New insight on talent and American competitiveness.
The American workforce has reached an inflection point. Deloitte’s research indicates that there is a growing mismatch between the demand for talent and its current supply. This represents a significant challenge for job creation in the United States, particularly during a period of record-high unemployment. The demand for highly skilled and adaptable workers is accelerating, but the skill set of the country’s available talent is either outdated or out of stock.
Americans view talent development as a key driver to success. Thus, Washington’s long-term view must focus on developing a comprehensive talent policy for the 21st century — one that promotes a more highly skilled, more adaptable, and more competitive American workforce. This report identifies six key policies associated with talent development and asks one simple question: Which options will accelerate talent development, and which will impede talent development?
Defining the opportunity
Brawn from Brains
The current situation
Record-high levels of unemployment continue to plague the U.S. economy. Traditional mainstay industries are contracting, while our competitive advantage erodes under pressures from new global markets – in the past five years, the United States has fallen from first to seventh place in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. Despite all of these warning signs, our country lacks the cross-cutting policies needed to develop the most valued American commodity of all: good jobs.
Deloitte’s new study, Brawn from brains: Talent, policy and the future of American competitiveness, examines today’s talent supply-demand imbalance. On the demand side of the curve, the need for high-end skills is accelerating rapidly. For instance, the skills that graduates acquire after four years of college will soon have an expected shelf life of only five years – meaning that skills learned in school can become outdated long before the student loans are paid off. However, these new demands are not only applicable to college-educated professionals. Both white- and blue-collar workers must acquire and maintain high-tech skills to remain relevant in America’s growing knowledge-based economy. Today’s knowledge economy is said to represent somewhere between 28 and 45 percent of the entire U.S. labor force.
On the supply side, America’s talent pool is not poised to adapt to these new demands. Skill shortages plague many U.S. employers, creating obstacles for several strategic industries, including manufacturing. For instance, America has lost 6 million manufacturing jobs in the last decade, yet today 600,000 jobs go unfilled because manufacturers can’t find people with the right skills.
A call to arms
The report suggests that the United States restructure six key interrelated policy areas to ensure that the country remains competitive in developing and retaining talent. These six areas include employment regulation, immigration, foreign investment, unemployment insurance, intellectual property, and lifelong learning. Looking at these policies through the talent lens is critical to America’s talent competitiveness. It will allow us to transform traditional barriers into opportunities to foster, develop, and maintain generations of educated, skilled employees. With U.S. unemployment still at record highs, there may be no more important issue than this one.
To download 44-page report, please click here.
Source: Deloitte – GAI