Skip to comments.The unemployment facts we'd rather not face (REALITY: Many job applicants just aren't qualified)
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 ...
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.
See the video at my post 36
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.
I’ve been doing IT and software development for 30 years and still going strong.
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.
Thanks. I wonder WHY the particular statistic in question is being continuously used?
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.
“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.
Thanks for the link.
I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who are unaware of the many ruses (all legal) used to avoid) hiring Americans.
All of 8 interviews, eh? Wow, you guys sure looked hard! My guess is that your management never had any intention of hiring an American. If I had the qualifications, though, I would not take a consultant job, either. I have a support job, and I see how consultants are sometimes treated.
I will further guess that, like my company, yours entered the search requiring a specific set of skills and experience. In my company, which hires only U.S. citizens, a manager will write up a specific skill and experience description. Nobody with less or greater of either is ever considered, and then they complain there is nobody to be found. The only exception is when the customer recommends somebody.
This is exactly why you need a surcharge on H1B workers. If they are truly better, as employers claim, then they should command a higher and not a lower salary.
I worked in Japan for 14 years and they had a similar program in place-- no quotas or limits on foreign workers, just a fairly easy to meet proof that you were not able to hire a Japanese worker with comparable skills plus, and here's the kicker, proof that you were paying the foreign worker at least 10% over the market wage.
The result was a lot fewer foreign workers, but we were a lot happier and grateful to the host country for the opportunity, rather than resentful. For the most part (yeah, there were a few dickheaded exceptions) our Japanese co-workers liked us as well as realized that we were raising the market wage as well helping bring in more foreign customers and suppliers to lower overall costs and keep the company competitive.
A few of us (mostly from the Philippines, Korea, China or other countries lower down the economic scale) even gave up the premium wage and applied for Japanese citizenship or permanent residency, knowing that the trade-off was long-term job security and never having to go back to the comparative third world sh*thole from which they came.
(REALITY: Many job applicants just aren’t qualified)
Who is at fault the teacher or the stoner?.
I won’t say that my company is typical....but in our IT department, there are relatively few people under the age of 40. My hunch is that since newer languages like Java and .NET have been around for awhile now, and many of those who have been working with them now are over 40, companies are not as hung up on age with IT personnel as before, in fact, I suspect people over 40 might actually now be preferable.
Okay...after reading through the thread we know this:
A)Companies are seemingly NOT wanting to hire people who are Americans.
B)Of those that are interviewed, it seems that many Americans aren’t qualified for the jobs that are out there.
Now...the question that I haven’t seen an answer to....
HOW DO WE FIX THIS?
I have seen a lot of folks complaining, but I haven’t seen answers. I KNOW you have them, so what are they?
(This isn’t an indictment of fellow FReepers...I’m just wondering what the solutions might be.)
Fortunately, I was somewhat prepared, so things are tight, though not dire. The “bootstraps” are a touch frayed, but holding. My experience is in the biotech field and I’m just north of 40, so that kind of supports what you said.
I posted a link to that seminar in post 36. The lawyer admits his goal is not to find Americans who can do the job, paving the way for H1B visa hires.