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Need to Know: February 1, 2013: Manufacturing jobs

The nation’s unemployment rate has been hovering just below eight percent for months — that means about twelve million Americans are jobless and looking for work. Yet at the same time, firms nationwide say they’re having a hard time filling nearly four million job openings.

The mismatch is known as the “skills gap”: Would-be employers say they can’t find workers who have the specific skills they’re looking for. Correspondent Rick Karr traveled to Mobile, Alabama to look at one effort to close that gap.

Read the transcript.

What’s on this week:

Manufacturing jobs

Need to Know looks at Alabama’s efforts to train a new generation of shipyard workers to fight unemployment and attract business to the state

Interview: Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli, is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources and author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It.

American voices: George Wentworth

George Wentworth, a senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project, on the new laws in several states prohibiting hiring discrimination against the unemployed.

Ask the experts

Is there a skills gap? Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale of Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and Fred Dedrick, Executive Director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions weigh in.

Tales from the “new normal”

Need to Know’s audience shares tales of seeking work in a “jobless recovery”. Tell us how you’re employment situation has changed and what you think can help — education, training, tax breaks?

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.