Friday, January 19, 2007

Lack of Skilled Workers Hurts the US

As I'd reported back in November, there is a well-documented shortage of skilled workers in the US, and it's only getting worse.

Richard Florida's book The Flight of the Creative Class documents much of the "brain migration" that's been occurring in recent years, and I highly recommend giving it a look.

(I've also written about Florida's work here, and here.)

Today, CNN is reporting on further information about what the lack of skilled workers is doing--it is quite literally holding back the US economy!

The biggest problem with job growth right now isn't too few new jobs. It's too few skilled workers.

The Labor Department's December employment report Friday showed stronger than expected job and wage growth, with a net gain of 167,000 jobs in the month, and average hourly wages up 4.2 percent from a year ago. But even in this report, the pace of job gains was showing signs of slowing down.

The fourth quarter gain was below the third quarter and 2006 saw 143,000 fewer jobs added to payrolls than in 2005, or almost a month's worth of hiring. And that's a comparison to a year in which hurricanes Katrina and Rita took a bite out of jobs.

In addition, one survey earlier in the week from employment service ADP released Wednesday showed U.S. private sector employment shrank in December, the first decline in 3-1/2 years.

But many economists and labor market experts say that job growth and the economy overall would be significantly stronger if employers could find the skilled workers they really need.

Read the full article here.

No comments: