3 Million US Job Openings Isn't a Good Thing

Figure shows troubling disconnect between employers, workers
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 2:26 PM CDT
Evidence of an emerging structural shift in the US economy that has created serious mismatches between workers and employers, Peter Coy says.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Even with the unemployment rate shattering records, 3 million jobs nationwide remain unfilled. But the growing mismatch between employers and workers tarnishes that silver lining, Peter Coy argues in BusinessWeek. Untrained job-seekers often don’t have necessary skills to work in growing sectors like health care and accounting, and employers complain of the mounting backlog the labor shortage causes.

The problem could worsen even when the economy rebounds, because unemployment figures will likely remain high, bidding wars over qualified workers will boost inflation, and Washington’s quick fixes may make things even worse. Some workers aren’t helping, refusing to relocate or accept lower pay. But smart policy and a dose of realism from all sides can spark a turnaround, Coy contends.