More and More Job Openings Going Unfilled

BY Paul Solman  September 8, 2011 at 11:35 AM EST

Making Sense

A number of viewers were struck by our story last Friday on the question over current U.S. unemployment: is it more nearly structural or cyclical in nature? That is, are we simply in a down cycle, a recession from which we are bound to emerge, creating a bounty of jobs in the process? Or is there a deep mismatch between what jobs there are (or might be) — the structure of the economy –and the skills, or lack of skills, of the American labor force?

The Wall Street Journal published a Labor Department graph that supports the “structural” explanation. Job openings seem to have been going up the past few years, but hires are flat. Just take a look.

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