Is “Skill Gap” to Blame for Higher Than Necessary Unemployment Rate?

Amanda Hagerty
Reading time 2 Mins
Published on Aug 13

Is-Skill-Gap-Attributing-to-Unemployment-RateThe unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing, it’s currently at 6.2 percent*. It hasn’t dipped this low since August of 2008. So that should mean that businesses are filling positions faster than ever, right? Not quite. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says employers are experiencing increased difficulty filling positions with candidates that they feel possess the skills needed to perform the job. In fact, a poll conducted by Express Employment Professionals found that of the 115 companies surveyed, 83 percent found that it was “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult” to fill a job opening this year, that’s up from 78 percent last year. The main reason? Fifty-two percent of these companies attributed this to a lack of viable candidates available. CNBC blames this “skill gap” as the reason why the unemployment rate is still higher than it needs to be.

We’ve seen wages declining over the past several years especially for highly skilled workers. But as more employers must compete to fill key roles in their organizations, they may need to really consider increasing new-hire compensation. Offering competitive packages will open the door to having more qualified candidates interested.

What do you think? Have you had more difficulties filling positions with qualified candidates over the past few months? Do you feel like the “skill gap” applies to your industry?

*Click here to see the National Unemployment Rates, 2008-2014

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