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There are about 5.7 million unfilled jobs in the U.S., many requiring specific skills, but two thirds of companies complaining of the absence of trained workers— everyone from welders to data engineers — are doing little or nothing about it, according to a new study.

In a report earlier this month, the U.S. Business Roundtable, an association of American corporate CEOs, called the "skills gap" a "national crisis affecting our national future," one likely to stretch ahead a decade or more. Companies like IBM and JP Morgan are running education and training programs. But a study by CompTIA, an association of technologists, says more than half of the companies it surveyed said they struggle even to holistically assess added skills they require.

Bottom line: "The outlook for progress is bleak," the study says, when those in need of skilled workers not only are doing nothing about it, but don't fully understand what ails them.

Go deeper

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.

Dave Lawler, author of World
10 mins ago - World

Biden's Russia challenge

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Biden administration has already proposed a five-year extension of the last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, announced an urgent investigation into a massive Russia-linked cyberattack, and demanded the release of Russia’s leading opposition figure, Alexey Navalny.

Why it matters: Those three steps in Biden's first week underscore the challenge he faces from Vladimir Putin — an authoritarian intent on weakening the U.S. and its alliances, with whom he’ll nonetheless have to engage on critical issues.

The podcast business is booming, but few are making money

Data: PwC Global Entertainment & Media Outlook; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Nearly every major media and entertainment company is pouring lots of cash into launching new podcasts. But many of them aren't making big money — at least not yet.

Why it matters: As is the case with most new technologies, when it comes to podcasts, consumer adoption has outpaced monetization.