On December 15, 2011, the Atlantic Council partnered with PwC to host an inaugural high-level roundtable of leading business, government, and academic experts to analyze the global mismatch between skills and jobs, better known as the “skills gap,” and offer policy solutions. This report summarizes the conclusions of that discussion.
Despite an 8.3% unemployment rate, employers across the United States continue to have difficulty filling millions of available jobs. These jobs remain vacant because employers cannot find the qualified workers they need. President Obama’s Council on Jobs and competitiveness blames this mismatch between the skills of the workforce and open jobs for up to one third of the current US unemployment rate. It is important to note that the skills gap is not simply an American problem. In fact, according to PwC’s annual survey of global CEOs, an inability to find enough skilled talent is the number one concern of business executives around the world. Only 30% of the respondents felt confident that they would be able to find the talent they need to grow their companies.