- People can't find the jobs they want because they don't have the skills they need, said 54% of the more than 2,000 Americans who responded to an online Harris Poll by the American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor. The top reasons respondents said job seekers couldn't find work or stopped looking included: 1) few jobs are open in their field or trade (45%); 2) where they live has limited job opportunities (33%); 3) they want a job with flexible working hours (26%); and 4) they're too discouraged to keep looking (24%).
- Respondents were split over whether they thought the labor market was employee-driven or employer-driven. When given definitions of both types of labor markets, 44% of respondents said it's a job seekers' market, where jobs are plentiful, and 38% said the market is employer-driven, which means job options are limited.
- ASA president Richard Wahlquist said in a statement that the labor market is in job seekers' hands, even though the labor market is one of the tightest historically on record and respondents cite the skills gap as the reason people can't find jobs. "With close to seven million job openings in America, it's clearly a job seeker's market with an abundance of opportunity," he said.
If job seekers aren't finding the right jobs in a labor market that gives them the edge over employers, it's a good chance that their skills are becoming increasingly outdated. The talent shortage, or skills gap, is the top challenge for HR professionals and their organizations in 2019, according to a new report by XpertHR. Recruiters say they can't find the high-quality workers they need to fill job openings. That might explain why job seekers aren't finding the positions they want, even if they're taking advantage of the edge they're supposed to have in a tight labor market. Technological advancements are ushering new jobs that merit new, and often high-level, skills sets.
The solution to the talent shortage will likely be a multi-tiered one. On the one hand, job seekers will need to reassess their skills and upgrade them if possible. And instead of looking for the perennial "perfect candidate" with the exact skills and knowledge desired, employers might need to focus on training, upskilling and reskilling current employees and candidates to prepare for the jobs that are now in demand.