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Report: Skills Gap Halting US Economic Growth

  • Jim Randle

Economists who help manage companies across the United States say the economy will continue growing at a moderate pace, and some companies are having difficulty finding and hiring people with key skills.

The information comes from a survey published Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.

NABE member, economist Ken Simonson said 80 of these experts expected economic growth to continue between two and four percent during the next few quarters. He said while none of his colleagues expected growth to decline, they did not expect growth to exceed four percent either.

Simonson also said some companies in the construction industry and elsewhere said there was a shortage of workers with certain key skills. He said companies were adapting by introducing labor-saving equipment, and boosting training programs.

Survey respondents also predict inflation will continue at a moderate pace, as falling gasoline prices are somewhat offset by rising wages and food costs.

The survey shows sales grew more slowly in recent months, which could be evidence that overall economic growth was a bit slower over the past three months than earlier thought.

In the meantime, the strengthening dollar is hurting companies, such as manufacturers, who depend on exports. A more expensive dollars means U.S.-made goods have higher prices on global markets, making products from other nations more appealing.

Later this week, other experts will publish reports on the health of the housing market and the rate of job layoffs.

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