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Need Work? US Has 3.2 Million Unfilled Job Openings
CNBC.com | October 10, 2011 | 10:38 AM EDT

Want to add about $100 billion more annually to the US economy and lower the unemployment rate by more than a percentage point—all without spending a dime of taxpayer money?

Fill America’s more than 3.2 million open jobs.

That’s the hidden story of America’s lousy jobs picture. Though there are more than 14 million unemployed, there are also 3.2 million job openings in America

While still just one opening for more than every four people looking for work, it begs the question of why there are any job openings at all given the huge number of unemployed.

The answer is likely a combination of a few factors: long-term unemployment killing skills, a lousy housing market hurting labor mobility—and though it’s extremely unpopular to say, extended unemployment benefits likely having an impact on at least some folks’ choices in what jobs they’ll agree to take and when.

Housing and the benefits argument have their own debates. What’s more vexing is why America seems to be falling behind in matching skills to labor. Over the past few weeks a number of CEOs have appeared on CNBC and told the same story: they have job openings they can’t fill because they’re unable to find workers whose skills match the job.

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