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Skills Donít Pay the Bills
The New York Times ^ | 11/20/2012 | Adam Davidson

Posted on 11/26/2012 9:40:40 AM PST by ksen

Eric Isbister, the C.E.O. of GenMet, a metal-fabricating manufacturer outside Milwaukee, told me that he would hire as many skilled workers as show up at his door. Last year, he received 1,051 applications and found only 25 people who were qualified. He hired all of them, but soon had to fire 15. Part of Isbister’s pickiness, he says, comes from an avoidance of workers with experience in a “union-type job.” Isbister, after all, doesn’t abide by strict work rules and $30-an-hour salaries. At GenMet, the starting pay is $10 an hour. Those with an associate degree can make $15, which can rise to $18 an hour after several years of good performance. From what I understand, a new shift manager at a nearby McDonald’s can earn around $14 an hour.

The secret behind this skills gap is that it’s not a skills gap at all. I spoke to several other factory managers who also confessed that they had a hard time recruiting in-demand workers for $10-an-hour jobs. “It’s hard not to break out laughing,” says Mark Price, a labor economist at the Keystone Research Center, referring to manufacturers complaining about the shortage of skilled workers. “If there’s a skill shortage, there has to be rises in wages,” he says. “It’s basic economics.” After all, according to supply and demand, a shortage of workers with valuable skills should push wages up. Yet according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of skilled jobs has fallen and so have their wages.

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: jobs; jobskills; manufacturing; manufacturingjobs
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To: ksen

Hmmmmm....

Well, my little brother told me point blank that everyone deserves a living wage. Poppycock.

They don’t deserve anything.

They get what they negotiate for and what the job is worth.

For instance: McDonalds....How much right brain does it take to press buttons or wait for a buzzer to tell the fries are ready or now you must turn a burger over?

Seriously, if McDonalds finds them selves paying $15 dollars an hour for burger flippers and my hamburgers start costing me $10 I’m at Smith and Wolensky where they they will serve a “Fat” burger with plank style fries and I can get it rare the way I like it.

Oh, and no salt on my food, another way I like to order my food.

Grocery clerks will absolutely be replaced with only a few for those who just have to interact with other human beings.

I see a “Self Checkout”, I’m there and out of the store, lickity split.

Low level skill jobs pay low level wages. You want moh muhnny, then get your azz to work and figure what it takes to get the skills you need, learn them and then go get that job that pays $100k so you can be a big shot.

It’ll put you in the top 7% as well, of all wage earners and you buy all that stuff you thought people were lucky to have, only to learn they, like you, worked their sorry asses off to get where they are, took a lot of other peoples Shiite, got bumped and scrapped...but, hey...we think we’re happy..with our stuff and facades of happiness.

They won’t figure it out until later in life that no one really cares about the stuff you buy. They aren’t impressed and you are not really interesting.

Better to want more but to want to do more interesting things and build great friendships and family.

I prefer to go for a walk in the woods or walk along the shoreline of the Pacific.

God speaks to me there....


21 posted on 11/26/2012 10:11:06 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: jusduat

Good insight, the aim of most of our lefty leaders is to promote agendas that facilitate a single global government and there is nowhere for the U.S. to go but down. Everything about socialism sucks the fun out of being free.


22 posted on 11/26/2012 10:12:22 AM PST by Captain PJ (Are we there yet?)
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To: null and void

Yep. But it’s not just the indoctrination that ticks me off. So many young people are borrowing and paying big money for a worthless education.


23 posted on 11/26/2012 10:14:23 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: ItsOurTimeNow
We pay our Ind. Maint. Techs $21.80/hr to start, and cap at $25. Still can’t find anyone worthwhile, willing to work OT on top of that.

Why a cap? Is OT a condition on hiring? If so, why? Can't you manage the dept on straight time workers?

I truly don't understand why some people see OT as a benefit. If people want to work OT fine. But, if they can work regular hours and do the job what's the complaint based on, then?

24 posted on 11/26/2012 10:15:28 AM PST by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: teflon9

“”independent contractors” = no benefits and even less job security. Might be good for the employer, but awful for the employee. “

I think this depends on how it is structured and the type of work. It can be beneficial for both sides and I can see more folks doing this as obamacare rolls in, well, depending on what the exchanges look like and what employers do regarding buying insurance or paying the penalty.


25 posted on 11/26/2012 10:15:48 AM PST by DonaldC (A nation cannot stand in the absence of religious principle.)
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To: agere_contra
If there’s no Worker-Employer match it’s not the business’s fault.

Of course not, everyone knows that business owners can do no wrong.

26 posted on 11/26/2012 10:16:45 AM PST by ksen
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To: ksen

It isn’t highly skilled labor anymore.

It’s Xbox skills.

Many people, including me, understanding computers down to command line issues.

When I say most people I’m talking about those under 45, for the most part.

It ain’t rocket science to us and it’s programming a parameter or an outcome.

Super simple, really....


27 posted on 11/26/2012 10:18:42 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Vendome

And yet the starting pay for a new McDonalds shift supervisor is 40% more than what the company in the OP wants to pay someone with much more technical skill.

I encourage to keep taking long walks in the woods, away from the computer.


28 posted on 11/26/2012 10:20:22 AM PST by ksen
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To: ksen
If Business owners get it wrong they stop owning a business.

Business owners are the experts on their bottom line. Not the Government. Not the employee. And not the NYT.

29 posted on 11/26/2012 10:21:52 AM PST by agere_contra ("An unjust law ceases to be a law: it becomes an act of violence". Thomas Aquinas)
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To: ksen

30 posted on 11/26/2012 10:22:32 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: raybbr
I truly don't understand why some people see OT as a benefit. If people want to work OT fine. But, if they can work regular hours and do the job what's the complaint based on, then?

Typically, OT is paid at a higher rate on many pay scales. So, some see the OT work as a pay raise for doing the same kind/type of work.

Some say that "compounding interest is a working man's best friend." That may be true, but if so, OT is maybe the working man's second best friend.

As a salaried employee, I don't get the benefit of OT, but I'm not complaining.

31 posted on 11/26/2012 10:24:55 AM PST by Lou L (Health "insurance" is NOT the same as health "care")
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To: ksen

Life’s tough.

Get some ambition on the workers part and if the complaint on the employers part is a mismatch of skills, outcome and labor costs then they got a problem.

The product is only worth so much.

Complaining about the wage doesn’t really do anyone any good.

If the market says a product is only worth “X” then the wage, the only real cost that can destroy value, has to be “Y”.

That’s why Apple products are produced and assembled in China.

Gonna go for that walk this afternoon and contemplate.

My arm is feeling better and I think I need more money. I think best out there...


32 posted on 11/26/2012 10:26:16 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: teflon9
"independent contractors" = no benefits and even less job security. Might be good for the employer, but awful for the employee.

Companies will pay a much higher hourly rate to someone they know they can part with easily if times get tough. Being an employee, especially if a union member, does nothing but set you a maximum salary limit, regardless of your ability.

Job security is a nonsensical concept in these times - there is none.

33 posted on 11/26/2012 10:27:51 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: ksen
Yeah, that’s how it works now in the new economy. I worked for over 25 years as an Industrial Electician/Controls Technician, complete with higher education, training, and experience to boot. After that time, I’ve seen my wages cut in half, told I have to do twice as much work for half the pay, and threatened with firing if I wouldn’t work for what the unskilled workers were getting paid, or get my job shipped to china. Even after biting the bullet and complying with all of those requests, I still lost my job to some shithole in china that the company owners sold their business to. So, I decided that nobody here gets any support from me, especially if they’re so quick and willing to sell out the American people solely to turn a quick buck. Unfortunately for all of the respectable business owners out there, you will be unfairly lumped in with the privateer types so dominate in industry today.

These companies wonder why they can’t find good help. It’s because they’ve made a bad reputation for themselves, and nobody in their right mind will work fork them.

34 posted on 11/26/2012 10:30:41 AM PST by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: Brookhaven
Eventually the free market will work it out.

An alien concept in modern, post-capitalist America.

35 posted on 11/26/2012 10:31:35 AM PST by pgkdan (We are witnessing the modern sack of Rome. The barbarians have taken over.)
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To: PuzzledInTX

Good story to tell. American born girl student whose parents were from India. She applied for jobs after she graduated from college with BS in computer programming. After tons of resumes no interviews. She even lowered her asking starting salary. Still no responses. One of her friends suggest that she take her American citizenship off her resume and see what happens. Immediately after removal of US citizenship, she had many interviews. After each interview the software companies were making job offers. She took one, worked a year before she told them she was a US citizen from the start. The employers were upset!!! What they really want is a foreign worker on VISA and willing to work low salaries. Moral of the story is even if we were willing to work at the lower salaries, many employers want you to have the mindset of a VISA worker, easy to fire and silent when abused.
Keep this up and corporate America will face class warfare with the rich hanging from lamp posts. Many corporations claim they must keep salaries low to meet slim profit margins. Gee the CEO keeps getting huge raises and bonuses along with his exec staff. The HQ building don’t look like a building trying to keep costs down. Laser edged glass, expensive furniture, art, look more like steel and glass palaces, limo drivers to work, gov bailouts, perks etc etc fit for a king. Until CEO’s live modestly, HQ buildings look economical, hard to sell this crap of slim profit margin to Main Street America. It is more like the guys on top help themselves to the profits first, then claim too little is left for the workers in the factory.


36 posted on 11/26/2012 10:33:50 AM PST by Fee
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37 posted on 11/26/2012 10:39:47 AM PST by RedMDer (Please support Toys for Tots this CHRISTmas season.)
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To: Lou L

OT is a benefit to the employer. There are usually fixed costs both monetary and others such as regulatory, legal, training, and etc, for having an employee that are not seen in the hourly rate. These fixed costs may make it cheaper in the short run to work OT than to hire another worker.


38 posted on 11/26/2012 10:40:23 AM PST by FreedomNotSafety
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To: ItsOurTimeNow
Does the company place onerous conditions on the applicant? Drug screening at random? Required to report arrest (for any reason) to the employer? Deny employment because of a five or ten year old criminal act (OUI or drugs)? Want Facebook/social networking passwords?

Wages are not the only consideration when taking a job.

Impeach the kenyan or secession.


39 posted on 11/26/2012 10:47:04 AM PST by ex91B10 (We've tried the Soap Box,the Ballot Box and the Jury Box; ONE BOX LEFT!)
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To: Vendome

“Many people, including me, understanding computers down to command line issues. When I say most people I’m talking about those under 45, for the most part.”

I’ve found the opposite to be true. Those that learned about computers in the GUI age are less technical than their (older) pre-GUI counterparts.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve opened a command prompt and had (an otherwise computer savvy person) say they were lost.


40 posted on 11/26/2012 10:56:49 AM PST by Brookhaven (theconservativehand.com - alt2p.com)
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