Thursday, September 1, 2011

Middle-Skill Jobs in the American South's Economy

A 36 page report titled "Middle-Skill Jobs in the American South's Economy" done in August 2011 for the Southern Governors' Association found middle-skill jobs which require more than a High School diploma, but less than a 4 year degree, among the "Top 10 hardest to fill jobs". The studies show on average 5% of America's unemployment is due to the skills gap. There are middle-skill jobs to be had, but not enough middle-skilled people to fill them.

You can see from the chart above the future demand for middle-skilled employees will grow while the demand for others will shrink. Of particular interest to our readers is the data in the report showing Advanced Manufacturing job numbers far out way other sectors like IT, R&D, construction, and public safety. Manufacturing was second only to Healthcare industry demand. These are facts our educators, the unemployed and those preparing to enter into the job market should consider. A really smart choice is those skilled trades that cross over to several of those industries, like an electrician. (Electricians find employment in residential, HVAC, Construction and manufacturing.)
While the above report is based on data for surveys of employers for the southern States, it is a sample of  our country as whole. I highly recommend those seeking advice in which way their career should go and what education they should seek, take a look at the two reports linked to in this post. There are also some great video interviews with employers stating exactly what they are looking for in an employee for the upcoming years.

Another must read... "America’s Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs: Education and Training Requirements in the Next Decade and Beyond" by the National Skills Coalition

Excerpt: "While middle-skill jobs have declined slightly as a portion of total employment nationwide,
roughly half of all employment today is in middle-skill occupations. And nearly half (about 45 percent) of all job openings between 2004 and 2014 will be at the middle-skill level. This compares with one-third of job openings in high-skill occupational categories and 22 percent in occupations requiring no more than a high school degree."

Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .)

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