The Mounting Disconnect Between American Employers and Workers


The general idea in America is that available jobs engender work for unemployed people. However, this is not always the case.

Employers, Jobs, and Employees

First and foremost, there are currently six million available work positions in America, as reported by NPR. While available jobs are paramount to a thriving economy, finding the right workers to occupy these positions is another issue altogether. Contrary to popular belief, employers’ struggle to find workers is not merely due to skills, or lack thereof. The more prevalent factor lies with employers, wages, and requirements for the positions.

University professor, Peter Cappelli gave the following statement:

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They’re just asking for the moon, and not expecting to pay very much for it. And as a result they [can’t] find those people. Now that [doesn’t] mean there was nobody to do the job; it just [means] that there was nobody at the price they were willing to pay.

The Freelancer Factor

Another element impacting the economy is the freelance market. More and more Americans are opting out of traditional 9 to 5, employee jobs and choosing to venture into business for themselves, as stated by The Next Web.

The appeal of freelancing is workplace flexibility, the creation of one’s own schedule, and the countless rewards of self employment. In this day and age, a greater percentage of people want to work for themselves and build their dreams instead of working to fulfill someone else.

According to a new Intuit report, freelancers are expected to amount to 40% of the job market by 2020. As more and more would be employees turn to freelance work, employers will have an increasingly difficult time with finding workers to fill their positions.

What Can Employers Do?

As pointed out by Cappelli, employers may need to be more flexible in their search for workers:

Wages have not gone up despite all the talk about a tight labor market. And I think most important for the economy, we still don’t see lots of employers being willing to take people in right out of school and train them for jobs.

Times are changing and tides are shifting. Like everyone else, employers will have to get on board with the changes, unless they want to go out of business.

As previously stated, prospective employees are becoming less and less willing to work for bargain basement wages. Also, the options and flexibility that innately accompany freelance work are considerably more appealing that working for a rigid, austere boss.

If employers are serious about finding workers to fill their positions, they will need to raise wages and provide more on-the-job training. As time passes, the amount of people willing to work as employees will continue to stagnate.