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Small Business

May 2017 Small Business Channel

It's one of today's most vexing economic puzzles: Why can't employers find workers to fill their positions when approximately 7.5 million Americans are unemployed, and millions more are working part-time because they can't find full-time positions or ...

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How Much Does the Skills Gap Cost Businesses?

By Isaac M. O’Bannon, Managing Editor

It’s one of today’s most vexing economic puzzles: Why can’t employers find workers to fill their positions when approximately 7.5 million Americans are unemployed, and millions more are working part-time because they can’t find full-time positions or have given up looking for work altogether? According to a new CareerBuilder survey, nearly 60 percent of U.S. employers have job openings that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer. The average cost HR managers say they incur for having extended job vacancies is more than $800,000 annually. 

CareerBuilder’s latest studies on the effects of the skills gap on the U.S. labor market were conducted online by Harris Poll from November 16 to December 6, 2016 and February 16 to March 9, 2017. These studies included representative samples of 2,391 and 2,380 employers, respectively, and 3,411 and 3,215 workers, respectively, across all industries in the private sector.

According to the survey, 68 percent of employers who said they were increasing their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter (Jan.1-March 31, 2017) currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. This is consistent across company sizes with larger companies – which tend to have more job openings in general:

  • 1-50 employees: 49 percent
  • 51-250 employees: 74 percent
  • 251-500 employees: 72 percent
  • 501+ employees: 71 percent

“The gap between the number of jobs posted each month and the number of people hired is growing larger as employers struggle to find candidates to fill positions at all levels within their organizations,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “There’s a significant supply and demand imbalance in the marketplace, and it’s becoming nearly a million-dollar problem for companies.”

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This Month’s Top Small Business Social Media Posts:

3 Things You Must Know Before Starting a Business – Amy Vetter on LinkedIn:

Never Burn a Bridge: A Client Came Back After 3 Years – Scott Cytron on LinkedIn:

Registering a Trademark FAQs – Nellie Akalp on the Corpnet blog:

4 Steps to Help Manage Your Operating Cash Flow Statement – Dennis Najjar on the blog:

The Gig Economy and Its Impact on Your Business – Barbara Weltman blog:




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