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ERIC Number: EJ1002258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1067-1803
Skills Match
Carnevale, Anthony; Smith, Nicole
Community College Journal, v83 n3 p20-25 Dec 2012-Jan 2013
At this moment, roughly 12 million Americans are unable to find work, with more than 40 percent of that number unemployed for six months or more. At the same time, current estimates put the number of job vacancies in this country at 3 million per month. The most popular explanation for this apparent paradox, the one put forth by former President Bill Clinton at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is the so-called "skills mismatch"--or, what happens when people in the labor pool lack the skills to do what the market demands. Skills mismatch is a symptom of structural employment, where the jobs lost in one sector of the economy, such as construction and real estate, for example, disappear for good, while other sectors, such as health-care and education, expand so fast the pool of qualified labor can't keep up. Federal economists attribute roughly 30 percent of the change in the U.S. unemployment rate during the Great Recession to skills mismatch. From this analysis, a reasonable estimate would assume that currently 2 million jobs go unfilled today as a result of skills, training, and education gaps. Roughly 69 percent of those vacancies--about 1.5 million--consist of jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor's degree--what many in education refer to as middle-skill jobs. Middle-skill jobs, or middle jobs, have long been overshadowed by more prestigious, supposedly better-paying career choices marketed to students who graduate from four-year colleges and universities. But this perception does not reflect reality. Roughly 21 percent of all jobs can be considered "good middle jobs"--jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree. Of those, 29 million pay at least $35,000 a year. This article discusses a few ideas to consider in creating an educational system that matches students with good-paying middle-skill careers and in integrating success metrics that balance the economic need for efficiency with the moral obligation to equity. (Contains 1 footnote.)
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/bookstore
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A