Mismatch Between Experience and Jobs Available May Be Keeping Unemployment Rate High

One reason the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high has less to do with the number of job openings than with the number of workers qualified to fill them. That’s what online job data recently compiled by the Wall St. Journal suggest.

The number of online job openings now stands at 4.7 million and of these many require specialized experience, the data from Indeed, Inc. show. For example, accounting and consulting giants Deloitte and PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLC are adding to staff as more employers are seeking their services. The most needed professionals at PwC will have six to eight years experience. Deloitte meanwhile, needs experts in areas such as mergers and acquisitions, health care and information technology. 

AT&T “is scouring for highly technical workers and retail sales people, ” in such areas as network engineering and cloud computing, while also looking to fill retail jobs at its 2,300 U.S. stores selling cell phones and other gadgets.

WellPoint, Inc., an Indianopolis-based health insurer, needs IT specialists, registered nurses, actuaries, insurance-policy underwriters, sales people and call-center employees, while Science Applications International Corp. of McLean, Va., has openings for intelligence analysts, including translaters and data analysts, engineers; cyber-security experts, and project managers. Many of these require at least a 4-year college degree and U.S. government security clearance.

And so on.

Until we better match available openings with qualifications, we’ll either continue to have an abnormally high unemployment rate or employers may have to compromise and hire workers who may not have all the experience they want but who can be trained and mentored to acquire the experience while on the job.

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