The resources on this page direct you to information about the aggregate mismatch between skills and employer demands in the labor market, which impacts the job finding rates of job seekers in the labor exchange.

Is there an Aggregate Skill Gap or Shortage across the Labor Market?

This Working Paper #20382 from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) provides the results of Peter Cappelli’s research on skill gaps, skills shortages and skill mismatches.

In "Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages and Skill Mismatches: Evidence for the US," Cappelli examines the evidence that has been presented in favor of the skills gap and shortages argument, which is driving much of the debate around labor force preparation and education policy.

Mr. Cappelli examines the range of feedback from employers as well as other evidence about skills in the labor force.  While it is difficult to show evidence of skill gaps at the aggregate level, the research paper considers three possible explanations for the employer feedback on skill shortages as well as the implications associated with that.

For more information, please contact:

Peter Cappelli, Wharton School
Center for Human Resources
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6358


Why Is the Job Finding Rate Still Low?

In a February 2014 study, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York notes that both the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio and matching efficiency (i.e., the ability of employers and jobseekers to connect with each other) declined during the Great Recession, and have not recovered since based on Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data from the BLS.

The authors conclude that “while matching efficiency has declined and remained low in virtually all industries, the most important factor in the low job-finding rate is the persistently low level of vacancies per unemployed.”

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