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Overcoming Workforce Barriers

Are you having a difficult time finding everything you want in an employee? Have you thought about offering on the job training or schedule flexibility? The American Staffing Association’s Workforce Monitor survey found that these are a couple of solutions to filling positions that have sat empty too long.

Unemployed U.S. adults seeking work say that lack of experience is the main obstacle that prevents them from finding a job, and training would increase their chances of job offers, according to the results of an American Staffing Association Workforce MonitorTM survey.

Unemployed Adults Seeking Work

Forty percent of unemployed U.S. adults (excluding retirees) are currently looking for work, according to the survey conducted online by Harris Poll. These unemployed job seekers are optimistic about their work future despite being unemployed, on average, for just over three years. Nearly three in four (72%) are confident that they will find a job within the next year. The two most common reasons for their current state of joblessness are that they were permanently laid off (22%) or they voluntarily quit their jobs (19%).

Unemployed job seekers also say that training is critical to their ability to re-enter the workforce. Four in five (82%) agree training would increase their chances of receiving job offers, and nearly nine in 10 (88%) would be willing to work in a new field if training were provided.

Unemployed Adults Not Looking for Jobs

The U.S. unemployed (excluding retirees) not seeking work have been out of the labor force, on average, for six years. The two explanations cited most often for why they are not looking for a job are that they have enough money (30%) or because of ongoing health issues (27%).

What would it take to get them off the workforce sidelines? Half of these respondents say schedule flexibility, good benefits, and a livable wage would encourage them to look for a job. However, training is even more important: nearly three in four (73%) would be willing to work in a new field if training was provided.

“U.S. employers are grappling with workforce supply issues because of a shrinking labor pool and skills gaps,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Companies can—and should—tap into this large and growing segment of the population by investing in training to help fill the millions of job openings in the U.S.”

Harris Poll conducted the survey online within the U.S. on behalf of ASA Aug. 14–24, 2015, among a total of 1,000 unemployed U.S. adults age 18 and older, of whom 519 identified as looking for work and 118 identified as not looking for work. Results were weighted on age, education, race/ethnicity, household income, and geographic region where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population.


Source: Lack of Experience Biggest Barrier for Unemployed Job Seekers; American Staffing Association