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Sat Sep 8, 2012, 10:52 AM

The problem of unemployment can't be fixed until we are willing to look at the REAL job market

The common Republican/Tea Party line is that there are plenty of jobs available, but people don't want to take them and that they would rather just stay on unemployment or welfare.

This can be summed up as:
M = N
* M = The job market
* N = All available job openings

You don't have a job? It's because you're not looking hard enough, your demands are too high, you think the jobs that are out there are beneath you, blah, blah, blah. This, by the way, is also known as the 'just-world hypothesis', the same thing that you believe in if you think that a woman who is raped can not get pregnant.

It may look oversimplified, but can you really deny that is what the Tea Party believes in? For the poor, for the lower middle class, for people in debt, the long term unemployed, and for others; the job market is radically different. But this is what the job market is actually like, it is the REAL job market.

It looks something like this:
M = N - (T+O+A+G)
(Space) /C

* M = The job market
* N = All available job openings
And now acting as a detriment, the poor and the long term unemployed have several things acting against them, these are the 'filters'.
* T = Job openings that have transportation issues, jobs that are available that are away from public transport
* O = Employers that use "overqualified" as a way of weeding out applicants. You may be too old or you may be too educated or experienced, but you still need to eat and pay bills. Employers that use this seem to forget that.
* A = The arbitrary filter. From feeling the bumps on your head (Actual historical issue) to looking at your credit or discrimination against gays and other minorities. It may be the free market for employers but it is not a free market for job seekers with this one.
* G = Gaps. Employers who read too much into gaps and tell the unemployed to not even bother applying

If you rely on public transportation, if you are deemed 'overqualified', if you have some arbitrary issues going on, and if you are currently unemployed; your job prospects are not very good. You may know someone personally who is going through. You may even be facing it yourself.

The filters are one detriment though, there is another. That would be C, your competition. As in the other job seekers out there looking for jobs. If there are several times more job applicants than open positions (And there are), then not everyone is going to get a job. There's no other way around it.

When you've got these filters and when you've got this much competition, our country's job market is not going to truly improve. We have to eliminate these filters and hold the competition over as they are looking for jobs, or we can let the Republicans and Tea Party run with their 'just-world hypothesis' and see where that takes us.

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Reply The problem of unemployment can't be fixed until we are willing to look at the REAL job market (Original post)
ck4829 Sep 2012 OP
Cary Sep 2012 #1
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #4
Cary Sep 2012 #11
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #13
Cary Sep 2012 #16
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #18
Cary Sep 2012 #20
Freddie Sep 2012 #2
jody Sep 2012 #3
Nikia Sep 2012 #5
gkhouston Sep 2012 #7
SunsetDreams Sep 2012 #6
KG Sep 2012 #8
jody Sep 2012 #9
moondust Sep 2012 #10
MadHound Sep 2012 #12
NashvilleLefty Sep 2012 #14
jody Sep 2012 #15
jp11 Sep 2012 #17
jp11 Sep 2012 #19

Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:00 AM

1. The unemployment rate among college grads is somewhere around 5%

The fact of the matter is that unskilled labor has a huge problem. It is not a new problem and the prospects for people without skills aren't going to improve, ever.

That's a problem because we need some heavy lifting type jobs for certain people. I am not sure what the answer is, however we do know with impressive accuracy how much we need to raise GDP in order to raise employment. We know how to raise GDP. It really is that simple.

"Conservatives" muck that up with their lies, but the truth is that in our current state we need more government spending.

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Response to Cary (Reply #1)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 02:05 PM

11. What we need is to get ourselves out of this liquidity trap

As I said, we know how the numbers work. More demand for goods and services will mean more jobs. It's basic equilibrium economic theory and it's not controversial.

Right now we are in a condition where real interest rates are negative. "Conservatives" have no model that shows that these conditions are even possible, let alone a rational policy to deal with it.

We need to invest more in things like roads, infrastructure, and we especially need to invest in education. That may get college educated people back to full employment but, in the case of lower skilled workers, I don't really have a good answer other than to unionize service workers.

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Response to Cary (Reply #11)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #13)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 09:32 AM

16. I hear you but I don't think protectionism is as good as it sounds

Globalism is inevitable, as is the continued automation of jobs. The latter will make the former irrelevant. We can produce more and more goods and services with fewer and fewer people and this will continue to be more and more true.

I am a capitalist, generally, because as I see non-radical capitalism as the best system. However I am not certain of the future of capitalism given this condition. What good is it to produce more and more goods and services if people can't buy those goods and services? None, of course. So is this the end of capitalism?

It sounds silly but if you go to Robby the Robot and ask him to fabricate anything you want, where does leave us in terms of capitalism?

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Response to Cary (Reply #16)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 09:36 PM

20. Inevitable.

It is the nature of capitalism. It is actually progress. I'm not sure where it's going to lead but we're going there whether we like it or not.

We are far better off figuring out how we can profit from it and where our real opportunities lie, than how we can keep our finger in the dike. I think we win by having progressive taxation, effective regulation, strong unions, and a commitment to things like infrastructure and education.

As far as I know basic Ricardian international economics are still valid.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:02 AM

2. Excellent analysis

Especially about employers who refuse to hire the unemployed. Like it's *always* the applicant's flaws that cause him to be unemployed!
And credit history. You're out of work and get behind on your bills, and employers hold that against you so you fall even further behind.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:12 AM

3. The Employment-Population Ratio is another measure of economic recovery. It was 63.7 (unadj) or

 

64.4 (seas) in Jan 2001 but declined to 58.5 or 58.3 in August 2012.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab1.htm
(Unadj) Employment-Population Ratio
Year Jan Aug
2001 63.7 63.5
2002 62.0 63.0
2003 61.8 62.4
2004 61.6 62.7
2005 61.7 63.2
2006 62.2 63.4
2007 62.6 63.0
2008 62.2 62.3
2009 59.8 59.3
2010 57.8 58.8
2011 57.6 58.5
2012 57.8 58.5

(Seas) Employment-Population Ratio
Year Jan Aug
2001 64.4 63.2
2002 62.7 62.7
2003 62.5 62.1
2004 62.3 62.4
2005 62.4 62.9
2006 62.9 63.1
2007 63.3 62.7
2008 62.9 62.0
2009 60.6 59.1
2010 58.5 58.5
2011 58.4 58.3
2012 58.5 58.3

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:39 AM

5. Usually if there are unfilled jobs that don't require specific experience or education

It is usually one or all these factors: it has a reputation as an awful place to work, they are paying very poorly, and/or they are too picky. Every once in a while a company goes through a major expansion and hires a bunch of people. I really wondered about one place that had 500+ applicants despite paying $9/hour and only found 50 of the 100 they needed of them hireable despite the fact that it was all on the job training. It must have been O, A, and G that caused there to be over 450 applicants that they wouldn't consider hiring. In this case, it cuts both ways. If a company can't find people to hire, they need to pay more or accept applicants who might not be perfectly ideal.
If Right Wingers are referring to people not trying to get hired for jobs that they are overqualified for, it helps other people who are applying for those jobs get them since there is less competition.
When unemployment is under 4% and there are almost no jobs paying under $10/hour or its inflationary equivalent, we can talk about people sitting out of employment unless they get a perfect job.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 12:08 PM

7. O is a big factor, especially since so many new jobs are McJobs. Employers assume

you'll jump ship as soon as something better comes along, which is a tacit admission that they know they're paying crap and have bad working environments.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:46 AM

6. This doesn't help: Republicans Have Blocked The American Jobs Act For One Year

On September 8, 2011 — one year ago tomorrow — President Obama laid out a series of policy proposals known collectively as the American Jobs Act. The plan included stimulus spending in the form of immediate infrastructure investments, tax credits for working Americans and employers to encourage consumer spending and job growth, and efforts to shore up state and local budgets to prevent further layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public safety officials.

The American Jobs Act never became law, however, because Republicans opposed it from the start, blasting it as another form of “failed stimulus” that wouldn’t help the economy. (They ignored the fact that the first “failed stimulus,” the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, wasn’t a failure at all.) One month later, the GOP blocked the bill in the Senate, preventing the creation of more than a million jobs and the added growth that multiple economists predicted would occur if the bill passed:

–Moody’s Analytics estimated the American Jobs Act would create 1.9 million jobs and add two percent to gross domestic product.
–The Economic Policy Institute estimated it would create 2.6 million jobs and protect an addition 1.6 million existing jobs.

–Macroeconomic Advisers predicted it would create 2.1 million jobs and boost GDP by 1.5 percent.
–Goldman Sachs estimated it would add 1.5 percent to GDP.


http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/09/07/812251/republicans-blocked-jobs-act-one-year/

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 12:14 PM

8. The problem of unemployment can't be fixed until the sea-change

in the nature of work is addressed. neither party is even pretending to notice that.

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Response to KG (Reply #8)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 01:16 PM

9. If fixed costs do not prohibit, production seeks lower labor cost whether textile jobs to overseas

 

or automotive jobs from MI and CA to the southeast.

Consumers still decide what products to buy and price is a major factor.

How do you think a "sea-change" can alter that basic economic fact?

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Response to KG (Reply #8)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 01:18 PM

10. +1

And as long as politicians are the handmaidens of monied interests they're not likely to wander too far from the beaten path/status quo. Medicare for All is a no-brainer but...

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 02:21 PM

12. The unemployment problem is much simpler than that,

 

The sheer simple fact of the matter is that while private sector jobs are indeed being created, public sector jobs have not only not recovered from the recession, but have actually become worse as local, state and federal governments issue austerity policy after austerity policy. Millions of people, ranging from construction workers to teacher, firefighters to park rangers, cops to hospital workers have been thrust out of work due to government austerity programs.

What is needed is another WPA program aimed at getting these public sector jobs back. Pump money into state and local government, education, federal payrolls, and start hiring people. Yes, it will drive up our deficit temporarily, but the tax revenue generated by all those newly employed people will more than offset the initial money spent.

Until we quit following the path of austerity, we are not going to pull out of this economic slump.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 03:56 PM

14. You're forgetting something,

a lot of employers are looking for workers with specific job skills, yet they have stopped offering training in those skills themselves.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #14)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 04:16 PM

15. "stopped offering training"! Then why is govt wasting billions training the work force for specific

 

job skills?

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Response to jody (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 09:53 AM

17. Maybe the government is doing that because many companies won't do it themselves

anymore.

You do understand if companies won't train workers then someone has to do it, maybe the workers have to take on those costs themselves, maybe another entity like the government has to do it.

It used to be that companies trained people, they took you in and put the time and effort into getting people up to where they wanted them. More and more they want people with experience and won't train anyone, you have to have the years of experience already, they'd rather steal you from someone else than waste and time or money getting you up to speed.



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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 10:01 AM

19. I'd disagree that the real job market is even this simple to look at

it certainly is a start but there is a larger issue for the future where fewer workers are needed.

There are more people and fewer jobs that equation doesn't balance in the face of more productivity and increasing automation. There is a conversation/debate that has to happen in the coming decades about how our society works when millions of people can't support themselves or are turned into modern day peasants among the few royals and the ranks of lesser nobles beneath them.

There are millions in poverty now in our country that number will keep growing as time goes on there simply won't be enough jobs for us all let alone ones that pay a living wage.

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