Is There a Skill Gap or a Wage Gap in Hourly Hiring?

With unemployment at an all-time low, employers across the country, from manufacturers in rural Minnesota to hospitals in New York City, are having trouble filling jobs. It now takes about 28 workdays to fill the average job vacancy, compared to about 24 days, on average, in 2007.

Although the “skills gap” (not enough skilled workers available) is a common explanation for companies unable to fill roles, it’s time to rethink the reasons behind 3.9 million vacant jobs nationwide. Researchers attribute the causes to fluctuations in the economy and mismatched skills with open jobs among others.


Finger pointing on both sides…


Businesses want to place the blame on the under-qualified applicant pool for being unable to fill their openings, while the job seekers want to place the blame on the underwhelming pay and benefits employers are offering as the reason for them not applying.


The explanation offered by many businesses is that few Americans have the right skills to fill job openings. Their solution is to improve job training and more closely align higher education to employment.


There’s a range of reasons why many job seekers, who are eager to work, cannot find the right fit today. For some, it’s a lack of transportation to a job that is miles away from their home. For others it’s a lack of support in taking care of their children during working hours. For some, it’s difficult to accept a job with low wages, undesirable shifts and lack of career opportunities. When it comes to these types of jobs, we are starting to see businesses lean towards automation rather than adjusting the positions to help entice job seekers.


Regardless of the reasoning from the job seeker side, it is a responsibility of the employer to make adjustments on their job openings to make them more appealing for job seekers. Pressure from a shrinking labor force should spur companies to recruit more widely, adjust pay, hours, benefits, etc. All of these options are on the table for employers looking to cut down on their average time to hire.


At Jobalign, we can help bridge the gap. We provide a solution matching millions of hourly workers with hourly job openings. We will continue to follow these industry trends and do everything we can to support and advocate for the hourly worker, and to serve our customers who employ these workers. Stay tuned!