Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages and Skill Mismatches: Evidence for the Us

67 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2014 Last revised: 21 Aug 2014

See all articles by Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School - Center for Human Resources; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

Concerns that there are problems with the supply of skills, especially education-related skills, in the US labor force have exploded in recent years with a series of reports from employer-associated organizations but also from independent and even government sources making similar claims. These complaints about skills are driving much of the debate around labor force and education policy, yet they have not been examined carefully. The discussion below examines the range of these charges as well as other evidence about skills in the labor force. There is very little evidence consistent with the complaints about skills and a wide range of evidence suggesting that they are not true. Indeed, a reasonable conclusion is that over-education remains the persistent and even growing situation of the US labor force with respect to skills. I consider three possible explanations for the employer complaints as well as the implications associated with those changes.

Suggested Citation

Cappelli, Peter, Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages and Skill Mismatches: Evidence for the Us (August 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20382. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2482145

Peter Cappelli (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School - Center for Human Resources ( email )

3733 Spruce Street, Vance Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6358
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/cappelli.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States

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