On ManPower's list of the 10 hardest jobs to fill in the United States were some highly technical jobs like engineers and machinists, as well as some that may seem surprising, like administrative assistants and sales representatives. Prising says those jobs have changed dramatically in recent years. For instance, strong typing skills used to be the critical skill for administrative assistants, but these days, the position often requires information technology skills such as coordinating webinars or using publishing platforms like Microsoft PowerPoint.
Prising's biggest concern is that many of the unemployed get left behind in today's leaner, more educated economy. In addition to what Prising calls the "unprecedented" long-term unemployment rate, he also points to a high youth unemployment rate. About 25 percent of teenagers are currently unemployed. "There's a clear bifurcation between the 'haves' and the 'have nots,'" he says. "You have large parts of the population that just aren't employable."