NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Education, Job Openings and Unemployment in Metropolitan America

September 4, 2012

A new paper from the Brookings Institution aims to provide metro, state and national policy makers with a better sense of the specific problems facing metropolitan labor markets, says Jonathan Rothwell, a senior research analyst and associate fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

  • First, the analysis examines trends in the demand for educated labor and how a gap between education supply and demand is related to unemployment.
  • Second, it attempts to distinguish between cyclical and structural effects before turning to an explanation of how an education gap might affect both by limiting job creation.
  • It concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for public policy.

Highlights of the study include:

  • Advertised job openings in large metropolitan areas require more education than all existing jobs, and more education than the average adult has attained.
  • Metro areas vary considerably in the level of education required by job openings posted online.
  • Metro areas with higher education gaps have experienced lower rates of job creation and job openings over the past two years.

Source: Jonathan Rothwell, "Education, Job Openings, and Unemployment in Metropolitan America," Brookings Institution, August 29, 2012.


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