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The contradiction between historically high unemployment and labor shortages in certain industries is partly the result of a changing economy that is demanding new and different types of skills and leaving many workers behind. Four years after the last recession ended, policy makers, economists, and job-training specialists remain frustrated about how to get the right people into the right jobs — and drive down the jobless rate.
“There’s a mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and the skills required by employers,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, an economics research firm. “The people stuck in unemployment are often those in construction, old-line manufacturing, and other industries that aren’t doing as well, and they can’t make the transition to another [profession].”