It’s been a familiar lament over the past few years: Even though millions of Americans are unemployed, companies across the country just can’t find enough qualified workers.
New data suggest that although many companies continue to complain about the so-called skills gap, few are taking steps to fix it.
The CareerBuilder survey of 1,648 U.S. hiring managers and human resources professionals, released Thursday, found that nearly 80 percent of managers are at least somewhat concerned about the skills gap, just about 40 percent are doing anything to alleviate it.
The results come as the labor market continues to add jobs slowly, but unemployment remains high. The latest jobs numbers are scheduled to be released Friday.
Experts say the weak job market has many companies feeling that they can demand a candidate who has a perfect record and plenty of relevant experience, and is willing to take a temporary job for relatively low pay.
“Sometimes we call that a purple squirrel,” said Jorge Perez , senior vice president in the North American division of the staffing firm Manpower.
Manpower’s own talent shortage survey, released earlier this year, found that 39 percent of employers are having trouble finding workers with the right skills, down from 49 percent in 2012.
Although the latest figures show there is still a problem, Perez said the drop shows that some employers have become more willing to accept that that the purple squirrel may not exist. If they want the perfect candidate, they may need to do some training—either in-house or in partnership—and offer a good salary, full-time status and benefits.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at
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