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Currently, most key economic indicators are predicting a positive view of the U.S. economy in 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the unemployment rate will continue to decline, and the majority of occupations are projected to grow, specifically highlighting rapid growth in healthcare, personal care, social assistance, and construction. Taking these indicators into account, Dan Schawbel, author and director at Future Workplace, recently shared his annual forecast for the top workplace trends for the upcoming year, and predicted that companies will “focus on upskilling and retraining current workers.” Schawbel notes that there are “currently 6.2 million job openings in America that are unfilled, which is up from 5.6 million during the same time in 2016. Companies can't find the right workers, that have the right skills, at the right time, which has slowed growth in the economy.” Add to this our current business landscape where “change is happening faster than ever before and the half life of a learned skill is a mere five years,” and the result is that “we not only lack the right set of skills, but the ones we currently have are becoming less relevant over time.” This means that more employers will follow companies like AT&T who are investing over $1 billion to help upskill their employee base, and be looking ahead as the next generation enters the workforce because they will face an even greater skills gap as potentially “65% of the jobs they will need to fill don't even exist yet.” All signs point to a future workplace where upskilling will become deeply ingrained in all aspects of work, rather than only a passing trend that is utilized to support it.
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