January was the strongest month for hiring in the United States since May 2017, according to the most recent LinkedIn Workforce report. Across the nation, hiring was 13 percent higher than in the previous year. However, this hiring was not uniform across all sectors—in fact, the report highlighted the growing skills gaps in certain industries and cities. "I think this is the defining issue of our time," says Penny Pritzker, founder of PSP Capital Partners and former secretary of Commerce, "making sure not only that there are jobs and opportunity, but also that the workforce is prepared for 21st-century jobs." The top five cities with the largest skills gap, according to the report, were San Francisco, Washington D.C., Austin, New York, and Los Angeles. The Bay Area topped the list with the greatest gaps due to the overabundance of potential workers talented in coding and other tech-based jobs, while the area remains desperate for sales professionals, teachers, and those in healthcare management. Pritzker says apprenticeships at young ages would go a long way in closing these widening gaps. "The states that I think are most successful are making it much easier while you're in grade school and high school to be able to get the kind of technical training that you need, while it's free in your public schools, or going to the community colleges," she says. "These are the kinds of programs that we've seen in places like Delaware or Rhode Island or South Carolina or here in Colorado that could really pay off for our workforce."
San Francisco Has the Largest Skills Gaps in the Country