Skip to main content

Graph showing the ratio of job seekers to available jobs spiking during recession and standing at 3.4 to 1 in June 2012.
The campaign to shift the economic narrative from businesses not creating jobs to workers not being good enough to deserve jobs continues. Sometimes it's wholly cynical. Other times it seems to be done with good intentions. But ultimately, however good the intentions, workers—whether currently employed or struggling to find jobs—are harmed when powerful people promote the idea that the big reason for unemployment lies in the deficiencies of unemployed people.

Arianna Huffington, for instance, is getting on board with what appears to be a well-intentioned version of this storyline:

More than 20 million Americans are currently unemployed or underemployed, yet 3.4 million available jobs remain unfilled because job seekers lack the necessary skills.
This sentence should, for most readers, refute itself. There are more than 3 million jobs that not one of the more than 20 million unemployed or underemployed people can't fill because they, the unemployed people, aren't skilled enough? It's a common line, and if it's true, it points to a need for huge government investment in higher education and technical training. But the evidence suggests it's just not true that skills and training are the real issue here.

For one thing, we have the data showing that recruiting intensity—how hard businesses are actually trying to find people to fill the jobs they claim they want to fill—is very low, far below what it was before the recession.

Graph plotting job recruiting intensity against job fill rates, 2001-2011, showing recruiting intensity going down during the recession and not really recovering.
Other studies, too, find "limited evidence of skills mismatch"; in other words, in a few areas there may be a scarcity of workers already trained to do vacant jobs, but it's not widespread, certainly not enough so to explain the levels of unemployment we see. That's pretty clearly visible when you look at a breakdown of jobless people and job openings by industry:
Bar graph showing more unemployed people than job openings in 12 industry sectors.
Another measure of how workers—currently employed workers—feel about the actual, real-life availability of jobs lies in how many of those workers quit their jobs. Usually you quit one job either because you have another, better job prospect, or because you feel like it won't be too hard to find an equally good job. But, the Economic Policy Institute's Elise Gould writes, that's not the case:
If the economy were healthier, we would expect a larger number of voluntary quits, which would signal that workers are more confident about outside job opportunities. Voluntary quits are also on a general upward climb, having increased 20.7 percent since June 2009. But they too have a long way to go; they are still 26.8 percent below their 2007 average.
Yet despite evidence piling on evidence that high unemployment is because of a lack of available jobs and that if allegedly available jobs go unfilled, it's only very rarely because of a lack of skilled workers, we still hear a lot about how the problem is that workers need more training.

Many of the people involved in the campaign to highlight "what we the people can do to accelerate job creation and fill job openings" that Arianna Huffington is promoting doubtless have good intentions. And the campaign as she describes it does focus some on job creation, mainly through small business. (That's a focus that may help some, but again fails to challenge the big businesses that are the real culprits in the jobs crisis.) But as long as the idea that there are millions of for-real job openings that American workers just aren't good enough to fill is as central a focus as the idea that America needs job creation, this effort will do more to scapegoat workers than to make a dent in unemployment.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 03:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  "Good intentions', Miss Laura? (12+ / 0-)

    No, blaming the victims, especially Puffiana Airhead.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:00:47 PM PDT

  •  Once again workers... (26+ / 0-)

    it's YOUR fault you're not working for below a subsistence wage.

    Time to cut unemployment and welfare for you slackers.


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:04:00 PM PDT

  •  Thereis a reasonable argument (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slouchsock, Alice Olson, Dirtandiron

    That as a nation we skew our interest and support to the 4 year colleges and some great skills (nursing, tech) could be supported more fully by our college system. But that's history--not blame.

  •  huge govmt investment? How 'bout offering training (15+ / 0-)

    paid for by the companies who will profit from the workers who need the training?

    or maybe, supporting public education in South Carolina, instead of moving the factory away from places like Washington, where people have studied actual math and algebra and stuff.

  •  I would be hiring for my small business if I had (18+ / 0-)

    the work.  Believe it ot not, businesses hire only when it's in their interest to do so.  We make our money from the labor of our employees.  They can only labor when people are buying what we are selling.  

    It ain't the businesses.  It ain't the workers.  It's the consumers.   They can't buy what they can't afford, or when they have no confidence that they can safely spend their money.  Fix the confidence problem, and banks will lend, people and businesses will spend.

    "Help me to be, to think, to act what is right because it is right; make me truthful, honest, and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me." [Robert E. Lee]

    by SpamNunn on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:11:47 PM PDT

    •  So true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We had a favorite South American restaurant in our neck of the woods. They were trying to find a buyer for their building to reduce costs and stay open, despite fewer patrons lately. No buyer came forward, and now they are closed. Sad...

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:35:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some might hire if they were paid faster (5+ / 0-)

      Big companies are really squeezing small business on payment terms.

      30 days is long gone. Many big companies wait 60 or even 90 days to pay a valid invoice.

      This puts small businesses in a cash crunch where they are very reluctant to make the commitment to hire someone full time.

      Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

      by grapes on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:01:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When was the last time any business paid on 30 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TKO333, grapes, Amber6541

        days?  I thought that antiquated custom died decades ago.  Back in the 70s, I had a discussion with a graphic arts supplier about just that subject and he said hardly any of his customers did.  I did and took my discount, but I was really small, small potatoes.

        Furious Activity Is No Substitute for Understanding Rev. H.H. Williams, Bishop of Carlyle, 1861

        by CarolinNJ on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:04:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually ... there is a solution (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541, VClib, tikkun

          I sell services to a BigCo (pseudonym for a BIG) company. Fortunately, my company signed up with a cool finance company called Orbian ( For reasons that are evident below, Orbian doesn't care about my creditworthiness, nor do they factor my receivables in the normal way.

          Orbian contracts directly with BigCo. BigCo's SAP system is directly linked to Orbian . As soon as my invoice is approved in SAP, it is electronically sent to Orbian. They sell it as BigCo 90 day commercial paper to the money markets. They add a little bit to the rate for their trouble and that is my discount ... then they remit the rest to me in 2 days.

          My discount on a 90 day payable is about 1% because the money markets are rating BigCo's paper, not mine.

          BigCo doesn't lose a thing. Orbian doesn't charge them a penny and they can make their payables 60, 90, 120 days without hurting their vendors. At current interest rates, the discounts are still in the 1% range.

          I would love to see ALL large companies using a system like that. It would put a rocket booster under a lot of small to medium sized businesses.

          Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

          by grapes on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 07:42:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your discount or Orbian's discount? Who gets the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            difference btw your invoice and BigCo's payout?

            Furious Activity Is No Substitute for Understanding Rev. H.H. Williams, Bishop of Carlyle, 1861

            by CarolinNJ on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:38:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Orbian (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Amber6541, tikkun

              Orbian charges me the cost of the money ... but the interest rate is based on BigCo's credit worthiness, not mine, so their take is much smaller than a traditional factor and much smaller than BigCo's 2 net 30 terms (if they even offered that as a option).

              Typically, I receive slightly more than 99% of my invoiced amount in 2 days.

              Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

              by grapes on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 04:36:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If Orbian takes the1 percent and BigCo gives (0+ / 0-)

                the 2 percent, you're losing 1 percent.  I do understand that getting your money in 30 days, even at 99 percent, is much better for your business than waiting on BigCo to discount 2 percent.  And you can rightly consider the 1 percent as the (reasonable) cost of financial sanity.  But you're down a percent, accountantly speaking.

                Back in the day, I took a 3 percent discount for paying at 30.  I believe that was the standard, deductible, discount at the time.  Guess that's gone with the wind of corporatocracy.

                Furious Activity Is No Substitute for Understanding Rev. H.H. Williams, Bishop of Carlyle, 1861

                by CarolinNJ on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 08:49:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Misunderstanding (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  BigCo doesn't give anything (or take anything). To them, they are just paying in 60/90/? days as is their policy. Orbian is borrowing money using BigCo's name as collateral so they can pay me immediately. I have to pick up the tab for the interest and Orbian's fees. But BigCo gets insanely low interest rates and everything is totally automated, so Orbian's fees are very modest.

                  Getting my money in 2 days costs me less than 1% of the invoice. Period.

                  Whether I'm up or down depends what you consider the baseline:

                  1. If BigCo actually paid their bills promptly (as suppliers think they should), I'm down a percent by having to resort to Orbian. As many have commented, prompt payment is a relic of the past, so this is probably not a realistic comparison.

                  2. If BigCo offers me 3 net 30, I can now tell them to wait and pay me in full. I can get the money in 2 days cheaper from Orbian at 1%. I'm 2 percent to the good.

                  3. If I factor the receivable the traditional way, I would likely get hit with a 3-5% discount, so I am 2-4% better than that using Orbian.

                  Generally, I view Orbian as a big plus compared to my likely realistic alternatives.

                  Wouldn't it be great if all large companies had to offer a program like the one through Orbian?

                  Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

                  by grapes on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:07:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, we have trouble getting paid for receivables (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grapes, Amber6541, tikkun a timely manner over the last couple years. You don't want to offend trying to collect, but on the other hand, if they don't pay, what's the point? We're paying our vendors very soon after receipt of product. So when we turn it around and get it out the door, having to wait months for payment is a double cash flow whammy.

        "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

        by solesse413 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 10:29:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is not a "confidence" problem. It's a resource (7+ / 0-)

      allocation problem.

      Consumers haven't got cash and aren't as willing (thankfully) to take on absolutely insane levels of debt.

      That means that the only way to get them spending is to get them earning.

      The only way to get them earning is for the employer of last resort to finally step up to the plate.

      Until that happens, this is the new normal.

      All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

      by JesseCW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:38:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or haven't any money to spend. The confidence (4+ / 0-)

      fairy is on vacation and unavailable to respond.  But as a long time unemployed former worker running out of cash, I can tell you with complete confidence I won't be spending at your or any business until I find a job.  See, no business, no hire and no money, no spend.  Dead end, what?

      Furious Activity Is No Substitute for Understanding Rev. H.H. Williams, Bishop of Carlyle, 1861

      by CarolinNJ on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:00:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Workers Are Also the Consumers (0+ / 0-)

      If workers can't make a living wage, they won't be buying any time soon.  I keep hearing this argument as though consumers and workers are different critters and I keep wondering who the hell small businesses think their consumers are.  I agree with you to this extent.  If workers buy from big box stores and huge chains instead of their home town businesses, they will drive real employers with stakes in the local economy out of business.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 03:30:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  maybe if (13+ / 0-)

    more businesses would hire people who have experience and are actually looking for work...

    I know people who have been in and out of work since Bush41's recession. They're basically trying to find any work that will pay - and they've been security guards, which pays about as well as Mickey D's, if you don't want to be an armed bodyguard. They have experience in several fields, including high-tech, but the jobs aren't there, and training isn't going to help.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:11:52 PM PDT

    •  Automatic screening eliminates candidates (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ohiolibrarian, Amber6541, tikkun

      More and more employers are outsourcing their hiring to companies that automatically screen for key words, experience,  whether someone is currently employed, etc.  

      College grads with no experience, displaced workers and others can't even get a phone call from the automatic application process.  Where someone once would get hired because they had most of the qualifications, now they are screened out before they even get a chance.

      Then the employers complain that there are no qualified candidates.

      Business owner couldn't get hired by his own company

  •  I don't know what this means (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, JeffW, TKO333, Amber6541, tikkun

    and it's only an anecdote- I just finished a 25 day tour of the National Parks in the Rocky Mountain region. I did not have a single American waiter/waitress during the trip. They were all from either Southest Europe, South America or Asia. Now I know that these are not long term employment solutions, but what is going on here? It seems that either National Park concessionaires have determined that Americans are not  wanted, or no Americans want those jobs. curious.

    Paul Ryan = Ebenezer Scrooge

    by Van Buren on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:13:28 PM PDT

    •  There are companies recruiting kids overseas (11+ / 0-)

      as "contract" labor for American corporations -- sometimes in factories (Hershey's was at the center of a huge scandal), often in food services in vacation spots.  The kids think they are going to experience America and they do, it's darker side. They work long, unprotected hours at very low pay. Check out the Interstate Highway rest stop food and beverage providers -- often the same.  I've read some real horror stories about foreign kids stuck out in super-highway McDonald's. American kids don't even get a shot at many of these jobs -- likely because they would have the freedom to walk out if the conditions are as bad as some that have made the news.

      The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

      by Alice Olson on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:33:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Guess it's an exchange program. (6+ / 0-)
      At a time when job creation has top political billing and American high school and college students can't find summer work, more than 2,100 young foreigners are filling seasonal jobs at resorts, farms, amusement venues and national parks in Colorado and hundreds of thousands more nationally under a government-sanctioned cultural exchange program.

      Colorado has the nation's largest number of foreign students employed under a work/travel program on a type of visa called the J-1. Their duties include running cash registers at Rocky Mountain National Park, changing beds at Mesa Verde National Park and packing fruit at orchards on the Western Slope.

      The J-1 work/travel visa, which can be traced to the 1960s Cold War-era
      Fulbright-Hays Act, was designed to promote "the interchange of persons, knowledge and skills in the fields of education, arts and sciences." Last year, the program received $635 million in government funding for administration.

      Romney-Ryan is like Dole-Kemp for amateurs..

      by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:57:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why can't companies just train workers? (12+ / 0-)

    they seem to have been able to train third world replacements for all of those jobs they offshored and outsourced well enough.

  •  If there is demand for workers that is unmet (16+ / 0-)

    shouldn't businesses increase wages to attract people with the skills they want?  If it really is an issue of a unemployed people lacking desired skills, employed people with those skills would be pursued and wooed away from other companies.  But if companies can convince the government that there are no suitable US employees, they can bring people from other countries on H1B visas to take the jobs and not have to increase wages.  Out-sourcing by bringing workers here.

  •  Once a Republican Always a Republican. (10+ / 0-)

    Republicans' ideas of good intentions have been a disaster for the US.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:22:04 PM PDT

    •  "Good for whom?" and "Intended for whom?"... (5+ / 0-)

      ...never seem to be deemed appropriate to ask by those who pretend to be journalist.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:44:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good Intentions (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, TKO333, Nada Lemming, tikkun

      Republican good intentions may not be beneficial to the general public, however, they have been doing a great job for the 1% and that is their true constituency.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:45:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just because Rockefeller Republicans like (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CarolinNJ, wonmug, Nada Lemming, tikkun

      Huffington (and plenty of others) became disgusted by the overt racism of the modern Republican Party (mostly not because they care about social justice, but because they don't want to be perceived as being in the same group with "white trash") doesn't mean the ever abandoned any of their Republican world-view when it comes to the relationship between labor and capital.

      All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

      by JesseCW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:42:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've said it before and I've said it again: (7+ / 0-)

    Arianna was a disaster as a conservative, a disaster as a progressive, and a disaster as a centrist "beyond left-and-righter."

    If someone can figure out just where the hell her head is
    (besides you-know-where) let us know.

    I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence. --The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

    by Wildthumb on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:29:07 PM PDT

  •  No business ever hires if they don't have to. (9+ / 0-)

    No business exists to create jobs; businesses only exist to create profits. Jobs will be created only if that's necessary to create profits.

    Employees are an expense; do more with less is the mantra.

    The perfect business model is a company that can make money with zero employees and non-physical products that exist only on paper or as a digital record. Making stuff with live humans is so old-fashioned - best contracted out to the lowest bidder.

    There's more money than ever in the economy, but it goes through fewer and fewer hands.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:34:27 PM PDT

  •  A man who works at the library nearby (8+ / 0-)

    Told me he was with the Space Program at NASA for over thirty years.

    When it ended, the jobs he was able to find as an engineer were offered at mere pennies on the dollar to what he was paid previously, often with a smirk. They didn't want to pay him a fair wage, because they knew they could hire someone for much less.

    It's not that the companies can't find people to do the work - it's that they're outsourcing to maximize profit, and minimize the wages.

    Which fucks the American worker, and the American economy.

    "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

    by Diogenes2008 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:37:31 PM PDT

  •  Maybe if these companies... (8+ / 0-)

    ...would pay a decent wage they wouldn't have so much trouble finding qualified employees.

    "Republicans only care about the rich" - My late Father (-8.25, -7.85)

    by Mark E Andersen on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:41:37 PM PDT

    •  Wages are only part of the problem (11+ / 0-)

      A big part of the problem is that the "hot" jobs are coming into and out of favor much faster than in the past.

      Go to Monster and look at the high-paying jobs. They typically require some arcane or oddball specialized knowledge:


      1. Ruby-on-rails and BofA payment system knowledge
      2. Experience leading an accreditation team for [fill in applicable standard]
      3. Experience with eLearning design and also familiar with this latest, [fill in state name] real-estate regulation.

      There's a pattern here.

      Companies are hiring to fill VERY specific niches. They have jobs, but they will only hire if they find the perfect fit ... the veritable needle in the haystack. And they will patiently wait for that individual to come along.

      Recruiters have a name for people who have a weird, perfect oddball set of expertise. They call them "purple squirrels".

      Companies are hiring ... but only if they get the purple squirrel they are hunting.

      Jobs for generalists ... not so much.

      Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

      by grapes on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:56:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are four or five forces at work (5+ / 0-)

    The problem with this problem is that there is always a true anecdote to support every thesis.

    There really are a few high-tech skillsets that are in short supply. Data analytics is one. Look at Monster and there are a ton of job ads. Why? As a just-retired business professor, I can state that most students run screaming from the room if you utter the dread word "statistics". Guess what you need to do decent data analytics?

    My college has an undergraduate enrollment of about 3200 students. We just introduced (with great fanfare) a "data analytics" concentration. How many signed up?

    4 (four) (quatro) (fier) ...

    How many are signed up for accounting ("it has math and I like math, but I hate statistics") ... approx 700. Are there 700 accountancy jobs for those graduates? Not hardly.

    At the same time, companies (especially big companies) are hoarding their cash and really are  hammering down on their workforces. They have the power to impose draconian work rules ... and they do. Why hire if you can make your current employees work longer and harder?

    To hoard cash, companies (especially big companies) are extending their payment terms. Getting paid in 30 days is a relic of the past. Think 60 days or even 90 days. This cripples the cashflow of small suppliers ... and they can't going to add staff if they don't know when the money to pay them (which they have already earned in full) is going to arrive.

    Outsourcing is more complex than just H1B. In a virtual world, it is rapidly developing into a whole new phenomenon. Political rhetoric and public policy are lagging far behind. I (or you, or anyone) can hire an outstanding admin assistant from anywhere in the world for $5/hr. They can make calls, update your outlook calendar, send you text messages, ... you name it.

    Often the outsourcing is naked replacement of loyal employees by cheap foreign labor. But other times, being able to hire highly skilled (and rare) experts for short periods at low rates means that an American company can raise its game and do a better job of protecting the jobs of the employees it has.

    Politically, the Democratic positions are vastly preferable to Republicans (actually, is there a word that is bigger than vastly?). However, neither party, nor most public discourse is really digging into the job market nearly as deeply as they should.

    Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

    by grapes on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:46:07 PM PDT

  •  Gotta love Arianna. (5+ / 0-)

    From conservative to liberal to teabagger to AOL's corporate mouthpiece, all in about 6 years.

    Romney-Ryan is like Dole-Kemp for amateurs..

    by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:50:06 PM PDT

  •  The 'no skills' crap meme's (7+ / 0-)

    Are given by those that don't know what skills are and from a number of business people in the present business mentality that watch bottom lines and they themselves couldn't do what their workers do!

    Many of the jobs I searched for or found, and getting absolutely no response back from in the private sector, till I just gave it up as I turned 62 and took early retirement, still look but not the hundreds of resumes or visits I did before, were positions, after many of the job calls described how great the company was, that the multi trade construction profession I had done for years, just like those I worked with. We could easily fit into many skilled positions and quickly pick up what we need to know and do as we had for years with each new contract and building etc.. Construction workers are slammed still as to the collapse and it would have been cheaper for companies to grab laid off industry workers, little training needed.

    Even the so called technology skills needed, the construction industry has been moving in the technology right along with every thing else. We've picked up how to operate the new tools and equipment in short time and put it into action, then trained any younger or new workers in same!

    The only 'skills' shortage we heave is the lack of younger workers seeking skilled jobs, as many of them have been lost as they were shipped off to other countries, and pushing the young into the higher education industry for bottom line not for Education!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:50:49 PM PDT

    •   Not "no skills" ... it's "not the right skills" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There is a difference.

      My sense (I am dabbling in the job market as we speak) is that companies are looking for "purple squirrels" - people with the perfect, weird skill and experience set that exactly fits some job-need-of-the-moment.

      If you are some company's purple squirrel, you are in like Flynn. If not ... there is much less demand for the kind of skilled general capability that you describe.

      This goes to Laura's point that hiring "energy" is flagging. Companies put out weird job descriptions and are patiently waiting for the purple squirrel to come by.

      Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

      by grapes on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:16:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If companies are "patiently waiting" for the (5+ / 0-)

        purple squirrel of their dreams to happen by, just how badly do they need this squirrel?

        Furious Activity Is No Substitute for Understanding Rev. H.H. Williams, Bishop of Carlyle, 1861

        by CarolinNJ on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:14:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not that badly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There was another comment that noted the widespread use of resume filtering software. That is also probably part of the mix.

          HR has likely been downsized and automated as much as possible. Now, you have to be the purple squirrel that exactly fits the job description before you can even get looked at by a human.


          It's also a great way for a company to get a whole lot of focused, niche specialties ... without getting any of the renaissance people and smart generalists that made the companies of earlier generations great.

          Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

          by grapes on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 07:47:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Resume filtering software has been around for ages (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You need the buzzwords scattered throughout your resume or it's kicked out.  The purple squirrel thing is bunk, really.  What it seems to mean is that IF the right seeming resume pops up and IF the company still has an open rec, it might be a nice acquisition IF all the company stars align during the multiple interviews and outsourced resume checking. rush, it's not a necessity.

            My own belief, having seen a few of these kinds of job descriptions hanging around for months, is that the company is collecting resumes and there is no actual job that needs a body.  A job that needs a body gets filled.  Pronto.

            Furious Activity Is No Substitute for Understanding Rev. H.H. Williams, Bishop of Carlyle, 1861

            by CarolinNJ on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:55:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  and you better be (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            an EMPLOYED purple squirrel. Because the software will kick out all the currently unemployed.

            Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

            by ohiolibrarian on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:08:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  By definition, I would think purple squirrel (0+ / 0-)

              criteria includes current employment.  Which means, of course, almost never finding suitable resumes and almost never having to consider the possibility of hiring.  A twofer.

              But you've got the job description out there and, man, there are no qualified candidates.  Perhaps another helping of HB-1 would turn the trick.

              Acceleration is a thrill, but velocity gets you there

              by CarolinNJ on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 11:24:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Being a realist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If I owned a business, I would want the very best trained, best educated and most experienced people I could get to make my business successful.  

    Is there anyone here that wouldn't feel that way?

    Right now we have a lot of folks out of work so those that are best qualified are going to get the jobs offered up.  I mean, it's not up to businesses and corporations to pick up those that haven't proven themselves to be great workers.  It's not up to them to educate them or train people when they have the ability to get people already educated and trained.  

    I'm not sure that I can agree with those that think that it's up to companies and businesses that have to make accomodations for people that haven't proven themselves in the work environment.  Call me any name you want for saying that, but unless or until you've owned your own business, you just can't speak to what I'm saying.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:52:23 PM PDT

    •  You forgot something. (5+ / 0-)
      If I owned a business, I would want the very best trained, best educated and most experienced people I could get to make my business successful.
      At the lowest possible wage.

      All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

      by JesseCW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:45:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't "forget" that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I didn't consider that.  You have been indoctrinated somehow into thinking that all successful businesses pay very low wages to its employees.

        That's just crazy.  Some do that, for sure, but that's not businesses that have longterm successes.  And, I resent you implying that I'd do that or that I believe it should be done.

        The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

        by commonsensically on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:55:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Part of seeking to maximize profit is keeping (0+ / 0-)

          compensation down.

          This is core, basic, Adam Smith shit.

          Employers try just as hard to keep wages down as they to keep down the cost of any other input they need for production.

          All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

          by JesseCW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:16:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  maximizing profits (0+ / 0-)

            No business can be successful long term unless it does, in fact, maximize profits.  Businesses should pay a reasonable wage...I'll never argue that.  But, companies cannot afford to pay what they cannot afford.  I owned a business for years and when I decided to give that up because of the '80's downturn, I was happy I educated myself and had accumulated the skills to be able to get a job that paid excellent wages and benefits.  People today that think that businesses should take sub-performers with minimal educations and somehow mold them or train them are kidding themselves.  It doesn't work that way.  People that want to be successful in their lives must take the responsibility themselves to be "marketable" in the jobs market.  It's not up to companies or businesses to act as filters for good/bad employees.  They have a lot of investment in employees and as such, should and do try to get the very best people initially when hiring.

            Like it or not, that's the deal.

            The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

            by commonsensically on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:25:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's just idiotic. Of course a business can be (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wonmug, Nada Lemming, a2nite

              a success without maximizing profit.

              We're not having a conversation about what the Parasitic Class should pay, or what is "reasonable".  Fuzzy notions of fairness do not enter into the capitalist model.

              The Parasitic Class pays the lowest possible wage that will purchase the labor required.  No more.

              There is no law of economics that requires a business (without stockholders to answer to) make every dime it can in order to be a success in the long term.

              Every successful self-employed small business owner does, in fact, turn down profit making opportunities at times.  I've been one.  I know.

              Virtually all of the worlds greatest business success stories happened because someone with vision had the sense to train their employees.

              Do you think the Chinese are eating our lunch when it comes to manufacturing because they've somehow managed to avoid OJT?

              Do you think Henry Ford just hired guys who knew how to build cars?

              All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

              by JesseCW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:43:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Jesse - not all companies have as a goal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to maximize profits. Public companies have a fiduciary duty to maximize long term shareholder value, but even then companies rarely make short term profit maximization their goal. Few private companies try to maximize profits, and many attempt to reach a point of stable profitability and the owners maximize leisure time, rather than money. I have done it myself, and I know that it is common, I have payed a talented employee compensation above a market clearing price, at a sacrifice of my own salary, because it reduced stress and made my life easier.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 03:15:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You don't understand how successful (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, VClib, tikkun

        business operates.  

        The people who have specific skills and experience that a business wants -- they DON'T pay the lowest possible wage.  Anyone who has run a business knows that you have to pay your valuable employees -- the ones that add the most value to your business - enough money to keep them happily employed with you.  If you pay them the "lowest wage possible," they leave.  For smart people with highly-desired skills and a good work history, there is, and always has been, a competition where employers compete for those people, because employers know that they cannot be easily replaced.  Employers want to keep their valuable employees -- those who are most necessary to make the business profitable, and those who could not easily be replaced if they left -- happy.  

        On the other hand, for those employees who could be easiy replaced, where there's no highly specialized skill or training involved, and where a number of other people can do the job equally well, yes, a business DOES pay "the lowest possible wage" it takes to hire someone who is capable of doing the job.  It makes no business sense to pay an employee more than it takes to keep that employee.  The more valuable an employee to making the business profitable, the more the business pays that employee.  

        Most employees fall somewhere between the two.  Again, as an employer, you weigh how valuable the employee is, in the sense of how difficult it would be to replace him or her with someone that can make an equally valuable contribution.  And you pay accordingly.  

        It's not necessarily kind, or humane.  It's a competition, just like any other aspect of the economy, and it's a matter of supply and demand.  If certain talent and skills are in low supply and high demand, employers will pay more.  

        •  You don't even understand what I said. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          This is about the fundementals of capitalism.

          The Parasitic Class does not pay one bit more for labor than most be paid in order to get it.

          If the wage is so low that labor cannot be found, then it is below the lowest possible wage.

          How scarce the skills of a given employee might be only impacts what the lowest possible wage is.  It doesn't change the fact that the Parasitic Class will continue to do its level best to pay the lowest possible wage.

          All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

          by JesseCW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:20:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow. Employers are Parasites? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            So, if I hire people to work at my law firm, I'm a parasite?  If I hire a receptionist, or someone to do the firm's accounting, or someone to deal with the computer system, I'm a parasite?  

            Sometimes jobs go unfilled because you'd be willing to pay $x dollars for it, but not more.  As an example, my family has hired neighborhood kids to cut the grass in the summer.  I'm willing to pay what a high school kid who is working in the summer wants to cut the grass.  I'm not willing to pay what a professional gardener demands to cut the same grass.  If one summer none of the neighborhood kids wants to make the extra grass money, we don't hire the gardener, we do it ourselves.  That job goes "unfilled."  It works in a similar way at our law firm.  We will hire someone to make the lawyers' lives easier, or take administrative duties off their hands at $x, but not at a higher amount, say $y.  At $y, it's not worth it to us -- we'll take the extra 30 minutes a day and do the task ourselves.  

            But then again, since we employ others, we're parasites, so I guess what small business owners have to say about hiring is irrelevant.  

    •  So, in 2008 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, ebohlman

      we had all these really-well-trained people, and suddenly a year later millions had no did that happen?

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:26:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Looking at businesses isn't exactly wrong, but (5+ / 0-)

    isn't exactly right, either.

    You can't hire people when you can't make money from their labor. You can't make money from their labor when demand for you goods and services is insufficient to cover costs and a little more.

    This ain't rocket science:  Demand drives economies, and there isn't enough demand.  Jobs are created by businesses that can make money by providing goods and services to meet demand.

    In other words, jobs are really created by consumers.

    Want more jobs, help the people who spend money -- not the ones who hoard it or put it into tax shelters or off-shore hideaways -- get a little more cash in their pockets.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:53:01 PM PDT

    •  I thought you were a conservative? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That demand-side talk will get you kicked out of Tampa in record time.

      Romney-Ryan is like Dole-Kemp for amateurs..

      by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:26:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What has that got to do with being a conservative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        or not?

        It's basic economics and understandint the nature of markets, something a free-market type should endeavor to do:

        Value is set by buyers, not by sellers.  Supply meets demand, not the other way around.

        Makes sense if you think about it:

        More supply than demand = reduced prices.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:57:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is (4+ / 0-)

    That workers are seen as liabilities, not assests. Now we can start the discussion......

    Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

    by rreabold on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 04:57:12 PM PDT

  •  Companies are cherry picking (5+ / 0-)

    I don't have any data, but having been in the job market for a while I believe companies feel that they do not have to deal with any training because the unemployment is high.  If they are using software version 3.2.2 and you have experience with version 3.2.1 they are not interested in investing the short time in you to  jump to the newer version.

    BTW, your textbox control on this comment page sucks (poor cursor control).

    •  Those are always the weirdest ones. (0+ / 0-)

      When they demand software experience that takes about two hours to pick up.

      I think the HR people make some of them put very specific requirements in because I've been in hiring situations and the amount of detail the HR people wanted in the ad was crazy.

      I'm like "it's not rocket science, if they use xxxx they can pick up xxxxxx" and the HR people were like, "no, for legal reasons we have to spell out exactly what they'd have to do, so they can be fired if they don't live up to the job description as it was posted."

      "OK, whatever....."

      Romney-Ryan is like Dole-Kemp for amateurs..

      by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:31:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly right - companies want employees who (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, a2nite, tikkun

      already know the job and have the exact experience in the exact tools used.  Nevermind that version 3.2.2 is exactly the same as 3.2.1, except it says something like 'Font' instead of 'Text Font'.

  •  Mine is proof by anecdote, but... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I think the whole "the high skills sectors are screaming for people but nobody is trained" is complete bullshit, as much or more then Laura.

    Why?  I'm in what used to be a very high-skill, high-demand profession: Molecular Virology (an offshoot of molecular biology with a fair bit of immunology).  But in 2010-2011, when I was furiously trying to job hunt in Maryland, one of the most concentrated biotech areas of the country, I received zero interviews for almost 100 applications to private companies - supposedly the "second stop" for academic scientists.

    I received word that for one particular company, there were over 1000 well-qualified Ph.Ds for one Scientist I position.  1000 applicants.  ONE position.  I'd take 4 to 1 odds in a heartbeat!

    It gets worse, as well.  One of my early ideas was to take a lower-paying but very satisfying alternate career as a museum exhibit developer.  Museums used to salivate at the idea of getting actual scientists with postdoctoral experience designing their science exhibit.  I even did a stint at the Koshland Science Museum in D.C. as a volunteer.  They loved me.

    Then I was told by people in the know that after the crash of 2008, the ladders had all been pulled up.  So many ExDevs got cut loose in the crash that now, if you don't have 10-15 years previous experience, they won't even look at you.  I was told the only way to break in would be to work several years as an unpaid volunteer...and that the job situation probably wouldn't resolve itself for a generation.

    Lack of skills?  Bull-fucking-shit.  The ladders all got pulled up in my field in 2008, and they won't be lowered until the Baby Boomers are all gone...if then.

    •  I'm very sad to hear your story... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...1000 PhDs to one job is scary stuff.

      But why do you think employers aren't hiring anymore?

      If business could even get a nickel's profit by hiring someone, they would do it.

      The fact that they're not hiring means, in my opinion, they're just not able to utilize the labor that is out there.

      I don't know about Molecular Virology, but I know there are some fields such as Computer Science where the data suggests there simply aren't enough qualified graduates.  

      •  Biotech... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...always has been a high-risk high-reward sort of field.  The small ones are funded by venture capitalists.  Big Pharma has been cutting its research since long before the Crash, but the crash severely exacerbated the problem.

        And the relentness drive to austerity has destroyed the budgets of academic colleges since before the start of the Bush Years.

        Museums are a different beast altogether.  They aren't for-profit, and like the web, they often measure success in number of eyeballs in an exhibit (or other such "soft" metrics).  But their endowments took a terrible hit in the crash (even if their attendance didn't) so they responded by slashing and burning their staff.  Extremely short sighted, but there you have it.

  •  Is there a training tax credit? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, tikkun

    Seems like that would be a good idea, unless there's already something like that out there.

    Fact is, you can develop the greatest technical training system in the world, but if employers are demanding such specific requirements, they're not going to be satisfied with what the schools turn out anyway.

    Romney-Ryan is like Dole-Kemp for amateurs..

    by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:24:31 PM PDT

  •  How are they counting the number of available (5+ / 0-)


    If you go out to sites like Indeed or Careerbuilder one can find a listing for a single job with multiple 'contract' companies.  So, are they counting the one job at the 'client' company or the five alleged 'contract' listings??

  •  Different take on why those jobs are... (5+ / 0-)

    not getting filled.

    During the Great Depression II, I have been laid off twice (one company shrank by 30%; the other ceased to exist) and spent a total of 6 months unemployed.

    Before this time, I had consistent employment with quick turnaround between jobs. What I discovered this time around is widespread use of automated resume filters that will kick out your resume without a human ever glancing at it.

    Although my job skills matched with the job requirements, if I did not use - verbatim- the wording from the job requirement, I would not get a call back.

    When I finally realized this, I started to make unique resumes for each job opening using each company's wording to describe my job skills.

    The phone calls came pouring in.

    One HR manager said to me, "It looks like your skills map perfectly with our job requirements."

    That's the software talking.

    Lesson learned: make the wording in your resume match each company's description of job requirements or duties.

  •  They plainly do NOT have good intentions. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming, a2nite

    There are no pro-mouse cats.  

    Arianna Huffington proves every day that she thinks some people should have hundreds of millions while others go malnourished and homeless.

    That's where she's coming.  She does harm because she means to do harm, because protecting her privilege requires her to wage class warfare against the rest of us.

    All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

    by JesseCW on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:34:41 PM PDT

  •  There are many many high tech workers (4+ / 0-)

    staying at home without a job.  The shortage of high tech workers line is bullshit.

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:37:36 PM PDT

  •  There aren't many good intentions in that argument (4+ / 0-)

    The intentions are to sell education.  The siren song that education gets you a good job and more education gets you a better job.  And, no one adds but students will find out, a lifetime of debt peonage.  Some of these student loans can be transferred to the estates, and heirs, of debtors who don't pay off in their lifetimes.

    The very people least able to afford the debt are most susceptible to the pitch.  Already the financial PTB are telling us student debt is not a problem.  Now, let me think............when was the last time we heard something similar?

    Furious Activity Is No Substitute for Understanding Rev. H.H. Williams, Bishop of Carlyle, 1861

    by CarolinNJ on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 05:56:04 PM PDT

  •  The ‘business vs. workers’ irrelevancy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Nada Lemming

    Consumers are the job creators. The richest person/business in the world can’t afford to hire the most efficient worker in the world if there’s not enough consumer demand to make it feasible to do so.
    Consumers should have been the main focus all along.

  •  Employers now want trained, experienced workers, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, dkosdan, ebohlman

    and they want to pay them entry-level, or lower, wages. I graduate with a fairly marketable degree in less than a year. I have been looking at job postings to see what is out there, and what employers want is ridiculous. To me it looks like there are absolutely no entry-level jobs.

    I am somewhat lucky, because I worked before I started school, and have had decent jobs during school, but employers don't seem to care. For jobs classified as E.L. jobs they want people with 3-5 years experience doing the same work (which means it isn't entry-level), and they prefer an advanced degree. Even for jobs where it would be almost entirely irrelevant they want people with MBAs or masters. Why would you even want a person who has an MBA that was willing to work for $30k a year? Most people with that degree and experience could make that fairly easily working on their own. Quite a few of these "entry-level" jobs want people to have extensive experience with business software that is not generally taught or used in most universities, and quite a few I've seen want people to have experience with proprietary software.

    I haven't looked, but I assume it is far worse for people with less marketable degrees than business, economics, finance, etc., even though they are educated and capable of doing the work.

    This is exactly what conservatives have been aiming at for years; create economic insecurity so that even educated people have to basically take any job they can find at any rate of pay, and once they are in the jobs they have to basically accept any mistreatment that the company or managers dish out.

    Looking at some of the jobs for major companies where they require a somewhat technical, or difficult degree like mathematics, statistics, economics, finance, etc., the pay is so low (but still higher than most of the salaries the less fortunate can find) that it might not even be worth it for me to take the job. I can make more money, and have far less stress by just staying on as a manager at the small local business I am at now, even though it wold be far less satisfying and challenging as a career.

  •  4 Months of Waiting for my Last Resort (3+ / 0-)

    After two years of trying to get a job, including a temp job, failed and my money ran out, I registered at Social Services. This is not just so I would get some survival support in the form of food stamps, but also because I would then qualify for subsidized health care and help getting a job.

    I started this process 4 months ago, in May, zeroing in on both the Workforce Initiative project and the Department of Rehabilitation. My FIRST counseling appointment for both places is at the end of August.

    The intake meeting for both programs was depressing: they "have no jobs to hand out". Instead they are providing moral support and possibly "training". However, I don't see how I can avail myself of that training when there is no livelihood support. Though food stamps will last for a few months, the only "cash" support is less-than-half-my-rent that goes directly to my landlord. Except...that payment took two months to process...was released as one combined payment to me...then stopped after that. My landlord is wondering where my less-than-half rent money is for June while the Social Services caseworker never returns my daily phone calls! There is no subsidy for bus money to go there. There is no way to make disability arrangements I would need to go there, because calling my case worker is supposed to be handling that!

    In short, the system to transition people from welfare to work is MADE OF FAIL! I suspect it's deliberately set up that way.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:36:50 PM PDT

  •  Why it's not job skills (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming

    If this were the case, you would see salaries for jobs that require these scarce skills growing -- perhaps not as rapidly as in a stronger economy, but there would be definite wage competition.  This isn't happening.

  •  reasons for not getting a job when you don't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Illinibeatle, a2nite

    have the educational or technical skills,
    1. you don't have the necessary educational credentials
    2. you don't have the necessary experience from your previous employment resume
    3. You have been without a job too long or you switched jobs too often (because you constantly get downgraded hours and are forced to work two part-time jobs that you still have a lot of competition for, so you take any non-sensical job, that has nothing to do with what you actually want to get experience in).
    4. Dare you, if you have some years, where you just happen to be overseas and didn't do anything that would interest an US employer.

    Reasons for not getting a job when you have educational credentials:
    1. You are way too overqualified.

    At least that's what it looked like to me.

  •  The Heart of the Mismatch Problem (0+ / 0-)

    Basically, too much of the work of the matching has been shifted on to job searchers.

    People searching for work are expected to tailor their resumes and write individual cover letters for any position they are seriously applying for. But when the chances of getting any one job go down, this activity represents a lot of wasted time for job seekers. If the job seeker is also taking care of their family, going to school, and doing temporary makeshift work, they have even less time to tailor to each job.

    I admit I now only do "the works" for job applications where I think I have an extra chance of being hired, such as an inside recommendation. If someone went the extra mile to help me, I can't give anything less than my best try to get the job.

    There is also a lot of time suckage involved in searching out jobs at the individual web sites of different companies - and, worse, fill out a separate "online application" at each place.

    Even more time is wasted by fake job postings from companies that just want to get resumes to keep on file for future positions or if they are meeting legal requirements for a position that has already been internally filled.

    Business are complaining they are being hit by "thousands" of barely relevant resumes for each position, but  this was caused by their own stubborn attitude about making job seekers invest more and more time for fewer and fewer positive results.

    There is a "pecking order" attitude embedded in the job matching process which implies that job seekers are "begging" and job makers are "giving". Therefore the job seeker should have hat in hand and look up meekly with respect.

    The situation would improve a great deal if everyone shifted to a guns-and-butter attitude: the job seeker is exchanging his/her labor for wages. This is a 1-to-1 correspondence. It is not a beggar and a royal boon-granter.

    In the course of this attitude shift, employers and the whole employment infrastructure should start to respect the time of individual job seekers. There should be a coordinated effort to reduce the time they have to put in, especially for jobs of indifferent skill and indifferent pay. Those jobs should be express-laned. It would be great if people could apply for many jobs in one place, using one resume - and "indifferent" jobs were just filled as fast as possible without bothering with cover letters or a lot of BS. Let job seekers save their best efforts for career positions where there really would be only a few people "right" for the job.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:38:40 PM PDT

  •  somebody tried to tell me last week (0+ / 0-)

    that they couldn't fill jobs for tool & die makers - and I'm pretty sure qualified people are available locally.

    Of course, they're offering $12.50 / hour for a job that used to average twice that in this area ...............

    why I'm a Democrat - Isaiah 58:6-12, Matthew 25:31-46

    by marking time on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:44:12 PM PDT

  •  I wish I could remember the name of the author (0+ / 0-)

    of the study report I read just a few days ago. I'm posting this comment in the hope it will jog someone else's memory.

    According to this study, the issue in this case is not that that those applying lack the skill to do the jobs on offer, the issue is that employers are refusing to let "The Market" work. Employer are offering salaries that are so low that fully qualified applicants offered high-skill jobs are largely unwilling to take the jobs.

    As I remember basic market theory, when employers are unable to fill the jobs they have at the wages being offered, they will, based on their rational self-interest, raise the pay they are offering high enough to fill all the jobs they have. According to this study, that's not what's happening. Instead employers are circumventing "The Market."

    They are refusing to increase the amount of pay they are offering to attract workers, but are TELLING the Federal Government there are not enough American workers with the necessary skills and ASKING the Federal Government to allow more "guest workers" (who will take the job at the low pay being offered) to be admitted, so they can fill the jobs at below Market Rate.

  •  The Sun radiates into space, workers are idle, (0+ / 0-)

    what's the difference? We only get a pin prick of the Sun's energy here on Earth, the rest of it is wizzed away into space until we find a use it, the amount is truly staggering. The same can be said for the brain power of idle workers, vast capabilities, the cosmos ought to be proud of having produced even one such brain and we have nearly 7 billion. Marvin the Robot had it right from Hitchhiker's Guide, "Here I've got a brain the size of a planet and all you want me to do is open the elevator door for you?" (I don't remember the exact quote, but hope you get the picture).

    "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

    by dkosdan on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 01:10:20 AM PDT

  •  Name you ought to know (0+ / 0-)

    Peter Cappelli, a professor at the Wharton School of Management. He's written extensively on the "skills gap" and agrees that the commonly-offered explanations are BS: what we've got is market failure, not a skills shortage.

    If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse. --Mark Crislip

    by ebohlman on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 06:10:50 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site