Are companies not filling open positions? One reason employers give is that they have trouble finding skilled workers. Employers like Eric Isbister, the CEO of GenMet, a metal fabricating company with about 70 employees in Mequon, Wisconsin.
“My opinion, you could call it a skills gap, an attitude gap, a confidence gap. You can call it anything you want, but there’s a gap there,” Isbister says.
Heidi Shierholz, a labor market economist at the Economic Policy Institute, says the hiring data suggests that some industries may have a skills gap, but the overall labor market has a different problem.
“It’s just that we don’t have demand for work to be done,” she says. “What you find is that unemployed workers vastly outnumber job openings in every single industry.”
The buzzword for this across-the-board hiring slowdown is uncertainty. Employers say they are uncertain about how sequestration will play out, while others are just holding out for the best possible employee, or just waiting for signs that demand will be permanent enough to justify filing all those job openings.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.