Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jobs unfilled at a time of high unemployment

 We are told that a great number of jobs are going unfilled while many Americans claim they have been looking for employment and will do almost anything for work. So what gives? How do we reconcile these strange reports? This is my take on this phenomena, it could be called a "tale of two cultures." It could be that the crux of the employment problem, is cultural in nature and based on unrealistic expectations created over several decades by our growing government centered economy and its generous payouts to those inclined not to work.

As a employer I was surprised several months ago that I could not find qualified help during a small construction job that lasted two months.Yes, I could have hired a company to do various parts of the work, but I would of lost much of the control over the many decisions that had to be made as the project progressed and took form. Workers that had lost jobs paying far more often proved slow, sloppy, or allowed personal problems to keep them from showing up for work. I have several thoughts that formed during this experience.

I'm reminded of a story I heard years ago about a man who sat down in front of a empty fireplace and said "warm me and then I will put wood upon you", but life doe not work that way, and either does the job market. Many people forget it is not just the hourly wage we must look at,  but the hidden cost of hiring must be factored in, such as wasted time, risk, insurance, and more taxes. After a worker takes a job, and has proved their skills, reliability, and that they are indeed an asset and not a liability, only then are they be entitled to more rewards.

Big box stores, fast food franchises, and hotels often pay minimum wage, while other small businesses are asked to be more generous. The difference in wages is often because many small businesses need more from an employee. The fact is when people work in an environment where they must show more then minimum responsibility, and make even minor decisions, the mistakes and errors they make can be very expensive, making the cost of the worker far more then he or she is worth. Fact is many of those looking for work prove more trouble than they are worth when on the job.

Another strong negative is that in a small business the owner or manager has to deal with the employee directly, this ties up their valuable time. Large companies often have departments or discipline channels that serve in the role of  "babysitter." Most employees generally do not recognize the cost of their working with constant cell phone interruptions, repeatedly plugging up a toilet, stopping to buy cigarettes, or the habit of always rushing off to use the restroom while a truck full of paid workers wait to leave for a job. In a society where many people have a problem managing their own life it is unreasonable to expect them to be a productive worker.

In the end I suspect the employers will win out and lower wages will become the norm for the coming decade, the alternative is people will just continue not to work. Like many employers I have become skeptical, I have been told many times by job seekers of their outstanding skills to later be disappointed. It is easier to brag and talk a good game then actually produce results. Bottom line is that till this discrepancy is resolved do not be surprised if many businesses chooses to pass on more hiring. Yes many people will do anything for a job, but it seems, they won't do that! By that I mean put down their cell phones or pick up after themselves.

Footnote; A big reason people choose not to work is the option to live on the dole as outlined in the post below,


No comments:

Post a Comment