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This post originally appeared at Harvard Business Review. Do you wonder why there were an average of 8 million jobs posted online in the U.S. every month of last year, while 13 million people continued to search for work during the exact same months? The reason is that the U.S. — along with just about every other country — is suffering from a talent mismatch: employers cannot find individuals with the skills and capabilities they need, where and when they need them. The problem is not just one of location and timing, however. There is no mechanism that reliably signals which skills employers need so that individuals and schools can develop those skills. In other words, the relationship between supply and demand is tenuous at best. The job market simply doesn’t function the way a market should.
Experts have examined the problem from every angle and concluded that, if left unresolved, the skills mismatch will continue to eat away at U.S. competiveness. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute predict that by 2020, the U.S. will need to create 21 million new jobs to return to full employment but, should present trends continue, there will be 1.5 million too few college graduates to meet demand and that 5.9 million people will not have the education employers require and will therefore be unemployable. That’s why at ManpowerGroup we believe that investment ought to focus on youth, who are now entering the market and who most need training. Building their skills will help unleash their potential and start to close the widening gap. Still, while I cannot overstate the importance of training, it alone will not solve the labour market’s structural dysfunction.
How can the U.S. labour market become more efficient?
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