More than 9 million Americans are unemployed, according to the Labor Department, and many more are underemployed. Yet in a recent study by CareerBuilder, more than half of the employers surveyed said they had open positions for which they could not find a qualified applicant. It's not that those workers don't exist somewhere, the experts say. It's just that they're not necessarily located near the employers who want to hire them.
Experts have a term for this mismatch between jobs and the people to fill them: the skills gap. And it's a big reason that the new prime battleground among America's Top States for Business—and every other state for that matter—is which state offers the best workforce.
But what makes a good workforce? Having plenty of available people is a start, but only a start.