There is an unprecedented situation in the U.S., which we characterize as a labor surplus, talent shortage. Simply put, the gap is widening between the skill sets that businesses need and the talent pool available. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in the U.S. for those with a bachelor's degree or higher peaked around 5% during the recession, is now around 4%, and is trending back toward its historical average of 2-3%. For those with less than a HS diploma the unemployment rate is about 10 points higher. This explains the difference between the economy you have been seeing for a couple of years now on the nightly news, and what you see with your own eyes every day in your professional life.
This will be the number one issue facing businesses in almost every developed nation for the next decade. What's causing this situation? Of course, entire books have been written about this, but there are two main drivers for the current talent shortage.
Technology: It is well known that productivity has led to a dramatic loss in manufacturing jobs. However, it has been estimated that as many as ten service jobs have been created for every manufacturing job lost, whether in healthcare, professional services, business services, and so on. In general, the global workforce has lagged this megatrend, waiting for it to reverse itself rather than getting out in front of it. The nightly news bemoans the loss of "good" manufacturing jobs, often ignoring the creation of service sector jobs....