Knowing the Labor Market

By Rebecca St. Andrie

You may have seen the recent statistics that said the unemployment rate among 20- to 25-year-olds is 14 percent, almost 5 percentage points higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Perhaps you’ve also heard the stories about how the available jobs are shifting, too. Believe it or not, there are places in the country that can’t find enough workers -- not because there aren’t enough people, but because the people available don’t have the right skills.

As a school board member, what do you need to do so that your high school graduates have the skills they need in order to get good jobs? Thankfully, the answer is easier than “single-handedly fix the U.S. labor market.” Clear research -- on the skills students will need for the 21st century workplace -- and what type of schooling will get them there exists. Here’s what the NSBA’s Center for Public Education (CPE) has learned about the 21st century job.

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