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Labor Mismatches in US – Three steps to take

Job openings remain dramatically higher than prepandemic levels. Yet the December unemployment data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that a disproportionate number of minorities, younger workers, and people without four-year degrees remain unemployed.

This mismatch may seem intractable, but I’m optimistic from my conversations with CEOs that today’s business leaders can close this gap and realize a new era of sustainable and inclusive growth. Here are three steps they can take.

Here are three steps they can take.

Focus on skills, not degrees

In a recent McKinsey survey, a majority of respondents (58%) said that closing skill gaps in their companies’ workforces has become a higher priority since the pandemic began, and 69% said their companies engage in more skill building than they did before the Covid-19 crisis. Current employment practices emphasize traditional degrees and experience in the same field, leaving companies short of staff. For workers without degrees, this practice carries harsh implications: McKinsey’s latest American Opportunity Survey found less than half of Americans without degrees reported they could cover more than two months of expenses if they lost their jobs.

Accelerate workforce training programs

The pandemic accelerated technology adoption, but workforce training programs haven’t kept pace. The chasm between the skills of today and the jobs of tomorrow will widen as demand for technological, social, emotional and higher cognitive skills grows. Developing iron-clad, scalable training programs is an important long-term strategy.

An estimated 17 million US workers will need to be reskilled and redeployed into new occupations to remain employed by 2030, according to a 2021 McKinsey report. This may be especially disruptive for women, for whom long-established barriers and “double shifts” with work at home and “triple shifts” — with extra responsibilities many have assumed in the workplace — could make career transitions even more difficult.

Showcase the industrial sector as a source of high-growth jobs

There are more open jobs in US manufacturing today than there are people in Seattle, a number that will likely grow as the US invests more in infrastructure.

The sector is also undergoing a seismic shift, transitioning from the dirty and dangerous work of the past to a more sustainable, digital and automated future.

Making industries like manufacturing more attractive and accessible is one way to address inequality. Jobs in these sectors offer strong pay and benefits, and opportunities to progress.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @  The labor market is upside down. Here’s what CEOs can do about it | McKinsey

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