Posting in Cities
Brookings Institution report finds that metro areas with higher education levels have higher rates of job creation and more unfilled job openings.
It's an ongoing paradox in the ongoing sluggish economic recovery -- unemployment is running high; yet, at the same time, companies are struggling to find qualified employees to staff openings. That's because many of the available jobs require specialized or advanced skills, often requiring degrees.
The education gap is pervasive, a new report out of the Brookings Institute states. In the 100 largest metropolitan areas, 43% of job openings typically require at least a bachelor’s degree, but just 32% of adults 25 and older have earned one.
You would think that cities with higher levels of education attainment would have fewer unfilled job openings, then. However, the opposite effect occurs -- metro areas with more educated populations also have the most unfilled job openings that go begging. "Educational attainment, overall and relative to existing demand, benefits metro areas by making workers more employable and firms more competitive and entrepreneurial—thus leading to more job openings for less educated workers," the report states.
The Brookings analysis, which looked at employment patterns in the 100 largest metropolitan areas from January of 2006 to February of 2012, finds that metro areas with higher education gaps have experienced lower rates of job creation and job openings over the past few years.
The Brookings report ranks the metropolitan areas with the highest share of job openings going unfilled after a given month:
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
- Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC
- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Springfield, MA
- Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, PA
- Jackson, MS
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
Declines in industry demand and housing prices explain most of the recent cyclical increases in metropolitan unemployment rates, but education gaps explain most of the structural level of metropolitan unemployment over the past few years, the report adds. "High educational attainment is essential for the health of metropolitan labor markets before, during, and after recessions. Educational attainment makes workers more employable, creates demand for complementary less educated workers, and facilitates entrepreneurship."
(Photo: Joe McKendrick.)
Aug 30, 2012
The blog was instructive and innovative for me to learn about the unfilled job cities of US. http://www.danibabb.com/
This report is especially enlightening because it shows how the skills gap emerging in America is taking shape. Baby Boomers and others across the nation are retiring and/or leaving their jobs, and employers (particularly in the skilled trades) are having more trouble than ever finding qualified replacements. Career and technical education will be critical to the solutions to these emerging gaps, and businesses, education and government all must work together to truly effect the change the economy needs. The newly formed Industry Workforce Needs Council is one example of a group of businesspeople committed to effecting change in this space. For more information on their efforts, visit www.iwnc.org. Jason Sprenger, for the IWNC
There are a plethora of companies out there that require bachelorâs degrees for jobs that do not need the knowledge of a 4 year graduate. That degree equals someone who has a track record of longevity and goal setting, and conformity to corporate and legal environments, and in some cases, trust, that their non-degreed competitors don't have. The first question businesses have to ask is, "Does the position absolutely need a degree skill set?" the second question is, "Are we substituting a degree requirement for one or more of the above conditions?" And the final question of, "At what point do you need that person bad enough to take a risk on them without a degree?"
Speaking from experience, the pathetic state of the US education system has made it very difficult to find quality young talent. There is a substantial talent gap in the labor pool once you get under age 40. Desperate for quality employees, my company signed onto a work study program in cooperation with a local charter high school almost 10 years ago. The paid internships are focused in one department, but many of the kids apply for part time summer seasonal job openings to gain experience in multiple departments. The parents who put their kids in this inner city charter school represent lower middle class immigrant families. About half the kids are from single parent homes. It speaks well of their parents instilling a strong work ethic and an eye to the future when a 17 year old is willing to work 20 hours a week in the summer to help them get ahead in life. Several kids that came through our internships have been hired full time in the years since the program started. About half of them have become long term employees. The rest left for better paying jobs or college. Our company's next generation of middle management leaders will come from this group of kids in their late teens/early 20s. We have so few quality employees in their 30s that the 20 somethings are already filling key supervisor positions.
Having a degree does not mean a person has the skill or the talent to do the job. It just means they can successfully take tests. Unless they go to Harvard. Then they have some one else do their take home final. Take home finals and a thousand other things are why degrees have become over rated.
Link now takes you to Brookings landing page. My apologies to readers who may have tried to access the full report.
The reason why they are overrated, is because colleges and universities don't teach anything worthwhile anymore, unless it is a specific pre-set for later schooling (ie, pre-med). There are a few, IT tends to teach programming (not well, but teach it). The one thing colleges USED to teach, and why a degree was so valuable initially, was they took a solid base-core of knowledge learned in high school (supposedly how to survive in the world), enhanced that, and expanded on what you needed to know for the field of work you chose. Now we have kids who can barely read and write by the time they get to college... Colleges are rated more on party-school status than what they offer, and since the kids coming in have half the knowledge or less of kids going to college 20-40 years ago, the universities can't teach things well anymore. Add on to the fact that too many colleges/universities are run like poor businesses worried about prestige and who works there, than the kids they release (VERY UNPREPARED) in to the world... It's an overpriced recipe for disaster....