No, America Doesn't Have a Skilled Worker Shortage
Robert Samuelson thinks a prevailing explanation for unemployment is a lie
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 6, 2013 1:30 PM CDT
In this Thursday, April 11, 2013 photo, people wait in line before the Dr. King Career Fair at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, NY.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – Employers have been complaining for years now that the US is short of skilled workers, which is fast becoming the conventional wisdom explanation for persistently high unemployment. After all, there are currently more job openings than our current unemployment rates would suggest there should be. "There's only one problem with this story: It's mostly fiction," writes Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post. Most of these job postings are simply routine, the result of workers retiring or switching employers.

If there were really a skilled labor shortage, wages would be rising to lure workers away from the competition. Instead, manufacturing wages are up just 1% since April 2012, and computer programmer wages have been flat for a decade. The real explanation for high unemployment "almost certainly involves employers, not workers," Samuelson theorizes. Businesses are reluctant to hire, thanks to some combination of skepticism about the recovery, ObamaCare raising labor costs, and a hunger for higher profit margins. "Today's crucial scarcity is not skills. It's confidence." Click for Samuelson's full column.

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wakjob
Aug 25, 2013 4:39 PM CDT
From: Rajesh Kumar Ramachandran Subject: Listen to me A******!! Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 20:49:20 -0700 (PDT) "Now listen carefully to me a******.. dont just bark around in the corner like a rabies stricken stray dog about your pathetic views about politics and jobs. If your insecure about your skills and abilities thats your f****** problem not Indians or any other politicians.. Well you want me to provoke you well then hear this, we are gonna take all your jobs away.. we gonna make sure that you dont even have money to buy s*** and eat, we gonna take evrything thatwas yours. we gonna drape the Statue of Liberty with a saree (you dont know wahta saree iis, well its a dress which Indian women wear).. now get your f****** stinking face out of here A******!!!!!" http://indiots.zymichost.com/images/take.JPG
anon2152
May 9, 2013 12:23 PM CDT
The facts have been PROVEN. Corporations LIE for profit -- there is NO "skilled worker shortage." Indeed there is an abundance of UNEMPLOYED Americans with every bit of smarts, skills, and education to fill any and all job openings -- past, present and future. Read the new study, “Guestworkers in the high-skill U.S. labor market: An analysis of supply, employment, and wage trends” by the American Economic Policy Institute for the FACTS. And search on “Cohen & Grigsby video” or "H1-B SCAM" for the reality of today's job market. This is about GREED, propaganda and the lobbying of foreign interests. These visa programs harm both our nation and citizens. And are destroying this nation's base of engineers, scientists and technology workers. Write your Congressman -- NOW. ----- Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. -- Thomas Jefferson
Smashmouth
May 9, 2013 2:24 AM CDT
I have 10 years of Human Resources experience and I can tell you that the problem of unskilled workers is not entirely to be blamed on workers. It is actually a problem with U.S. companies and managers. Skill and experience is not learned by books alone. There was a time when corporations groomed their employees for them to take that next level within the organization and when H.S. students (not just college grads) could intern for a company with pay to learn about the business and how it works or if at some point you might even have something to contribute to that organization. Now that is all gone. The cost to obtain a college degree has increased and the job you land most of the time doesn't even pay you enough to repay you college loans which is why the default rate has been rising. U.S. companies right now are stagnant, their is no innovation or new technologies coming out of the U.S. It's all coming out of countries such as China, India and Brazil, etc. They give out laptops in their villages and in the U.S., we argue about providing school age children with a damn peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a juice box for lunch. CEO's and manager's need to go into the books to re-learn about Adam Smith (1776) "The Wealth of Nations" and Henri Fayol. U.S. companies are becoming terrible at forecasting and adapting to change. The other problem is greed. When the economy took a dive big corporations got bailed out, which meant that they really didn't learn an important lesson and worst is that no one needed to come up with a way to turn things around which meant no innovation - no thinking outside the box. The other corporations laid off and cut its workforce, but they managed to stay in business and still turn a profit. HAHA...why should I hire more staff if I know I can still generate revenue and profit - why cut into that by hiring more staff. Lastly, what ever happened to learning on the job. Are today's manager's so incompotent and lack important management skills that they can't show a technique, disseminate information, coach-up an individual or break-down routine task for a worker to do, so that this individual can become that skilled worker within their organization. If this is the case, it's very unfortunate for the entire U.S. economy.