More than 80% of HR Professionals report challenges recruiting suitable Job candidates.

To help close the skills gap and improve individual prosperity, employers and government should adopt practices and policies that support efforts to hire, educate and train individuals for the modern workplace, including utilizing non-traditional talent pools.

SHRM Supports

  • Work-based Learning: Policies that foster and expand work-based learning opportunities, including apprenticeships and skills-based hiring.
  • Accessing Untapped Talent: Initiatives that promote hiring from underutilized talent pools, such as the formerly incarcerated, older workers, individuals with disabilities and veterans.
  • Education Assistance: Expanding employer-provided education assistance to include student loan repayment and the monetary limit increased to give employers flexibility in the design of benefit offerings for recruitment and retention purposes.

Workforce development: Latest news

Job Openings Reach Record High,
But Where Are the Applicants?

The number of available jobs in the U.S. is at a record-breaking high while unemployment remains significantly elevated, leading employers in need of workers to wonder, where are all the job applicants?

Click here to learn more.

Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits


The American Rescue Plan extended until Sept. 6 a $300-per-week federal supplement to unemployment benefits, but some states are ending this early.

Approximately 11.7 million people are currently enrolled in emergency unemployment benefits programs such as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for gig workers and the self-employed, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offers an additional 24 weeks of benefits.

While the number of unemployment claims are decreasing as the country reaches its lowest level of initial claims since March 2020, employers are reporting labor supply shortages. Some economists have pointed to enhanced unemployment benefits and expanded eligibility for benefits as factors contributing to these shortages.

As a result, some states are ending additional federal unemployment benefits early. To date, at least 24 states are ending access to federal benefits this summer before the program’s September expiration.

Stay Informed:

Click here to read SHRM’s Issue Brief on Supplemental Emergency Federal Unemployment Benefits.

Use SHRM’s interactive tool below to understand your state’s response to expanded federal unemployment insurance benefits.


We have seen drastic changes in the employment market, but the reality is it does nothing to erase the underlying skills gap. In fact, it may exacerbate the skills gap in the long term. We need to continue to forge a better alliance between education and employment, invest in workforce training and open our recruiting efforts to nontraditional pools of talent.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.
President and CEO, SHRM