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Why Are So Many Jobs Going Unfilled? (If Unemployment is so high)
Washington Post ^ | 06/20/2011 | Robert Samuelson

Posted on 06/20/2011 4:46:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

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 - that 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 unemployment rate might be closer to 8 percent than today's 9.1 percent if most of these jobs were filled. That implies up to 1.5 million more jobs. Economist Prakash Loungani of the International Monetary Fund estimates that 25 percent of unemployment is structural; that's more than 3 million jobs. A recent survey of 2,000 firms by the McKinsey Global Institute, a research group, found that 40 percent 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 dropped 20 percent in construction, 15 percent in manufacturing and 7 percent 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).

Still, the job mismatch hobbles recovery and bodes ill. The harder it is for workers to find jobs, the longer they stay unemployed - and this, in turn, worsens their prospects. "Long-term unemployment sends a negative signal to employers: What's wrong with this person?" says Holzer.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: helpwanted; jobs; unemployment; unfilled
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To: oncebitten
I can attest that there are lots of jobs for “Data Warehousing/Business Intelligence” experts. However the bar has been set so high that there are very few qualified people.

I think it's a direct result of the old adage "Adding people to a late software project makes it later." Rather than bringing in a candidate who is not a 100% match, the team just pulls more overtime rather than dealing with the distraction of training. And since just about every project is always late, they never fix the structural problem of having too few talented developers on staff - they rely on the two or three veteran "geniuses" to pull off everything on time.

Also, business intelligence is difficult to hire for, because HR gets caught up in matching capital letters they don't understand (C++, C#, SQL) when what is really needed is someone who can conceptualize business problems and their technical solutions. There just aren't that many of those people, which is why job postings these days are almost always asking for someone with dozens of capital letters and 3-5 years of experience rather than the 20 year veteran who very often turns out to be a career office politician with a limited ability to learn. Add in the looming expense of ObamaCare, and it becomes clear why your corporate career is essentially over at 40 if you haven't jumped onto the management track.

41 posted on 06/20/2011 6:54:48 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ( "The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended." - Rowan AtkNtinson)
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To: Chickensoup

True that, I was trying to come up with valid examples. I’d say HTML coders, but I don’t think they are interested in the gory details of BI type stuff.

42 posted on 06/20/2011 6:57:18 AM PDT by oncebitten (Re: Obama: "I could carve a better man out of a banana." T. Roosevelt)
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To: King_Corey

My husband retired 7 yrs ago from teaching electronics/computers at a community college. The first thing he had to do was retrain students in the math that they failed to learn in K-12. Most couldn’t even read a ruler. Only the foreign students were up on Math skills, and did the best in his classes. And all could speak excellent English.

A lot of jobs do not require a college education. Vo-Tech training would be a better choice for this batch of HS grads.

Keeping the serfs under educated makes them easier to control. Simple logic.

43 posted on 06/20/2011 6:59:09 AM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS or RINOS in 2012!)
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To: dawn53

BINGO, especially if you are 50+.

44 posted on 06/20/2011 7:00:41 AM PDT by GailA (NO DEMOCRATS or RINOS in 2012!)
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To: oncebitten

IMHO HTML is more marketable on a resume for an applicant, but at the same time rather simpler to outsource.

BI is more app-specific and a bit more stable.

Both are important skills to have.

45 posted on 06/20/2011 7:01:23 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (BUY AMERICAN. The job you save will be your son's, or your daughter's)
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To: Scotsman will be Free
You mean getting a degree in ebonics isn’t going to help me get a job as a rocket scientist?

46 posted on 06/20/2011 7:04:45 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (Obama is the least qualified guy in whatever room he walks into.)
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To: Free Vulcan

A college student who went to school fully on the government dime...won’t be hired by me.

An unemployed person who got all their job training compliments of their previous employer...won’t be hired by me.

The person who demonstrates they are willing to invest in themselves and their future...that is the person I want to sit down and talk too.

47 posted on 06/20/2011 7:04:53 AM PDT by EBH ( Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute.)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

I’m a recruiter at a huge software company based in the Bay area. We have far more open reqs than we can fill. Almost every new person we hire is employed and we’re luring him/her away. If they’re unemployed, it’s because they just came off contract or just recently got laid off.

If anyone wants to ask me any questions or to dispel any myths, feel free to fire away.

48 posted on 06/20/2011 7:16:24 AM PDT by Rocky Mountain High
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To: dawn53
Another problem...wages have dropped. So some refuse jobs thinking that they’re being “low-balled” by the employer, when the truth is, the job that paid $50,000 a couple years ago, probably pays $40,000 (to a new employee) in today’s economy.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a very strong, accurate answer in this statement!

And it isn't just a "low-balling" issue; to many it is a quality of life issue! Let me explain. When the dot-com bubble burst, I know many programmers and engineers who simply did not have the college degree to go with their skill sets. At that time, companies started ditching "skills" for sheep-skins (because a newly hired college graduate was a cost-savings when compared to an engineer with eight years seniority)! As such, many of these very smart, knowledgeable persons were making $100K a year - without degrees - but their lifestyle was more like $250K a year (hey "living large" was HUGE back then)! As such, many of them simply refused to find a job paying less than $90-100K!

Their quality of life simply did not let them see the forest for the trees. As such, I know of five personal friends who lost EVERYTHING due to their refusal to simply scale back and get back to the basics in their lives! I see this happening right now! I know people who are praying for (and expecting) a "main street" stimulus, instead of finding a job or two to hold you over until the economy pulls out of this stall which Captain Obama refuses to acknowledge!
49 posted on 06/20/2011 7:25:48 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: arderkrag

The news stories are out Journ-O-list style saying there are good jobs, but Americans are not trained enough for them. If only there were some Obama-type training program for Insta-Engineers! There would be no unemployment and everyone would have good paying jobs! Watch out people, Obama is trying to shove another ‘stimulus’ down our throats. And, since it will have the word, ‘education’ in the title, it is probably just another stupid program to refill bankrupt overpaid and overbenefitted teacher’s union retirement plans.

50 posted on 06/20/2011 7:50:35 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: sportutegrl

Just go to the petroleum sites all kinds of jobs...most overseas..

51 posted on 06/20/2011 7:58:55 AM PDT by Hojczyk
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To: ExTxMarine
Well it depends on your skill set. I took a demotion at work to actual create and write code again. Taught myself UML, C#, T-SQL. I begged to get on this new project at work. 3 years later, I am seasoned and know my stuff and very marketable. My goal in mid 40’s is MY OWN business, I have a consulting biz on the side and just signed my first 100 hour contract at 100 per hour. I also have gotten damn good at Internet Marketing and SEO and make about $1200 a month in passive income from about 12 websites which I run. The future is not about punching a clock but maybe having 2-3 par-time well paying gigs which can put food on the table. I give myself 24 months and I am cutting the cord forever.

Our company has a policy in which we don't hire recent college grads and that means basically if you are less than 4 years out of school, don't bother. For every Jeff Zuckerberg you have 10,000 cubicle jockeys who simply want to get to 5pm and start their alcohol fueled rutting rituals. I think we are like that John Grisham novel The Firm now, you have to be married, stable and not wear a faux hawk or have multiple visible tatoos.

52 posted on 06/20/2011 8:10:50 AM PDT by pburgh01
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To: SeekAndFind

The company that my husband works for is looking for engineers, all kinds of engineers.

53 posted on 06/20/2011 8:13:44 AM PDT by Eva
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Part of the Obama education agenda, claims that it is racist to require a college degree for a job that could learned through on the job training because more White people go to college than Black or other minority.That was actually put into writing in the Seattle school district.

54 posted on 06/20/2011 8:20:31 AM PDT by Eva
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To: pburgh01
Well it depends on your skill set.

Remember, I was talking about the dot-com bubble about ten years ago. And trust me, it did not matter WHAT skills you had, if you didn't have a sheepskin or you weren't the ONLY person to know how to run your program/computer/network, you were pretty much pushed out the door. Most of the people on here who were in the computer industry during that time will tell you the same. Back then, GTE/Verizon laid off 350 people in one week and then EXACTLY two weeks later they sponsored 400 work visas for the same jobs!

I understand your plight (good luck on your plan), I taught myself Visual Basic, C, C++, C#, UNIX/LINUX, etc... but because I didn't have a degree, I was over the cost allotment for employees without a degree. Bottom line, it was cheaper to hire a newly minted, college graduate than to keep me and pay for my seniority.

I still do programming/networking on the side and I make descent profit from those side jobs. I also use those skills to help in my current career. I have created many programs, databases and interfaces that allow me and my company to track various aspects across our entire national footprint. Simple programs and interfaces, but there were no COTS solutions available.
55 posted on 06/20/2011 8:58:14 AM PDT by ExTxMarine (PRAYER: It's the only HOPE for real CHANGE in America!)
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To: ExTxMarine
I think alot of those overseas jobs in IT are coming back. I know we had a footprint in Bangalore in Mumbai of about 40 contractors whose sole job it was to maintain our legacy code and they really mucked it up. As of July we have no overseas contracted programmers, QA or PM positons. We did not get 200 per hour work, we got what we paid for 40 bucks an hour. It took 5 Indians what 1 American could do. Nice folks over there, but they need to hand held through everything, 0 initiative and self starter instincts in them. We had one guy who came over to America, got a work VISA, became their boss and we retained him. He is now applying to become a citizen and he had become Americanized.
56 posted on 06/20/2011 12:10:31 PM PDT by pburgh01
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To: pburgh01
I'm working (temp) as an on-site admin for the off-site recruiter. Because I'm on-site, I attend the wrap-up meetings to discuss the candidate. I often hear, "We need someone who can hit the ground running." They don't want to train anyone, they think they don't have the time, so they insist upon someone with a very narrow experience range. And they rarely find it.

It isn't good enough to have sales/marketing experience in a similar field; they want someone who knows their products, has contacts in that industry.

The good news is the longer they take to fill these reqs, the longer I have a job.

57 posted on 06/25/2011 6:35:13 AM PDT by Dianna
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