Closing The Skills Gap

Our country needs a world-class, skilled workforce to lead in global innovation, ensure future economic growth and drive job creation. Unfortunately, the U.S. skills gap is real and growing.

Businesses increasingly have difficulty finding employees with the knowledge and training required to meet their workforce needs. Many high school and college graduates – as well as some adult workers – lack foundational skills needed in the 21st century workplace. These include, for example, analyzing complex texts, adapting to new technologies and problem solving. This misalignment of skills exacerbates unemployment and stifles economic growth.

Business Roundtable believes a multifaceted solution involving public and private players is needed to address this skills gap problem. As a start...

  • Employers must send a clear, direct “demand signal” of the foundational attributes employees must demonstrate to succeed in the workplace;
  • Industry needs to sort out the large and chaotic world of industry credentials; state workforce boards and educational and training centers must understand job needs in each region and focus on helping students acquire the skills needed to fill those jobs; and
  • Human resources practices must improve across industry to identify competencies gained through valid credential programs and relevant experience.


Business Leaders Respond


Time to Align

America's Skills Gap and How to Overcome It

As the labor force nears full employment, the U.S. economy faces a tough obstacle — business can't find enough qualified workers to meet rising job openings.

View the Interactive Infographic

Workforce Development

Businesses are struggling to find employees with the knowledge and skills to meet their workforce needs. In fact, according to a 2016 Business Roundtable Survey, at least 95 percent of CEOs reported that it was difficult to find workers with the skills needed to fill open positions. This widening gap is perhaps the largest issue facing the American workforce—and the future of the U.S. economy.

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