Fact of the Week: U.S. Skills Gap Widens, Say Employers

3/27/2013
Fact of the Week

​​ March 27, 2013

U.S. Skills Gap Widens, Say Employers


America Needs Solutions to Address the Widening Skills Gap, Including Immigration Reform


  • A recent national SHRM survey found that two-thirds (66 percent) of organizations currently hiring full-time staff are having difficulty recruiting for specific job openings, up from 52 percent in 2011.

  • Overall, the most difficult positions to fill included highly skilled positions, such as:

    • Scientists (88 percent difficulty to fill),
    • Engineers (86 percent difficulty to fill),
    • High-skilled technical positions, such as technicians and programmers (85 percent difficulty to fill),
    • High-skilled medical positions, such as nurses, doctors and specialists (83 percent difficulty to fill), and
    • Managers and executives (77 percent difficulty to fill).

  • Nearly half of those organizations that are having difficulty recruiting said that candidates don’t have the right skills for the job, and 40 percent said candidates don’t have the right work experience.

ACIP and SHRM members support policies to educate and train American workers to ensure that they are equipped with the skills U.S. employers need to build a competitive workforce. Comprehensive immigration reform is also part of the immediate solution as we work toward building the long-term talent pipeline.

Learn more in the newly released ACIP-SHRM primer, “Navigating the U.S. Employment-based Immigration System.”

It’s a new world.

The time for new employment-based immigration policies is now.


The American Council on International Personnel (ACIP), a strategic affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), represents employers working to speed U.S. economic recovery, create new jobs for all Americans and advance American innovation. Our members are companies, universities, research institutions and organizations that employ the critical talent that has and will continue to build the U.S. economy and raise the standard of living for all Americans. We build the workforces necessary to keep America on the cutting edge of worldwide innovation and leading the global economy. Learn more about ACIP at www.acip.com. Learn more about SHRM at www.shrm.org.

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