#353. Who Needs a Job??

Posted on | The Agurban

Who Needs a Job??

Two reports came across our computers this week regarding the jobs situation in our country. One was entitled “College Payoff Goes Missing” and the other was “Wanted: 600,000 Skilled Workers for Manufacturing Industry”. So one group of workers can’t find work, and one group of employers can’t find employees? Why is this happening?

Some background on the reports – The first report is subtitled “Young college graduates increasingly find that the jobs they can find don’t require the diplomas they worked long and hard to obtain.” If you follow our Agurban, you know we strongly believe in the value of a college education. Studies have shown that people with a college degree earn many times more over their lifetime than someone without a college degree.

The second report is based on the survey, “Boiling Point? The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing”, conducted by The Manufacturing Institute and Deioitte. Their research concluded that 5 percent of current manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates, and that 67 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. The unfilled jobs are mainly in the skilled production category, positions such as machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors, and technicians.

There are many reasons leading up to the disconnect between workers and employers. For one, while we strongly believe in the value of a college education, as stated above, we also believe in the value of vocational and technical training, an area that is typically cut first from our high schools and junior colleges when budgets are strained. Other reasons likely include the perceived earnings disparity between skilledmanufacturing workers and college graduates, and the upward mobility available in manufacturing jobs.

At our current unemployment rate of 9.1%, or 14 million unemployed Americans, if 600,000 unemployed Americans went to work in these available jobs, the rate would drop to 8.7% immediately. With the manufacturing multiplier effect, an additional 840,000 jobs would be created by these manufacturing jobs, further reducing the unemployment rate to 8.1%.

The Manufacturing Institute report stated, “…companies need to partner with educational institutions to make developing workforce skills a top strategic priority. Our education system must also do a better job aligning education and training to the needs of employers and job-seekers.”