Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bohemian Ink

“The Collected Poems was a lovely surprise and I’m sure the Collected Letters will be splendid, but biography is the worst possible excuse for getting people wrong.” 
Tom Stoppard, Indian Ink

A Picture Worth 1000 Words: A Sighting from the McJobs Market

One of the complaints too often taken seriously by the business press is employer claims that they can’t find workers with the right skills for open job slots. We’ve looked at some of these stories in the past, and when employers complained, it pretty much without exception reflected that because the economy is slack,they expect to be able to hire workers cheaply, which often includes not being willing to spend time to train someone. In fact, there has been a perverse trend starting more than a decade ago of employers putting out incredibly narrow job specifications. They were effectively saying they were willing only to hire someone who had been in precisely the same role at a similar company.
But even as McJobs look to be the fastest growing employment sector, just because they want to hire workers for as little as possible does not mean that prospective employees will hit their bid.
This issue got new attention last week as news reports blared that new job openings had hit their highest level in 13 years, surely a bullish economic sign. Higher wages are just around the corner! But then the stories point out even as work postings are rising, the number of actual hirings is down. Notice the contrast in this Wall Street Journal account: