The Myth of the Skills Gap

Andrew Weaver, MIT Technology Review, Aug 25, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The proposition being defended by this article is a refutation of the "article of faith" among pundits that "America’s workers lack the skills employers demand." The 'skills gap' argument is in fact a global argument, not limited to American employers or workers. It has been challenged on numerous occasions and yet persists because the unemployment rate among lower-skilled workers is significantly greater than that for highly skilled workers. In this case, the author "looked for signs of hiring trouble in IT and clinical laboratory occupations" and found the skills gap does not seem to be manifest in the IT help desk industry. How this case becomes a refutation of the argument as a whole is a mystery. Still, this doesn't prevent the author from asserting that "instead of fretting about a skills gap, we should be focused on the real challenge of knitting together the supply and demand sides of the labor market."

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