9.1% Unemployment & Open Positions?

On Friday the Labor Department reported that America’s unemployment rate held steady at 9.1%, resulting in 0% job growth for the month of August. Yet for the same month, employers also reported a sharp increase in difficulty recruiting for open positions (SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment).

How is it that companies can’t find the talent they need when so many people are looking for work? The answer lies in what economists refer to as “structural discord in the labor market." Plainly put, the competencies of our current workforce do not match what organizations need to stay competitive in the new economy.

When the economy actually improves, companies will have an even harder time attracting and retaining key employees, especially those from younger generations who view their employers with a consumer mindset. As a result, many organizations are starting to define and strategically position themselves specifically for the talent they want to hire and keep. Often referred to as Employee Value Proposition, the perceived rewards and benefits employees get in exchange for performance is becoming a selling point and key business strategy for companies wanting to stay ahead of looming talent shortages.

Don’t let the unemployment statistics fool you. It will continue to be difficult to find good talent. Are you prepared? Do you know how to define and market your Employee Value Proposition?

- Amy Hirsh Robinson, Principal, Interchange Group

A College-Educated Workforce

In the U.S., only 1/3 of high school students graduate on time and prepared for college-level work. 1/3 don’t even graduate at all. If current postsecondary graduation rates do not improve, our labor market will be short 3 million college-educated workers by 2018.

America’s education system is not preparing students for the demands of a knowledge-based economy and workplace. That’s why the Interchange Group supports Aspire Public Schools, a non-profit organization that operates public charter schools in urban areas across California. Aspire’s motto is “College for Certain,” and its growing school system boasts both record State performance and a 97% college acceptance rate. As our holiday gift to our clients and community, we have chosen to donate funds to Aspire. We encourage you to find ways to support educational improvements in your own communities!

Happy Holidays from the Interchange Group Team!