There’s a provocative and perceptive piece in Medium today on why so many workers seem stuck in their current jobs even though job openings are at their highest level in 15 years. The authors are the founders of Opportunity at Work, an organization Burning Glass has been pleased to partner with on a number of projects. Their diagnosis of the problem (such as the fact that voluntary job changes are down 28% since 2000) is definitely worth a read.
What these startling data — and the dysfunctions they reveal — all have in common is an origin on the “demand” side of the U.S. labor market — how employers recruit, hire, train, and promote. Yet most policies that aim to improve employment outcomes focus on the “supply side” — education and job training. These efforts are important, but they can’t “close the skills gap” without demand-side reforms. We need smarter employer practices and the partnerships and public policies to support them.
We’re strong believers in using real-time data to bring supply and demand together. These insights can drive more effective hiring practices. That includes helping employers identify alternative sources of talent and getting a reality check on the validity of their requirements. That also includes empowering educators and policy makers with the data they need to identify where employers are struggling and to engage with them in developing the workforce they need.