10 Stats and Facts – Job Skill Mismatch

In the coming years, not enough American workers will have the right skills to fill the jobs that will be available.

  1. There are too many workers with a high school diploma or less.
  2. 78% of the unemployed do not have a degree beyond a high school diploma.
  3. In 2020, 38% of US workers will have a high school diploma or less.
  4. Unfortunately there will be 5.9 million more HS dropouts than jobs for people with that level of education.
  5. By 2020, 34% of American workers (nearly 57 million) are projected to have a bachelor’s degree or higher.,
  6. In 1995 only 25% had a degree and in 1970, just 13%.
  7. Despite this increase, there is a huge and growing shortage of people with college degrees, particularly in fields like engineering and computer science.
  8. By the end of this decade, there will be a shortage of 1.5 million college graduates in high-paying, high-skill jobs.
  9. At the same time, 20 million will have an associate degree or certificate, a 30% increase.
  10. 29 million others will have completed some college but not earned a degree.


Source: Trends Magazine, McKinsey Global Institute



Ira S Wolfe


  1. Mike September 17, 2011 at 2:51 am -

    Two quick things.
    1) I’m so excited to find this site. I bought your book years ago and followed your weekly newsletter. So insightful.
    2) The BLS put out a great chart that demonstrates the huge difference in risk in unemployment and salary expectations based on your education level.