilled workers in marine jobs for 17 years, including ship building sites like Newport News, … Continue reading »
The arrival of Airbus in Mobile will make a measurable impact on the city’s economy, enough to render the city, and even the entire state, better bets for lenders, according to a recent report by Moody’s Investor Service, a rating agency. While the company did not officially adjust its investment-grade, Aa2 rating for the city, … Continue reading »
As a series of demographic and economic shifts intensely converge, creating a “Human Age,” a range of population groups are being alienated from work opportunities in the global economy writes ManpowerGroup in Wanted: Energized, Career-Driven Youth. (Adapted excerpts by Job Market Monitor following) Young workers are most affected and have been labeled a lost generation of … Continue reading »
New Yorker has a terrific one-page summary by James Surowiecki of why so many job vacancies are left unfilled “for want of any sufficiently qualified candidates” while so many people (especially young people with university degrees) are unable to find work. It’s behind a pay wall, so here’s a synopsis: Unemployment is high not because … Continue reading »
The No. 1 issue facing manufacturers in Ohio is the difficulty finding qualified skilled workers to meet the needs of the industry in the state, according to sources at the Manufacturing and Distribution Update held June 27 at The Pinnacle in Maumee by Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler Ltd. (GJM). Staff members from GJM learned about … Continue reading »
Even in a time of 8% unemployment, some jobs go begging. Surveys reveal a significant share of companies report difficulties filling certain jobs. What’s a company to do when it can’t find workers with needed skills? Work its current employees for longer hours. That’s the conclusion by economists at the Conference Board. The trend suggests … Continue reading »
The report,The Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth, by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited estimates that 10 million manufacturing jobs worldwide cannot currently be filled due to a growing skills gap. This shortage is pervasive despite the high unemployment rate in many developed economies where companies are struggling to … Continue reading »