Tags: Krugman | skills | gap | myth

Krugman: Idea of Skills Gap Is a Myth

By    |   Monday, 31 March 2014 11:18 AM

Many economic commentators say a major problem in the jobs market is a gap between the skills of workers looking for jobs and the skills needed for the positions for which employers are looking to fill.

Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman of Princeton University argues that this idea is a myth.

"The belief that America suffers from a severe 'skills gap' is one of those things that everyone important knows must be true, because everyone they know says it's true," he writes in The New York Times.

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"It's a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die."

Researchers at MIT and the Boston Consulting Group both conducted studies showing that "worries of a skills gap crisis are overblown," as the consulting group put it, Krugman says.

The skills gap myth is having negative effects on economic policy, he writes.

"Instead of focusing on the way disastrously wrongheaded fiscal policy and inadequate action by the Federal Reserve have crippled the economy and demanding action, important people piously wring their hands about the failings of American workers."

Aaron Renn, founder of data analysis and mapping tool Telestrian, doesn't buy the skills gap argument either.

"In select cases I'm sure there's a mismatch in skill, but for the most part I don't think so," he writes in an article for newgeography.com.

"I believe the purported inability of firms to find qualified workers is due largely to three factors: employer behaviors, limited geographic scope and unemployability."

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Economy
Many economic commentators say a major problem in the jobs market is a gap between the skills of workers looking for jobs and the skills needed for the positions for which employers are looking to fill.
Krugman,skills,gap,myth
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2014-18-31
Monday, 31 March 2014 11:18 AM
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