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Ruffhowse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:00 AM
Original message
Workers having hard time finding work even as unemployment dips
Good article in the Seattle Times about why many are having a tough time finding work, even with an increase in job availability. Here are some excerpts.

"Job vacancies in the state have doubled from October 2003, and yet there are more than 180,500 people in Washington still out of work. The reason? In part, it's a mismatch between the experience job hunters have and the skills employers need."

"So why the gap? Explanations vary, but one theme is constant: Employers say they can't find enough skilled workers."

"Employers are expanding their job descriptions, asking for a menu of skills that even the most experienced IT workers can't meet. And some companies learned their lessons about hiring too quickly. Now they'd rather leave a job open than put the wrong person in it."

"Such attitudes are a shift from the fast-growth years, when just about any IT worker with a pulse could find a job. The tech rush lured people from other industries who retrained, gaining enough knowledge to land a job then but not enough to get them one now."
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:13 AM
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1. Unemployment figures are "cooked"
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 06:13 AM by SoCalDem
and the jobs that ARE being "found" are likely top be "junk jobs", with shitty hours, weekends & benefits.. In other words, teenager-jobs..

So a breadwinner with a $15-20 hr job with benefits, "trades" that one good full-time job for THREE 20 hr a week $7 hr jobs with no benefits.. What's wrong with this picture?
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Ruffhowse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:30 AM
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2. I've seen this in the IT field first hand as I've been unemployed for
quite some time. You wouldn't BELIEVE how picky the employers are now for IT workers. The job requirements are CRAZY, full of acronyms and programming languages I've never heard of, and they go on and on forever. And after all this, you find out the job is only going to pay 10 bucks an hour. Even entry level jobs, they want years worth of knowledge and experience. IT is just NOT a good field to be into now. Maybe I'll go back to school and become a male nurse. That's IF I could get into a program. Our local community college gets hundreds of applicants and only has room for about 80.
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yy4me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:50 AM
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3. Retrain, Retrain
How many of us have heard that? How about the over 60 group that are out of jobs and have(I hate to admit) little energy or money left to go back to school. Many of us have done the "school" thing, have gone out into the workforce for years, only to find ourselves unemployed and facing an unbelievably tough market. Yes, employers do want more qualifications than we can give for jobs that pay a very low scale. "Must know 10 programs, be willing to work nights and weekends etc." Its not just IT, its the full spectrum of the work force. The only jobs that seem to post qualifications that match the required skill level are the low end, unskilled ones. BTW, I thought the job market was booming? Not so in my back yard---and I mean that literally. Been out of work for 18 months, still looking. Believe me, against the law or not, there is job discrimination. During an interview last week, I was asked,"How long do you plan to work, anyway." Telling, isn't it!
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Ruffhowse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I certainly can empathize with you. I'm not 60 yet, but I'm almost 50 and
I feel that age discrimination is a big factor why I'm still unemployed after 2 years. Employers want youth and vigor, and so they hire mostly younger workers for any lower level jobs in IT. You have to be practically a PhD to get the higher level IT jobs and I just can't compete on that level. I'd retrain and get more certifications, but that's horribly expensive and I don't have the money.
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:12 AM
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5. I just can't compete in IT anymore...
...I'm the person in that last paragraph. I had enough knowledge to get and keep a good job in IT, but when that work went to India, not enough knowledge to get another one somewhere else. I'm 53, with 32 years in business, and I'm through with IT and banking. I survived too many reorganizations, restructurings, mergers, and outsourcing / offshoring efforts to believe that there was any future where I was once that work left these shores. So, I took my medical benefits, my early retirement, and ran. I knew I was abandoning IT when I did it.

The laundry list of programs and operating systems required to land the most basic IT job now is daunting, to say the least. Most employers are looking for a Computer Science degree, a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute package of programming and web skills, while they're only paying entry level wage (or slightly more) for that 'package'.

Between the kids just out of college who know more than I do and are willing to start for less than half of what I made, and folks around the globe who know more than I do and are willing to work for less than that, I cannot compete. So, I got out of IT. I went to bartending school; I took classes to be a substitute teacher, and I'll wind up doing a bit of both along the way for the years between now and when I can legitimately collect on my IRA.

For now, I do clerical work for a fifth of what I made before. I'm at subsistence level, with a B.S. degree. Nice economy you've got there, Mr. Bush.
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