Let's Break It Down
The metro has unfilled positions, but a significant pool of potential workers don't have access to those jobs.
According to the Department of Labor in 2015, there were an estimated monthly average of 44,596 online job openings in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro and 15,378 people who were unemployed. The most frequently advertised jobs were within administrative positions and health care. The persistence of job vacancies during times of higher unemployment may indicate a mismatch between the skills required to do a job and the skills available among the pool of workers.
Since 2008, the percentage of jobs available that require a high school diploma or less went up as the percentage of jobs that require a college degree went down. According to Accelerate Nebraska, 76% of jobs in 2022 are projected to require an associate's degree or less. While a college degree may not be the only path to a successful career, most livable wage jobs require at least some type of training or vocational program, if not a formal degree. We also know that individuals with a high school degree make $6,000 less annually than people with some college or an associate's degree, and $16,000 less than those who hold a Bachelor's degree.
Understanding what jobs are available and what is needed to access those jobs complex, but a significant economic opportunity for our community. Measuring a possible skills gap will require:
- Local leaders and employers understanding the skills needed for today's job market
- Creating standards that measure workers' skills and match them to wages, especially in new technology jobs
- Investment in training, transportation, and new management practices that fit the needs of our community's pool of workers.