In spite of high unemployment, job openings are filling up half as quickly compared with previous recessions.
A major reason for this trend has to do with skill mismatch. Workers in stagnant industries such as construction aren’t well suited to pursue jobs in other fields that might be available.
Another issue is that employers have stepped down their recruiting efforts in recent years. Employers today are more likely to wait passively for applicants rather than reach out to viable candidates and hire professional recruiters. There are a variety of reasons why this might be the case. Given the financial climate, there are certainly economic advantages to not hiring. Moreover, due to the size of the applicant pool, companies have relatively little incentive to fill positions quickly, but would prefer instead to wait for an “ideal” candidate to turn up.
Other data has suggested that job seekers simply aren’t as aggressive as they used to be. Considering the extension of unemployment benefits under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, remaining jobless isn’t as dismal of a prospect as it used to be. The reluctance to hire on the employer’s end could also be contributing to deflated self-assessments and other psychological dispositions that might impact the motivation of job seekers.
Aside from skill mismatch, most of these deficiencies could be remedied by a prolonged period of robust growth.