InStride named a 2023 Most Innovative Company by Fast Company
November 3, 2021


3 min read

10 need-to-know skills gap statistics for 2023

Written by:

In this post:

This is part of our blog series on workforce education statistics that you need to know to develop and execute programs that build a resilient, thriving workforce, prepared for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The global skills shortage is real and certainly no secret.

The large majority of companies worldwide (87%) are aware that they either already have a skills gap or will have one within a few years, according to McKinsey & Company.



The term “skills gap” refers to the bridge between the skills that companies need from their employees, and those that are actually available from workers. It’s fueled by a combination of factors including advances of automation, AI and other technologies, along with candidates lacking the skills needed to interact with these new tech innovations.

These advancements have changed day-to-day operations, and upskilling programs at many organizations have yet to catch up. The result is a widening skills gap that can take a toll on company performance as well as employee confidence and productivity. 

skills gap analysis template cta


10 eye-opening skills gap statistics every L&D should know 

Here are key statistics about the impact of the skills gap, and perspectives from learning and development (L&D) leaders, hiring managers and employees.

  • The digital skills gap comes at a cost. 14 G20 countries could miss out on $11.5 trillion cumulative GDP growth. (RAND/Salesforce)


  • By 2030, the talent shortage and skills gap in the U.S. alone is expected to total a loss of $8.5 trillion. (PwC)


  • The skills gap of the future is two-pronged; organizations seek IT staff to fill the need for both interpersonal/soft skills and technical/hard skills. Over three quarters (79%) of organizations are pursuing initiatives to address these gaps amid a tightening market for IT labor. (CompTIA)


  • Filling the skills gap is a top priority. 64% of L&D professionals said that reskilling the current workforce to fill skills gaps is a priority now. (Linkedin)


  • The skills gap is here and it’s growing — nearly one-third of employers surveyed agree that the skills gap has increased from a year ago. This reality contributes to the difficulties of sourcing qualified candidates, with 87% of employers reporting they have trouble finding qualified talent as a result. (Monster)


  • 56% of hiring managers anticipate technological interventions like AI and other forms of workplace automation will cause a major shift in the kinds of skills they will need employees to possess. (Salesforce)


  • Employees themselves are similarly anxious about the widening skills gap, with 46 percent of those surveyed believing their current skill set will become irrelevant by 2024. (Degreed)


  • Yet unfortunately, only 34 percent of workers surveyed feel supported by their organization’s skill development opportunities. (MIT and Deloitte)


  • Workers want to reskill. 77% are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain. 46% of people with postgraduate degrees say their employer gives them opportunities to improve their digital skills, but just 28% of people with secondary education say the same. (PwC Global)


  • Hiring is only the first step toward filling the skills gap for companies. According to a recent report, 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors said they believe that workers will need to reskill or upskill at least once a year to maintain a competitive advantage in a global job market. (Citrix)



Bridging the skills gap through learning and education

More than half of all employees around the world need to upskill or reskill by 2025 to embrace new responsibilities driven by automation and new technologies, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). But the question remains – how do companies meet these increasing demands and close the skills gap?

Effective L&D initiatives, such as a strategic workforce education program, enable employees to keep their skills fresh and further their careers while meeting industry demands. Furthermore, implementing workforce education programs that promote upskilling and reskilling within your organization will not only help to close skills gaps but also prepare your organization for the inevitable advancements yet to come. 

Start today. Check out this guide on 5 steps to reskill your workforce and learn how leaders like you can bridge the skills gap to build a world-class workforce.