Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Big Wait

"Employment growth is set to resume in 2011. By 2018, 30 million new and replacement jobs will require some college or above.The demand for an increasingly skilled and educated workforce is growing steadily; unless we increase output from postsecondary institutions, the demand for college talent will exceed its supply."

Anthony Carnevale, Job Market Demands More College Educated Workers, Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, December 15, 2009.

That's welcome news. We always knew that demographic aging out and skill gaps would create additonal demand and opportunity. But the Great Recession put a hold on that reality and our ability to recognize the future.

So, what should unemployed people do for ten years? Well, getting some post secondary education makes sense. But there are always problems. With 88 million people with low literacy levels, ten years would certainly help if they could get the right kind of assistance at the right place and the right cost. And going to college, according to a recent report by Public Agenda, is often derailed by economic hardship. Sometimes you need a job to get a job.

A new House jobs bill, among other things, calls for more training dollars. That's probably a good thing but I always worry about training before jobs. Haven't we been doing that?

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