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- Skills Mismatch
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor released the monthly jobs report for May. Our slow economic recovery continues as employers added 175,000 jobs during the past month. The unemployment rate rose to 7.6% from 7.5% as more workers entered the job market looking for work. However, despite over 11.8 million people out of work, there are 3.8 million jobs that are going unfilled, in part, because employers can’t find workers with the skills to fill them.
The May jobs report suggested continued frustration for the millions of unemployed and underemployed workers who are looking for work and the employers looking for skilled workers. This unfortunate mismatch persists because Congress continues to drag its feet replacing the damaging sequester. To make it worse, some members are actually proposing much deeper cuts, including nearly a billion dollars in additional job training cuts. Continuing down this path will only make it harder for workers and employers to compete in the global economy.
Under sequestration, $450 million will be cut from federal workforce funding this year alone, resulting in nearly two million fewer workers getting the training and support they need. The impact of these cuts is just now being felt. Many workforce agencies have begun laying off staff – the people who help others find jobs. Across the country, employment and job training providers have stopped enrolling new participants in programs that lead to good-paying jobs.
Sequestration and the additional cuts Congress is currently considering will keep us from closing the skills gap, which is crippling to businesses and our economy. Congress must do its job by ending the sequester, eliminating additional cuts to discretionary programs like job training, and finding a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
For stories on the success of workforce programs and the impact of federal funding cuts over the past several years, please visit our story page at: www.nationalskillscoalition.org/MyStory.