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Biden and the Skills Gap in US / 47 overlapping programs in 2009 says GOP

More than 10 million Americans are jobless, but about 4 million jobs were unfilled at the end of November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many economists and industry experts attribute the disparity to a gap between workers\’ skills and the skills employers need.

“There are plenty of jobs out there, and there’s a mismatch now in terms of skills and the jobs that are available,” Biden said Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Republicans, including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, decry what they say is the duplication in federal jobs programs, citing a 2011 Government Accountability Office report that found 47 overlapping programs in 2009.

But the programs have bigger problems, including shrinking funds, a lack of rigorous evaluation of what works, and student grants that don\’t involve job training, said Harry Holzer, a Georgetown University public policy professor and former chief economist for the Labor Department.

“The whole setup is really crazy,” Holzer said. “We have all these Department of Labor programs that get almost no funding. You have all these community colleges that are disconnected from the system. Really, what you need is for those two systems to be better integrated.”

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Biden to lead job-training effort.

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