Growing strains on the global workforce underscores the value of an education, according to a new report.
Between 90 million and 95 million low-skill workers, defined as those without college training in advanced economies or without even secondary education in developing economies, will not be needed by employers by 2020 and risk not being able to ever find a job, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.
The report also projects a shortage of 38 million to 40 million workers with college or postgraduate degrees than employees will need.
The report, “The World at Work: Jobs, Pay, and Skills for 3.5 Billion People,” looked at the 70 countries that account for 96 percent of global GDP and are home to 87 percent of the world’s population. It explores how the recession has put strains in the global labor market, which in the past three decades has created 900 million non-farm jobs in developing countries. In the United States, the unemployment rate stands at 8.2 percent.
In May, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons in the United States edged up to 8.1 million, while 2.4 million persons, up from 2.2 million a year ago, were marginally attached to the labor force, meaning they were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the past year, but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the month preceding the Labor Department’s survey.
U.S. College graduates, too, are struggling in the labor market. Just over half of 2012 graduates cannot find work or are underemployed.
That’s now. “If these trends persist—and absent a massive global effort to improve worker skills, they are likely to do so—there will be too few workers with the advanced skills needed to drive a high-productivity economy and far too few job opportunities for low-skill workers,” the report states.
In addition to the significant imbalances in the need or opportunities for high-skill and low-skill workers in the global work force, the report foresees a potential shortage of nearly 45 million workers with secondary education and vocational training in India and other developing economies.
“Policy makers will need to find ways not only to produce high-skilled workers, but also to create more jobs for those who aren’t as highly educated” in fast-growing fields such as health care and home-based personal services, the report finds. “Businesses operating in this skills-scarce world must know how to find talent pools with the skills they need and to build strategies for hiring, retaining, and training the workers who will give them competitive advantage. This will include finding ways to retain more highly skilled women and older workers. Businesses will also need to significantly step up their activities in shaping public education and training systems in order to build pipelines of workers with the right skills for the 21st-century global economy.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.