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1 Job for Every 3.4 Jobless Workers—Skills Shortage Isn't the Problem

Republicans in Congress and the Beltway pundits who parrot them like to say the nation's unemployment crisis is in large part due to workers' lack of skills.

Once again, a new report shows they are wrong.

Data out yesterday show that although the number of jobs is increasing, there still are far fewer jobs per worker available, with 3.4 jobless workers for every one job. The data, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI):

underscores that by far the main cause of today’s persistent high unemployment is a broad-based lack of demand for workers—and not, as is often claimed, available workers lacking the skills needed for the sectors with job openings.

The chart above (click to enlarge) shows the number of jobs and jobless workers in categories as diverse as construction and educational and health services and the result is the same—far, far more workers than jobs in each area.

As EPI notes,

The ratio has been slowly but steadily improving since reaching its peak of 6.7-to-1 in summer 2009. However, the odds are still stacked strongly against job seekers; a job-seekers ratio above 3-to-1 means that for more than two out of three unemployed workers, there simply are no jobs.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives left for August recess (read: vacation), without passing a single jobs bill.

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