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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:06 PM

Krugman: When a business owner complains about being unable to find workers, ask how much he pays. [View all]

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/the-fake-skills-shortage/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto

The Fake Skills Shortage

Kudos to Adam Davidson for some much-needed mythbusting about the supposed skills shortage holding the US economy back. Whenever you see some business person quoted complaining about how he or she can’t find workers with the necessary skills, ask what wage they’re offering. Almost always, it turns out that what said business person really wants is highly (and expensively) educated workers at a manual-labor wage. No wonder they come up short.

And this dovetails perfectly with one of the key arguments against the claim that much of our unemployment is “structural”, due to a mismatch between skills and labor demand. If that were true, you should see soaring wages for those workers who do have the right skills; in fact, with rare exceptions you don’t.

So what you really want to ask is why American businesses don’t feel that it’s worth their while to pay enough to attract the workers they say they need.


I couldn't have said it better myself.

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