Whether an economy is recovering from a recession or simply maintaining stability, one of the most scrutinized areas is the labor market. This division of the economy always seems to be a topic of conversation when it comes to political reform. The attention surrounding the labor market, though, has only become more magnified since the recovery from the Great Recession started.
The common thought is that following the Great Recession, recovery in the labor market has lagged due to workers not having the right skills. However, upon investigation this does not appear to be true. The figure below examines this claim by demonstrating the number of job openings per industry in the month of January 2015. We find that there are more unemployed workers than available jobs in practically every industry.
The notable exception in the figure above is the health care and social assistance sector. Other sectors have not been as fortunate. Construction, for example, still has nearly six unemployed workers for every job opening.
In summation, the numbers and figure provided indicate that the main problem is merely a lack of demand for workers, rather than the presented argument that workers lack the required skills for a particular job industry.