As recently as last summer, Gov. Rick Snyder said there were more than 70,000 job openings posted by employers on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website. Many of those jobs, he said, were for technical jobs that required training beyond high school, but not a four-year degree.
Snyder has repeatedly used the 70,000 job openings as evidence that there is a mismatch between the skills of the state's work force and the skills employers need now. To address that purported skills shortage, Snyder in December signed an executive order creating the Department of Talent and Economic Development and the Michigan Talent Investment Agency "to continue Michigan’s climb as a national leader in talent development and investment in skilled trades."
Today there are more than 91,000 available jobs listed on the Talent Connect website. Does that mean Snyder's efforts to connect workers to available jobs are failing? Not exactly.
It's not clear how many of those jobs are for skilled positions that require technical training. Some postings could be for jobs that are no longer available. And employers sometimes post jobs simply to collect resumes for future openings.
University of Michigan economist Don Grimes told me the growth in job openings on the Talent Connect website is good news for the economy and not just because more jobs are being created. The increase also could mean a growth in job churn in which workers are changing jobs for higher pay.
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