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Unfilled Jobs? They Do Exist, Even In Slump
IBD Editorials ^ | June 17, 2011 | ROBERT J. SAMUELSON

Posted on 06/17/2011 4:48:27 PM PDT by Kaslin

One puzzle of this somber economy is the existence of unfilled jobs in the midst of mass unemployment.

You might think (I did) that with almost 14 million Americans unemployed — and nearly half those for more than six months — companies could fill almost any opening quickly.

Not so. Somehow, there's a mismatch between idle workers and open jobs. Economists call this "structural unemployment."

Just how many jobs are affected is unclear; there are no definitive statistics. Economist Harry Holzer of Georgetown University thinks the jobless rate might be closer to 8% than 9.1% if most of these jobs were filled. That implies up to 1.5 million more jobs.

Economist Prakash Loungani of the IMF estimates that 25% of unemployment is structural; that's more than 3 million jobs. A recent survey of 2,000 firms by the McKinsey Institute, a research group, found that 40% had positions open at least six months because they couldn't find suitable candidates.

Let's acknowledge two realities. First, though structural joblessness is important, the main cause of high unemployment remains the deep slump. In the recession, jobs fell 20% in construction, 15% in manufacturing and 7% in retailing. Only a stronger economy can remedy this unemployment.

Second, a big economy like ours always has some vacancies. People quit or get fired. Hiring procedures grind slowly. Some highly specialized jobs are inherently hard to fill: say, a transportation engineer fluent in both Chinese and English (a real-life example).

(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/17/2011 4:48:29 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Kinda hard to move to take a different job when you are underwater on your mortgage.


2 posted on 06/17/2011 4:51:22 PM PDT by AmusedBystander (The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next)
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To: Kaslin

Some of this may be jobs with exotic requirements, especially where they want the new hire to have experience, not just schooling, in some key areas.

Some of this may be the same old same old B.S. where the idea is to bring in a foreign national, or outsource, on the cheap but first to “show” that no US resident can fill the post.


3 posted on 06/17/2011 4:53:25 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Kaslin
I hope so because I just gave notice to a $72000/yr salary position without a prospect!

If all else fails, I will have the most well groomed lawn in Minnesota! : D

4 posted on 06/17/2011 4:53:37 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: AmusedBystander

Depending on state you could just walk away from the underwater house upon getting an offer elsewhere. A sort of quasi-bankruptcy.


5 posted on 06/17/2011 4:54:35 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Kaslin

Was at the butcher shop today. My normally easy-going butcher could only complain about help. They’re not qualified, or they don’t want to work, or all they’re thinking of is how much they make. If that last is their first question, that’s as far as it goes.


6 posted on 06/17/2011 4:55:56 PM PDT by bcsco
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To: Kaslin

There’s openings for mechanics where I work. And the place I left 6 months ago still has my position as an industrial electrician open.


7 posted on 06/17/2011 4:56:52 PM PDT by wolfpat (Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. -- Cicero)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
...where the idea is to bring in a foreign national, or outsource, on the cheap but first to “show” that no US resident can fill the post.

Pay me health insurance coverage and minimum wage and I'll take it!

In 41 years of working I have NEVER been unemployed and NEVER accepted a dime of help without giving reasonable return for the cost.

Perfect health and a lifer citizen and a 40,000 post freeper! ; )

8 posted on 06/17/2011 4:58:28 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: bcsco

A summer vacationing student or the like might not care a whole lot (it beats an idle summer on your resume) but for someone who’s hoping to fill a known personal financial gap it is an understandable frustration.


9 posted on 06/17/2011 4:58:47 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Kaslin

Software is especially compartmentalized now. If your skills don’t line up exactly they won’t bite or if you make to much money, forget it. I’ve been in manufacturing based software for over 20 years now and still going. Went from mainframe computers to disk drives to semiconductor and now fluid process control.


10 posted on 06/17/2011 4:59:30 PM PDT by Peter from Rutland (!@)
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To: EGPWS

If it’s the would be employer’s scheme, I hope you kissed the blarney stone....


11 posted on 06/17/2011 5:01:00 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Peter from Rutland

The old swiss army knives of software are left to go to rust today. Some of that is prevailing management philosophies, which change as all fashions do and not necessarily in a rational manner.


12 posted on 06/17/2011 5:03:38 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Kaslin

There are hundreds of job openings in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, thanks to the rapid expansion of the gas fracturing industry. These are jobs at all levels of experience, do not require college degrees, benefits included, salaries far above the PA average.

Companies hiring are Chief, Anadarko, Southern Union—just about every natural gas co. in Texas has a finger in this pie.

In addition, this is one of the most beautiful areas on the east coast, the schools are fine, and housing prices are very moderate.

Call any PA. jobs center or contact the gas companies directly. Also look in the Sunday edition of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette for job listings.


13 posted on 06/17/2011 5:06:31 PM PDT by Palladin (Sarah Palin in 2012!)
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To: Palladin

Baraq will fix that.
Surely he’ll find a way to have the EPA shut down fracturing.


14 posted on 06/17/2011 5:09:23 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Kaslin; All

There are many articles in the Sun-Gazette about this new and exciting industry. Here’s an exampla:

http://sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/564693/Touring-Marcellus—epicenter-.html


15 posted on 06/17/2011 5:10:08 PM PDT by Palladin (Sarah Palin in 2012!)
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To: nascarnation

Shhhhh! So far he hasn’t noticed it.


16 posted on 06/17/2011 5:11:26 PM PDT by Palladin (Sarah Palin in 2012!)
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To: wolfpat

Where I work is undergoing an extensive renovation of several old buildings. The contractor is totally union. You mostly see the so-called workers shuffling between locations at break-neck snail speed. Today at 2:52 the ENTIRE workforce exited the work premises en masse to head for their cars. They even get time off to walk to their cars!......in general, they won’t do a damned thing that isn’t on their punch ticket, even if it means the final product looks like shit. We got these dweebs because of having to ensure they were all ‘legal’ but some I’ve seen there are likely illegals anyway. It’s just a damned shame. Totally worthless people.


17 posted on 06/17/2011 5:15:37 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Depending on state you could just walk away from the underwater house upon getting an offer elsewhere. A sort of quasi-bankruptcy.

Sure, if you want to be a renter for the next 7 + years.

18 posted on 06/17/2011 5:18:09 PM PDT by AmusedBystander (The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next)
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To: EGPWS

None of my business, but why did you quit in this environment, if you don’t mind me asking...


19 posted on 06/17/2011 5:55:47 PM PDT by richardtavor (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem)
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To: nascarnation

He’s working on it. You should take out a 25 year car loan on the chevy volt so you can ride batteries (if it not too cold) for 25 miles....or, you could just buy a golf cart and get the same. //major sarc//


20 posted on 06/17/2011 6:01:15 PM PDT by richardtavor (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem)
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To: wolfpat

There might be a reason for the opening in the mechanic field. Mechanics that are good never leave where they are if they are treated right. Mechanics that suck move around a lot. Owners of shops that suck have dusty “help wanted” signs in the window because mechanics talk and know who not to apply with.

I was one for 15 years. I got out because the shops worth working for where very hard to find anymore. Started in 1999 at 50K a year, topped out in 2006 at 80K and it just kept going down hill from there. Overhead at shops is high and the “we know you spent 5 hours figuring out what the past 4 shops could not figure out, but the customer has already spent 1000 bucks trying to fix it so we can only bill them 1 hour (and pay you one hour), don’t worry, we’ll make it up to you on the next one (they NEVER did)” b.s. got old.

When it came time to sell off the 200,000 bucks worth of tools I got about 10-20 cents on the dollar for the ones I didn’t need. I obviously kept a lot just in case.


21 posted on 06/17/2011 6:07:52 PM PDT by cableguymn
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To: HiTech RedNeck

No, this is small town rural America. We’re talking youth out of high school or with some junior college credit. One thing he also mentioned, the ‘want’ to work isn’t there. Everything he said has been backed up repeatedly by my wife who manages a major chain store. The work ethic isn’t there. It’s take the check and go home. Finding new employees, even in this market, is like pulling teeth.


22 posted on 06/17/2011 7:30:01 PM PDT by bcsco
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To: Peter from Rutland

Mainframe programming may be a name-your-salary position. Today, new programming students are not aware of mainframes, much less interested in learning COBOL. Old coders are retiring, if not dying.


23 posted on 06/17/2011 7:44:54 PM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: ctdonath2

The days of VAX/VMS are well over. There are a few old soldiers out there but it’s few and in between.

Myself, I’m into Visual Studio .NET 2010 Ultimate, which can do GUI automation, and I can code it in C#.

I make sure serious stuff doesn’t blow up now. Nuclear power, gas and oil refining, chemical processing, even certain foods (think liquid).


24 posted on 06/17/2011 7:55:12 PM PDT by Peter from Rutland (!@)
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To: Peter from Rutland

Very big and long established companies still run old - and working - code on “big iron”. They’re not going to replace systems that big (running billions of dollars annually) just to be “modern”.


25 posted on 06/17/2011 8:07:19 PM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: ctdonath2

While that is true most support is transferred to India. In fact HP has shipped all VMS support to India.


26 posted on 06/17/2011 8:17:35 PM PDT by Peter from Rutland (!@)
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To: Kaslin

I’ve read items here on FR over the past few weeks that mentioned that the ads from many companies have specified that the job applicant must not be “unemployed”. Those were not high level jobs in mgt. ....Doesn’t seem like some firms are in tune with the fact that many skilled and experienced people are currently unemployed and want to work.

Grandson just graduated from HS. Last year, he received offers of scholarships from a handfull of schools and tech institutes, after one of his teachers sent them examples of his computer graphics works. ....Before he pursues that path, he’s going to attend a tech school and get his certification in WELDING, so he will always have a skilled trade to fall back on later if needed, or to provide income when attending college. ...Smart kid.


27 posted on 06/18/2011 12:03:17 AM PDT by octex
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To: Peter from Rutland
While that is true most support is transferred to India. In fact HP has shipped all VMS support to India.

I think you meant to write that HP shipped all the VMS support jobs to India, but not the US VMS support engineers (Providence help them, wherever they ended up)...

28 posted on 06/18/2011 12:06:19 AM PDT by SteveH (First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.)
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To: AmusedBystander

“Kinda hard to move to take a different job when you are underwater on your mortgage.”
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

True, and it probably costs a lot more to move now than it did back in the fifties even if you are not underwater. If I had to move now I would have to either find a buyer who would take a lot of personal possessions along with the real estate or hold an auction, give things away or something. It would cost a fortune if I tried to move all my accumulated junk.


29 posted on 06/18/2011 5:03:02 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a liberal is like teaching algebra to a tomcat.)
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To: wolfpat

Are they offering any money? Before I finally started drawing retirement I tried to find a job in maintenance. I have a forty year background in electronics and mechanical maintenance. I couldn’t get a serious interview, there were ads wanting someone to do electrical, mechanical, welding, plumbing, painting, carpentry and oh, yes, MUST HAVE HAAC certification. The pay was up to eleven dollars an hour and they wouldn’t even talk to anyone over forty. Of course they don’t say that but it is easy to figure out. Anyone who could actually do all that and do it reasonably well should have been worth at least twenty five an hour.


30 posted on 06/18/2011 5:11:58 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a liberal is like teaching algebra to a tomcat.)
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To: RipSawyer

Well, there are jobs as a “duel tech” which is a combined mechanic/electrician for just over $20/hr. You need experience with Seimens PLCs for the electrical part, and the usual skills with moving equipment. Wanna move to the budding metropolis of Moncure, NC?


31 posted on 06/18/2011 5:26:40 AM PDT by wolfpat (Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. -- Cicero)
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To: wolfpat

There might be a reason for the opening in the mechanic field. Mechanics that are good never leave where they are if they are treated right. Mechanics that suck move around a lot. Owners of shops that suck have dusty “help wanted” signs in the window because mechanics talk and know who not to apply with.

I was one for 15 years. I got out because the shops worth working for where very hard to find anymore. Started in 1999 at 50K a year, topped out in 2006 at 80K and it just kept going down hill from there. Overhead at shops is high and the “we know you spent 5 hours figuring out what the past 4 shops could not figure out, but the customer has already spent 1000 bucks trying to fix it so we can only bill them 1 hour (and pay you one hour), don’t worry, we’ll make it up to you on the next one (they NEVER did)”

When it came time to sell off the 200,000 bucks worth of tools I got about 10-20 cents on the dollar for the ones I didn’t need. I obviously kept a lot just in case.


32 posted on 06/18/2011 10:12:31 AM PDT by cableguymn
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To: Kaslin
Drilling and oilwell services companies in north dakota are CRYING for rig hands. The problem is that there is no housing, and prospective employees must get to ND on their own as the companies do not relocate people at that pay level. "That pay level" is relative here...ND is a right-to-work state, so base pay is somewhat lower than it perhaps be in a unionized state. However, the hours are so long that it is not impossible for someone to take home more than $2000 in a two-week pay period. But, because ND has harsh weather conditions and isolation problems, most people just won't consider working there.
33 posted on 06/18/2011 12:52:37 PM PDT by redhead (Don't bother to impeach the miserable SOB, ARREST him!)
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