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Major U.S. technology companies today average more than 470 U.S.-based job openings for skilled positions, while defense companies have more than 1,265 each, indicating U.S. businesses continue to experience difficulty in filling positions in the United States for skilled labor of all types. A number of companies have thousands of skilled positions open, with this level of openings persisting for a year or more. This is part of a longer-term trend that threatens to harm America's economic future, with U.S. companies lacking access to the skilled professionals needed to grow and innovate inside the United States.

More than 140,000 job openings for skilled positions are available today in the 500 companies that make up the S&P (Standard & Poor's) 500. S&P 500 companies employ only about 14 percent of individuals working in America, so the overall demand for skilled labor in the U.S. economy is much greater. To gain a company-level picture of the demand for skilled labor, the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) examined postings for U.S.-based jobs that required at least an undergraduate degree for all 500 companies in the S&P 500.

The vast majority of the data was gathered in January 2008, with the rest compiled in December 2007 or February 2008. The numbers are conservative in that, for example, most large companies have openings as part of ongoing recruitment programs for recent or upcoming college graduates that are not listed publicly as posted jobs.

The S&P 500 companies with the most job openings as of January 2008 are Microsoft (4005), Northrup Grumman (3925), Lockheed Martin (3901), General Electric (3078), Countrywide Financial (2415), JPMorganChase (2164), Tenet Healthcare (2050), United Health Group (1927), Raytheon (1694), IBM (1670), Computer Sciences Corp. (1666), Cintas (1664), L-3 Communications (1618), Bank of America (1600), U.S. Bancorp (1562) and Cisco Systems (1504). These are openings for jobs in the United States requiring a B.A., professional degree or higher.

Source: N A T I O N A L F O U N D A T I O N F O R A M E R I C A N P O L I C Y N F A P P O L I C Y B R I E F " M A R C H 2 0 0 8

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