external-linkRelated: Managing Impact of e-Commerce on Retail Space & Traffic
Both of these help make the region’s economy one of the strongest in the world. However, if we want to maintain or improve our economy, we must do better by our existing residents and businesses.

worker posing in a factory

More than half of the advertised jobs in the region require at least a bachelor’s degree, while fewer than one fourth of residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree.

This means that good jobs are going unfilled. And we are also underserving our residents, leaving many of them underemployed because they do not attain the necessary skills to get a well-paying job.

pie chart - educational requirements of job postings vs educational attainment
The big disconnect: In metro Atlanta, half of job postings require a bachelor’s degree, while only 23% of residents age 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree.

One way to solve this issue is to encourage more higher education and to help more residents earn a bachelor’s degree. Another way is to ensure that job descriptions better match the actual requirements for the job, not the requirements of the perfect person for that position.

Regional Players

external-linkRelated: Working in Metro Atlanta

Insights & Innovation

Employers often complain that they can’t find qualified workers. In some cases there are real skills gaps that need to be met. An Atlanta Regional Commission program seeks to address such needs. ARC’s WorkSource Atlanta Regional offers a range of services to ensure businesses can recruit and maintain a skilled workforce, including on-the-job training programs for new and existing employees.

WorkSource Atlanta Regional can also help with free recruiting services and reimbursement for customized training to meet employers’ specific skill requirements. Another initiative supported by ARC, Learn4Life, is working to reverse longer-term skills shortages by addressing local educational challenges that have resulted in low college enrollments and graduation rates.

But in some cases, employers may be thwarting their recruiting efforts with job postings that are too demanding, say experts. Peter Cappelli, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, recently told National Public Radio that companies post openings with requirements that aren’t really necessary for many jobs. Human Technology Inc.’s Jason Lorenz concurred: “We understand that you would love to have that perfect employee, but give me a couple of things a successful candidate would [need] for this specific job on this shift.”