A Maddening Labor Mismatch

Despite lingering unemployment, the U.S. faces growing worker shortages

In the huge Hanover Room of downtown Atlanta's Hyatt Regency Hotel late last week, the air was filled with hubbub--and a sense of desperation. A total of 31 public and private corporations had set up interviewing tables to try to fill some 2,000 white-collar jobs, ranging from electrical engineer to word processor to bank teller, in the city's central business district. Some of the vacancies had gone unfilled for six months or more.

In Boston, the Burger King fast-food chain, which employs 160,000 people nationwide, took the unusual step of advertising jobs on MTV, the cable rock-music channel, to attract young...

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