Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael J. Handel
Skills mismatch refers to a labor market condition in which a significant proportion of the labor force is either over- or underqualified relative to the skill levels of jobs offered by employers. Job seekers and workers affected cannot obtain jobs that match their skill level at the level of pay and terms of employment that previous labor market conditions, educators, or their own conceptions of the labor market had led them to expect. In the case of an overeducated workforce or skills glut, a larger than usual group of better-educated workers will (a) take jobs traditionally held by less-educated workers, (b) accept long periods of unemployment while searching or hoping for a job closer to their education level, or (c) accept such a job under worse terms of employment than traditionally considered normative (e.g., lower pay, part-time or temporary basis). Even though the total number of mismatched workers may remain ...