The April jobs report last Friday signaled that the US economic recovery is continuing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 211,000 jobs were created and that the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent, a 10-year low.
Some economists question whether the nation is approaching the so-called “full employment rate.”
Regrettably, there still millions of Americans out of work because of either…
- Geographic disparities – They do not live where the jobs are being created.
- Skills imbalance – The job applicants lack the skills necessary to win those jobs that are available.
LinkedIn recently completed an employment survey and found 10 cities where significant skills gaps exist. These are cities where jobs go begging because there are not enough qualified people to hire.
The number one city is San Francisco, but if you rush to assume that technology is the industry with the biggest gap in the city by the bay, you would be wrong. LinkedIn reported that the top three gap categories are:
- Healthcare management
- Education and teaching
Washington, D.C. was ranked number two. Their top three skills gap categories were:
- Healthcare management
- Retail operations
The latter was a surprise since more retail jobs have been lost over the last five years than the whole of the coal industry.
Houston was number three. Their skills gaps are:
- Building construction
- Graphic design
- Marketing event management
The construction skills gap is not surprising given that city’s continued epic growth – they will surpass Chicago as the nation’s third largest city population-wise within the next seven to 10 years. One contractor recently quipped that if Congress gave the go-ahead to build the infamous border wall, “We would probably have to import workers from Mexico to get the work done.”
Nationwide, LinkedIn reported that healthcare management is consistently mentioned in the skills gap discussions across the nation. This flies in the face of the anecdotal evidence of continuing industry consolidation and steady drumbeat of reports about additional layoffs – a hospital in Boston reported they would offer 1,600 employees packages to leave the organization – in a drive to reduce their costs. Moreover, there is little doubt in the minds of many in healthcare that if the GOP healthcare legislation passes in any form that remotely resembles the House bill, there will be additional job losses as healthcare providers scramble to reduce costs.
Such a development would produce an economic irony given that healthcare has proven to be one of the steadiest of the job creation engines over the past 10 years. Even to this day, there does not seem to be a lack of healthcare job openings across the US, as you can find here and on other job portals as well.
By the way, the other cities where significant skills gaps exist are:
5. Los Angeles
7. New York
10. San Diego
The report I saw did not breakdown what was included in the “healthcare management” category.