It can be counterintuitive to hear about labour shortages even as the national unemployment rate remains elevated.
The issue behind this is the skills gap. In other words, those available to work don’t have the skills for the open jobs.
“According to the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online Data Series, employers are having the most difficulty filling professional occupations,” note Wells Fargo’s Anika Khan, Michael Brown, and Blaire Zachary. “For professionals, there is about only one unemployed worker for each online ad, and for occupations like computer and mathematics, medical professionals, architects and engineers, there is a clear shortage of workers with the ratio barely above zero.
“Although labour demand, as measured by online ads, is split fairly even between professional and services/production ads, about 80 per cent of unemployed workers seeking employment online are looking for services/production occupations. Currently, there are more than four unemployed workers for each vacancy in services/production fields. The ratio is much higher for construction and grounds maintenance workers at 6.7 and 5.8 unemployed workers for every job ad, respectively.”
According to the data, the category with the biggest supply/demand imbalance is Farming, Fishing, and Forestry.
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