Last month, 9.5 million people around the U.S. were looking for employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time, there was a record high 9.2 million job openings.

Art Bilger, founder and CEO of WorkingNation, in a recent op-ed for CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business, looks at some of the reasons for this seeming shortage of workers.

Art Bilger headshot
Art Bilger, Founder & CEO, WorkingNation

The pandemic has accelerated the reliance on technical and digital skills, writes Bilger, giving greater exposure to the jobs skills gap.

“Companies are not going to go back to the old ways of doing business. Today’s jobs, and the jobs of the future, require strong, sometimes new skills,” notes Bilger.

Among the issues compounding the need for new skills are health concerns and lack of affordable childcare.

However, there is a bright spot—innovative training and educational opportunities are out there, according to Bilger.

While the lift is still heavy, he writes, “Many key stakeholders are doing their part, coming together to eliminate barriers to upskilling and helping jobseekers along the path to a good-paying job and career.”

To read Bilger’s full op-ed, click here.