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The unemployment facts we'd rather not face (REALITY: Many job applicants just aren't qualified)
CNNMoney ^ | 09/09/2011 | Geoff Colvin

Posted on 09/09/2011 8:05:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

It's a mystery that begs for a solution: Unemployment is the No. 1 issue in America -- yet virtually all business people I talk to complain that they can't find the workers they want. When President Obama presents his jobs agenda to the nation this evening, listen carefully for him to address this issue. If he doesn't, he's missing a large element of our problem. (Update, 9/9: The President didn't talk about this phenomenon in his speech, nor does his proposed American Jobs Act address it. But we have to face it, because it's a large element of America's economic problem.)

The mystery begins to clear up after taking a close look at the state of U.S. workers, especially young workers, who have the highest unemployment rate of all; among those aged 16 to 19, it's 25%. The harsh reality is that even when jobs are available, many of these job applicants aren't ready for them. They aren't getting hired because they often aren't worth hiring.

Nobody wants to talk about this now because it sounds like blaming the victim. And it's important to say what is obvious, that unqualified workers are far from the only factor in our miserably high level of unemployment. But it's also important not to ignore this factor just because confronting it is painful.

An alarming view of prospective young employees comes from the Defense Department, which has found that 75% of Americans aged 17 to 24 are not qualified to serve in the armed forces. There are three main reasons.

First is inadequate education. About one-quarter of the cohort haven't graduated from high school, and about 30% of the high school graduates who take the Armed Forces Qualification Test, a test of basic reading and math skills, fail it.

Second is criminality.

(Excerpt) Read more at management.fortune.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: jobless; jobs; unemployment
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 09/09/2011 8:05:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Unemployment is the No. 1 issue in America -- yet virtually all business people I talk to complain that they can't find the workers they want.

The problem I seem to find is my years of experience and past salary deter prospective employers from considering me. In a lot of cases, I know I fit the job description perfectly, but neither I nor the headhunters receive replies.

2 posted on 09/09/2011 8:11:46 AM PDT by edpc (Former Normalcy Bias Victim)
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To: SeekAndFind

That is why OBAMA wants to redistribute my money....look at any large city.....best example New Orleans after Kitrina


3 posted on 09/09/2011 8:13:03 AM PDT by Hojczyk
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To: SeekAndFind

Almost everyone I’ve interviewed for a programmer position couldn’t code themselves out of a paper bag.


4 posted on 09/09/2011 8:13:28 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

That is why OBAMA wants to redistribute my money....look at any large city.....best example New Orleans after Katrina


5 posted on 09/09/2011 8:13:43 AM PDT by Hojczyk
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To: SeekAndFind

As I’ve said before, the problem isn’t that not enough people have a chance to go to college. The problem is that not enough people are being given a quality education in elementary and high school.


6 posted on 09/09/2011 8:14:26 AM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: SeekAndFind
30% of the high school graduates who take the Armed Forces Qualification Test, a test of basic reading and math skills, fail it

Scary

When I took the ASVABs 20-odd years ago, they were pretty basic. I scored in the 95th plus percentile across the board and had recruiters beating down my door for awhile.

7 posted on 09/09/2011 8:17:18 AM PDT by wbill
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To: SeekAndFind

i do not believe that this is true. in fact, from personal experience, i think it’s about the money. with most jobs in the computer field paying 1/3 what they did 5-10 years ago it’s easy for the employer to say the worker does not have the credentials ... especially when they can outsource the position.

another fact ... the primo pharama company i just left is replacing all their US consultants with overseas consultants. and they are paying the offshore company the same rate/consultant that they were paying for US consultants.


8 posted on 09/09/2011 8:21:04 AM PDT by slickdain (america belongs to mexico)
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To: edpc

In many cases these jobs posted on jobs boards are simply to meet the requirement before they can bring in a foreign family member under a work visa - they advertize, cannot find anyone and then bring in the foreign working usually a family member.


9 posted on 09/09/2011 8:21:08 AM PDT by edcoil (The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital. -- Joe Paterno)
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To: SeekAndFind
Government messes everything up.

They cannot make jobs.
They cannot educate people.
They cannot manage a national economy.

If the government would just stand down, we would have smarter people, more jobs and a thriving economy. But noooooooooooooooo!

10 posted on 09/09/2011 8:21:45 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The USSR spent itself into bankruptcy and collapsed -- and aren't we on the same path now?)
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To: slickdain

Don’t have to pay the offshore outfit Obamacare money. Obamacare makes it MORE attractive to offshore, not less.


11 posted on 09/09/2011 8:22:49 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: dfwgator
I’ve interviewed for a programmer position couldn’t code themselves out of a paper bag.

Biggest prob that I see (well, I dunno, I see a lot of problems but I won't get started......) ...is that kids coming into the IT infrastructure don't understand *why* they're doing things. Or, how what they do will impact the business.

The latter comes with time. You only need to reboot the EMail server in the middle of the day ONCE to learn not to do it again.

The former? Not so much. They just look a problem up on Google and stick in whatever fix they find in whatever chatroom. "What does the fix do? Why will it work?" are questions I have to keep asking them. "I dunno, it just should." is the answer I get, more often than not.

The "Hows" and "Whys" are important. Always. And "Because it does" is rarely an acceptable answer, IMHO.

12 posted on 09/09/2011 8:23:45 AM PDT by wbill
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To: edcoil; edpc

RE: In many cases these jobs posted on jobs boards are simply to meet the requirement before they can bring in a foreign family member under a work visa

__________________________________________________________________________

When my company was looking for software engineer consultants (contracting positions), it worked with various recruiting agencies. For some strange reason — every single potential consultant we interviewed were either from India, Pakistan or the Philippines ( all on H1B visas ).

After 8 interviews, we eventually hired a Pakistani on H1B.

I can’t help but ask aloud — WHERE THE HECK ARE AMERICANS?


13 posted on 09/09/2011 8:27:18 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: edpc
At the moment the problem isn't the inability of employers to find people who can do the job ~ it's that employers aren't looking and have no intention of looking.

When you get right down to it most employers are about 20 minutes from bankruptcy themselves.

Although it's always wise to focus on worker quality, it's meaningless to focus on that problem at this time.

Your fundamentals tell us that mechanization, automation, computerization, improved processes and robotics are destroying job opportunities worldwide ~ and this, in turn, is leading us down a path of massive deflation.

The machines are winning!

14 posted on 09/09/2011 8:27:43 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SeekAndFind

I call BS. Look if they can find Chinese workers to do the jobs, they can find Americans.


15 posted on 09/09/2011 8:29:16 AM PDT by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: wbill

“It’s a mystery that begs for a solution: Unemployment is the No. 1 issue in America — yet virtually all business people I talk to complain that they can’t find the workers they want.”

That’s the excuse in San Antonio. It isn’t the lack of skill sets. It’s the freaking software that is weeding out potential candidates.

Example: A job description is written. On it are 10 things the incumbent must know. Those 10 things are now fed into a program which runs a query on the resumes and looks for key words. If it doesn’t find all 10, the resume is discarded. (Saved in the system for X is how the rejection letter looks)

So what is missing? Well, I prefer to look at someone who has a good chunk of the skills, worked for companies whose IT departments are progressive and where IT professionals get good experience. Also, what kind of person is the candidate. These are intangibles that a query engine cannot determine.

Are there qualified people out there? Of course. They are more qualified than the HR department that has a program do for them what they used to do themselves.


16 posted on 09/09/2011 8:29:21 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Sarahcuda in 2012. Nothing but Net!!!)
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To: dfwgator

Blame it on IDEs (integrated develop environments) that hold your hand through the entire process.

Programming today is less about logic, and more about putting together pre-fabricated pieces.

Several times I’ve stumped someone byt asking them to write a code snippet, but I required them to use notepad as the editor.


17 posted on 09/09/2011 8:29:27 AM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: edpc

LOL, I think the biggest cork in most corps is HR, certainly as bad as the cockroaches in legal. Ive yet to meet a more worthless do nothing bunch. In fact at times they seem to work against the depts they purport to sever. If you want to understand hiring problems begin w/ HR.


18 posted on 09/09/2011 8:29:55 AM PDT by 556x45
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To: Brookhaven

The other problem is we are pushing evryone to go to college. College is not right for everyone. We need more Tech school graduates. Companies are having a hard time finding people with hard skills. Tech schools go a long way in filling this gap.
I never went to college. I used my experience and knowledge that I gained from a 22 year career in the Marine Corps to get my foot in the door in the Defense industry.
In the 4 years since I retired from the Corps I have been laid off twice, but I was able to find a job just as good or better than the one I lost within 30 days.
There are good jobs out there if you have the skills industry is looking for. They are not looking for graduates with Liberal Arts degrees.


19 posted on 09/09/2011 8:30:38 AM PDT by sean327 (God created all men equal, then some become Marines!)
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To: SeekAndFind

No kidding. And HR shops aren’t helping: I’m constantly getting pinged on jobs that I simply lack the expertise and/or experience to do. Yes, I’m a very senior IT pro, but, as in any senior professional, my expertise is concentrated in certain areas.

Combine that with the general level of illiteracy and semi-literacy out there, and it’s a nightmare.

Example: I had a head-hunter actually argue with me, saying I had claimed to be a JAVA programmer. You tell me: the line he quoted said:

“Systems Administrator on a test and production JAVA development environment”.

Another thought I was a qualified software tester based on the same line. . .

We DEFINITELY need better than the average HR droid out there. . .


20 posted on 09/09/2011 8:30:38 AM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border: I dare you to try and cross it. . .)
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To: SeekAndFind

No kidding. And HR shops aren’t helping: I’m constantly getting pinged on jobs that I simply lack the expertise and/or experience to do. Yes, I’m a very senior IT pro, but, as in any senior professional, my expertise is concentrated in certain areas.

Combine that with the general level of illiteracy and semi-literacy out there, and it’s a nightmare.

Example: I had a head-hunter actually argue with me, saying I had claimed to be a JAVA programmer. You tell me: the line he quoted said:

“Systems Administrator on a test and production JAVA development environment”.

Another thought I was a qualified software tester based on the same line. . .

We DEFINITELY need better than the average HR droid out there. . .


21 posted on 09/09/2011 8:30:50 AM PDT by Salgak (Acme Lasers presents: The Energizer Border: I dare you to try and cross it. . .)
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To: SeekAndFind
The latest data show 22.1 million immigrants holding jobs in the U.S. with an estimated 8 million being illegal aliens. By increasing the supply of labor between 1980 and 2000, immigration reduced the average annual earnings of native-born men by an estimated $1,700 or roughly 4 percent. Among natives without a high school education, who roughly correspond to the poorest tenth of the workforce, the estimated impact was even larger, reducing their wages by 7.4 percent. The reduction in earnings occurs regardless of whether the immigrants are legal or illegal, permanent or temporary. It is the presence of additional workers that reduces wages, not their legal status.

The Bureau of Labor statistics for August 2011 show a national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, including 16.7 percent for blacks and 11.3 percent for Hispanics. 25 million Americans are seeking full-time employment. Despite the economic downturn, the U.S. continues to bring in 125,000 new, legal foreign workers a month. This includes new permanent residents (Green Cards) and long-term temporary visas and others who are authorized to take a job. This makes no sense.

22 posted on 09/09/2011 8:32:40 AM PDT by kabar
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To: wbill

To me, a good “programmer”, should also be a good business analyst and project manager....the programming part should only consume about 10% of their time, if they do good business analysis. “Heads Down” coders work in India.


23 posted on 09/09/2011 8:32:40 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: 556x45

HR is where all the scheming political deadwood gravitates in any large corporation, and they’re the last to go when the company finally goes down.


24 posted on 09/09/2011 8:33:48 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Brookhaven

One of the questions I always ask is “Tell me about the last programming/technical book you read.”

That usually weeds them out right there. I expect programmers today to keep up with the latest technologies, even if they don’t use them in their current job.


25 posted on 09/09/2011 8:35:51 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: edpc

bump for reference


26 posted on 09/09/2011 8:36:57 AM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: SeekAndFind
Young American workers can still stagger us with their abilities. But so many have fallen behind the demands of a modern economy that they can't get jobs. The problem won't be fixed quickly. Mission: Readiness calls for more and better early education, which is indeed highly effective -- but we won't see results for 15 or 20 years.

I don't have much hope for the next generation, because they'll be raised by the young adults of today.

27 posted on 09/09/2011 8:39:40 AM PDT by Tea Party Hobbit (The RINOs lack all conviction, and the Dems are full of passionate intensity)
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To: dfwgator
Welfare has replaced work.....when it was more profitable to be on welfare .people did not have to take a hard job ..landscaping ,, washing dishes...then we imported illegals who would do the work Americans did not have to do..because they were on welfare..
28 posted on 09/09/2011 8:41:36 AM PDT by Hojczyk
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To: 556x45
Buddy of mine is getting a startup off the ground. It's doing pretty well.

Was hanging out with him and a couple of his employees, when one made the comment that "There was too much paperwork, and they needed to get an HR person on staff."

Buddy's reply? "WHY!?! We're having FUN! Why would you want to bring in HR and ruin all of that?"

I like the guy, he's got his priorities straight.

29 posted on 09/09/2011 8:42:37 AM PDT by wbill
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To: EQAndyBuzz

Which is why anyone still using a one page resume is shooting themselves in the foot.

Computer programs search through the text of resumes looking for keywords and phrases. It discards the resumes that don’t contain all the search keywords/phrases.

The solution? Keyword stuffing.

Use as many pages as you need (the more actually the better) and make sure your resume contains every keyword needed. If you are applying for a job, look at the job descritpion, and make sure every keyword/buzzword/technical-jargon used in the ad is somewhere in your resume. Even if you have to just tag it at the end under some heading like “Additional Skills”.

BTW, the other thing to remember is nobody prints out resumes anymore. The pull up a copy on a computer, which means the most important part of your resume is the top half of the first page. That’s all they can see on the computer screen, and if that doesn’t hook them they aren’t going to look at the rest of your resume.

Nodoby reads resumes anymore. They use a computer to filter resumes based on keyword, and GLANCE at the top half of the first page. If you’re looking for a job, those are the two areas you should concentrate on.


30 posted on 09/09/2011 8:43:33 AM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: edpc
The problem I seem to find is my years of experience and past salary deter prospective employers from considering me. In a lot of cases, I know I fit the job description perfectly, but neither I nor the headhunters receive replies.

Before someone comes along to tell you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, your problem is shared by many.

Ageism is rampant, and why hire an experienced American when you can hire an inexperienced 'guest worker' whose salary reflects the no or partial taxes they pay. Better yet offshore to a third world country where one and live well on 5-10K per year.

In tech fields one ages out between 35 and 40.

While there truly had been a decline in the quality of education and culture, this is only a part of the unemployment problem. No one mentions the hoards of proven qualified professionals with a great work ethic who are willing, proven, and able but can't find work of any kind.

Age Bias
GAO Report
Interesting graph here
31 posted on 09/09/2011 8:44:25 AM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: SeekAndFind
I got acquainted with a young, very conservative couple who attended my daughter's high school graduation party. Really nice kids, high school sweethearts who put off marriage until they had graduated from college. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon, one of the best IT programs in the country, and could not find a job in the Pittsburgh area whereas his classmates from India with comparable grades were getting multiple offers.

The young man ended up taking a job in the Allentown area, going home only on weekends to be with his wife. Poor way to start a marriage.

Anyway, some of the IT companies in the Pittsburgh area got embarrassed big time when someone posted a You-Tube video of a seminar on how not to hire Americans which was held at a fancy hotel not far from the CMU campus. One of them finally offered him a job so he could live with his wife during the week.

There needs to be a surcharge on H1B workers hired from outside the United States. I'd say at least 10%-- 5% of which has to go to the H1B worker in the form of additional salary; 5% into an educational loan fund to train American workers. Once that happens, you will be surprised how quickly companies decide to hire Americans for IT positions.

32 posted on 09/09/2011 8:46:43 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: ex-snook
I call BS. Look if they can find Chinese workers to do the jobs, they can find Americans.

I called "BS" too. It smelled like open immigration/outsourcing propaganda so I did a bit more sniffing on the author Geoffrey Colvin.

This came up as a quote of his when I Google "Geoffrey Colvin"+"immigration": The best solution for group one is simple: Eliminate the cap on H1-B visas, currently just 65,000 a year. That is hardly a radical notion. For nearly 40 years, until 1990, there was no cap.

These anti-national shills are so transparent.

33 posted on 09/09/2011 8:49:42 AM PDT by triumphant values
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To: SeekAndFind
Report: "The mystery begins to clear up after taking a close look at the state of U.S. workers, especially young workers, who have the highest unemployment rate of all; among those aged 16 to 19, it's 25%"

Response: This age group keeps "popping up.! Kids in this age group should be in school and not working. Of course they should have a high unemployment rate!

34 posted on 09/09/2011 8:50:11 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: SeekAndFind
When my company was looking for software engineer consultants (contracting positions), it worked with various recruiting agencies. For some strange reason — every single potential consultant we interviewed were either from India, Pakistan or the Philippines ( all on H1B visas ).

After 8 interviews, we eventually hired a Pakistani on H1B.

I can’t help but ask aloud — WHERE THE HECK ARE AMERICANS?


You weren't being given their resumes! They are being screened out; many recruiting agencies are currently run by foreign nationals with token American front people.
35 posted on 09/09/2011 8:55:12 AM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s a scam.
http://salon.glenrose.net/?view=plink&id=3889


36 posted on 09/09/2011 8:58:02 AM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: Vigilanteman

RE: Anyway, some of the IT companies in the Pittsburgh area got embarrassed big time when someone posted a You-Tube video of a seminar on how not to hire Americans which was held at a fancy hotel not far from the CMU campus. One of them finally offered him a job so he could live with his wife during the week.

_______________________________________________________________________

Let me get this striaght -— You have to go to the exgtent of EMBARASSING a company publicly for them to hire an American?

The question stil needs to be answered — WHAT MAKES AN AMERICAN SO UNATTRACTIVE THAT AMERICAN COMPANIES WON’T HIRE THEM? Is it the salary? Is it the benefits that costs them? what is it? AT LEAST TELL US PUBLICLY SO THAT WE WILL ALL KNOW.

I personally want to know why there were NO AMERICAN APPLICANTS when one consulting position was open in my company. Maybe I should talk to the higher ups in my company as I am a mere techie and not a bean counter.

It has to be associated with cost.


37 posted on 09/09/2011 9:00:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: ClearCase_guy

How can you possibly make such claims? All we have to do is look at the fantastic success of the Soviet Union. /s/


38 posted on 09/09/2011 9:01:30 AM PDT by Pecos (Constitutionalist. Liberty and Honor will not die on my watch.)
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To: dfwgator

So I guess my opening a copy of Fortran 77 once doesn’t impress you.


39 posted on 09/09/2011 9:01:54 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: slickdain

Same with the advertising business. All the jobs out there are paying half of what it was just a few years ago.

We can’t outsource, though — it’s too specialized. But because our unemployment rate is somewhere north of 30%, there are people who’ll take the cut.

It’s still more than an unemployment check.


40 posted on 09/09/2011 9:02:48 AM PDT by FatherFig1o155 (Still fighting the fight: njconservative.wordpress.com/)
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To: algernonpj

IT headhunters also have a strong bias against presenting anyone that is not currently working unless (1) they are a graduating student, or (2) they are a foriegn worker trying to break into the US market.

He’s right, you probably weren’t seeing the American resumes.


41 posted on 09/09/2011 9:03:11 AM PDT by Brookhaven
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS
Report: "The mystery begins to clear up after taking a close look at the state of U.S. workers, especially young workers, who have the highest unemployment rate of all; among those aged 16 to 19, it's 25%"

Response: This age group keeps "popping up.! Kids in this age group should be in school and not working. Of course they should have a high unemployment rate!


Good Catch!
42 posted on 09/09/2011 9:04:15 AM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: algernonpj

See the video at my post 36


43 posted on 09/09/2011 9:05:12 AM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we engrave in marble. J Huett 1658)
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To: Brookhaven
...Nobody reads resumes anymore. They use a computer to filter resumes based on keyword, and GLANCE at the top half of the first page. If you’re looking for a job, those are the two areas you should concentrate on.

This has been my experience.
44 posted on 09/09/2011 9:06:30 AM PDT by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
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To: algernonpj

RE: Ageism is rampant, and why hire an experienced American when you can hire an inexperienced ‘guest worker’ whose salary reflects the no or partial taxes they pay.

BLING BLING BLING, we have a winner.

If you are above the age of 50 and you are unfortunate enough to be layed off, GOOD LUCK TO YOU.

You are most likely in today’s economy to be stranded in the employment twilight zone, waiting to be old enough to cash in your 401K or be eligible for social security and twiddling their thumbs in the meantime.

Now you begin to understand why over 46 million are on food stamps.

I call this the wasted age group in the USA — the above 50 who are unemployed and looking. Most of them are productive, experienced, ready and willing to work or even re-train for new technology. In fact, many are willing to compromise with lower salaries if they could only get a chance to get back to thw workforce.

PROBLEM — too many companies don’t want them and are biased against them.


45 posted on 09/09/2011 9:06:56 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: algernonpj

I’ve been doing IT and software development for 30 years and still going strong.


46 posted on 09/09/2011 9:08:52 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SeekAndFind

We own an HVAC company and are willing to train so folks can move up. We have gone through many new hires in the last year, who only last a few days to a few months. The two problems we see are laziness and dishonesty. We have never seen so much employee theft in our lives. And in this economy we are shocked at how many folks just decide not to come to work because they are “tired, bored, want to go hunting or skiing, etc.” The “skill gap” is fairly easy to fix. The “ethics gap” is not.


47 posted on 09/09/2011 9:09:36 AM PDT by keepitreal ( Good manners never go out of style)
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To: algernonpj

Thanks. I wonder WHY the particular statistic in question is being continuously used?


48 posted on 09/09/2011 9:10:50 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: SeekAndFind

Too out of shape to join the military, at that age cohort, is too out of shape for any sane company to want to hire you.

They do have to pay your health care costs.

Unintended consequence - smokers and fatties (and especially fat smokers) are S.O.L. when looking for employment in a down economy.


49 posted on 09/09/2011 9:12:42 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: SeekAndFind

“First is inadequate education. About one-quarter of the cohort haven’t graduated from high school, and about 30% of the high school graduates who take the Armed Forces Qualification Test, a test of basic reading and math skills, fail it.”

I know that several service branches don’t want homeschoolers (they consider their diplomas less than prime) but homeschoolers are often conservatives raised to respect the armed forces, and want to serve. So the services basically cut off a huge pool right there.


50 posted on 09/09/2011 9:15:16 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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