It’s easy to mistake the 4.1 percent unemployment rate in the United States for a job market that is entirely in good shape. Look further and you find 40 percent of American employers report difficulties finding the skills they need in prospective employees. Sixty percent note a lack of preparation for even entry-level jobs. Beyond the current skills gap issue, the long-term prospects for many jobs is uncertain. According to McKinsey and Co, by 2030, 75 million to 375 million workers (3 to 14 percent of the global workforce) will need to switch occupational categories.
Businesses need employees with the right talent and skills to continue to grow and prosper. Skill set development and preparation come down to how we educate our current and future workforce. We also must look at the system surrounding education, and it absolutely must include the structure around student loans. College debt is an anchor that, unlike consumer spending or a home mortgage, neither spurs the economy nor addresses crucial housing needs for Americans.