Some of the complaints about skill shortages boil down to the fact that employers can’t get candidates to accept jobs at the wages offered. That’s an affordability problem, not a skill shortage. A real shortage means not being able to find appropriate candidates at market-clearing wages. We wouldn’t say there is a shortage of diamonds when they are incredibly expensive; we can buy all we want at the prevailing prices.
Peter Cappelli is a Professor at the Wharton School of Business who explains that employers can’t find employees to hire because a variety of reasons, including unrealistic expectations, lack of training by employers, inflexibility, and a lack of imagination by employers. He suggests that employers should train or have longer probationary periods with prospective employers that don’t have every skill wanted by employers. This, among a few other ways, would help the economy out of the recession.