The McKinsey Global Institute did an amazing study in June, 2011, on job projections and the needs of America workforce in 2020. The 100 page study can be found here:
I have two big takeaways (although you could have 20 based on the robustness of this report):
Takeaway 1 – Top talent is hard to find! – On page 41, there is a graph that shows areas such as management, science/engineering, computer programming/IT, sales/marketing are the positions most difficult for employers to fill. So while overall unemployemt remains at 8%-9% (as of July 18, 2011), you really have a cluster of occupations that are in high demand with specialized skills.
Takeaway 2 – In 2020, America will have not enough college graduates to meet the demand from employers (1.5 million short). These shortages will primarily come from a lack of graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (otherwise know as STEM subjects).