The Herman Trend Alert|
May 3, 2006
More Jobs, More Hiring Challenges
Forecasts suggest the US economy will slide somewhat this year because of higher fuel costs, housing slowdowns, and higher interest rates. These factors will probably “cost” a half percent in consumer spending growth, a significant impact on the economy. Job growth will continue, however.
Over the past five years, manufacturers, and distributors have engineered strong productivity growth. Employers in retail and service industries have improved their situations with technology and online sales and marketing. To meet growing demands for goods and services, employers must hire more qualified workers or risk losing business, profits, and market position.
Estimates project the employment market in the United States to expand by about two million jobs in 2006. Job growth is on-track, creating serious problems for employers. Recruiters are already very busy trying to fill current vacancies. As the labor market tightens with new job growth, their work will become more difficult. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the information technology field alone, between December 2005 and January 2006 alone there was a 16.7 percent increase in the rate job openings,. As we continue through the year, this pattern will be seen across occupational lines. Normally during the December to January period we can expect to see about a five percent increase.
While many people today are unemployed or underemployed, employers still face hiring challenges. Unfortunately, too many of the people looking for jobs are not qualified to fill the vacant jobs. A substantial amount of re-training is necessary---a critical need that will be addressed by community colleges, trade schools, and corporate training programs. As workers are trained belatedly, the employment market will experience a classic case of “too little, too late”.
If workers were more aware of market conditions, they would enroll in education and training courses to build their qualifications for current and emerging job openings. Some workers will be unable to benefit from these courses because they cannot afford them or because they lack the academic strength to learn the course material. Corporations will avoid investing in employee training until they are forced…by the lack of trained people.
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