For more than 120 years we have celebrated workers on Labor Day. This year labor is doing better, certainly compared to a decade ago during the Great Recession. The unemployment rate is 4.4 percent.
Yet there are still far too many people sitting on the sidelines of the job market, especially younger adults. Too many jobs offer low wages and bleak prospects for advancement.
Meanwhile, management routinely complains about not finding the skilled workers they need.
One intriguing way to expand opportunity and close the gap between people looking for good jobs and employers eager for skilled labor is for the U.S. to embrace apprenticeship programs. Think Germany and its famed apprenticeship system.
Apprenticeships combine several years of paid work with classroom instruction. Advocates argue that a vibrant apprenticeship system holds the promise of reducing youth unemployment, improving the transition from school to career, raising wages and boosting productivity.
At least, that's the promise.
Marketplace senior economics contributor Chris Farrell talked this Labor Day with two experts on apprenticeships.
• Andrew Hanson, a senior research analyst at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.
• Angela Hanks, associate director of workforce development policy at the Center for American Progress.
Use the audio player above to hear the full segment.