Why is hiring so much lower than new job openings?

posted at 2:31 pm on August 17, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Both Dr. James Joyner and Bloomberg’s Peter Orszag are looking into a rather puzzling pair of statistics from the labor market this week. Posted job openings around the country are up roughly 50%, but new hires have only risen by 5%. What can account for the disparity in these numbers? It would seem that if companies are posting that many more openings, surely hiring should be on the rise in comparable numbers, and yet it’s not happening.

Orszag:

To get some sense of how significant this is, consider that if, since June 2010, hiring had risen a third as much as advertised jobs have (rather than only a 10th), and nothing else were different, job creation would be roughly 500,000 higher each month, and the unemployment rate would already be back to normal levels.

So what explains the yawning gap between jobs open and jobs filled?

Joyner:

Orszag floats four theories that have been offered:

There’s a mismatch between the skills needed and those available on the market
Employers are offering wages too low to attract applicants
Jobs are mostly being filled with internal candidates
Firms have reduced their “recruiting intensity,” and just aren’t that excited to fill openings

He argues pretty good reasons to discount any of these as likely explanations for much of the gap. He concludes,

Regardless of the true explanation, it’s still good news that more jobs are being advertised. That wouldn’t be happening if the economic outlook were entirely bleak.

But, if nobody’s hiring, the economic outlook is pretty damned bleak for the unemployed and underemployed.

As with most cases when we attempt to analyze a trend taking place involving tens of millions of people, I suspect the “answer” isn’t just one driving phenomenon, but rather a combination of factors. With that said, however, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if what we’re seeing ties in very closely with a point I was making regarding the McPoverty calculator last month. In a free market economy – even one like ours where the government tends to try to keep a pretty heavy thumb on the scales – the law of supply and demand doesn’t simply apply to the sale of durable goods. It also comes into play on the question of employment and the available labor pool.

Employers are in the business of maximizing their gains, which means reducing costs wherever possible. One of those expenses is certainly their labor cost. If there is a huge pool of talent out there looking for work, some of them will always wind up taking a position for considerably lower wages than were previously offered if the alternative is the unemployment line or worse. In an update to his post, Joyner explores some other explanations which have been offered, including the possibility that many of these employers are simply “fishing” to see what the market will bear. If they post a number of positions with impossibly high requirements and previously unthinkably low wages, it may simply be a metric to explore what kind of talent will show up under those conditions.

That may sound “unfair” to some people, but it’s hardly new or shocking. Until such time as the job market swells back to the point where job creators have to fight for the best talent, expect prices and other forms of compensation to shrink. It’s just the market in action, really.


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Because the numbers are from BLS and they’re meant to drive a narrative rather than report a statistic?

BKeyser on August 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

People have become used to the government dole. Why work when you can get the money other people work for?

darwin on August 17, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Or maybe with 99 weeks (or more?) of unemployment benefits it’s more profitable not to work.

txhsmom on August 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Maybe because not working is paying better every year.

TB on August 17, 2013 at 2:40 PM

txhsmom on August 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Want to live in a state where welfare pays more than work? Check out the think tank that did the numbers and can tell you where to go.

Resist We Much on August 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Because the numbers are from BLS and they’re meant to drive a narrative rather than report a statistic?

BKeyser on August 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

That sounds the most logical from the offered explanations.

sharrukin on August 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Fair?? Fair will see you go bankrupt, especially with this regime in charge. You had better be actively trying to get better and CHEAPER talent. I don’t care if you are a fortune 500, a mom and pop or an NFL team getting a new younger cheaper running back every couple of years.

There is no bigger drain on an organization or society than fair.

traye on August 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

All other things staying the same, do these three things: Evict the illegals, end new poverty immigration and tax imports and you will have no unemployment and wages will increase and the gap between rich and poor will decrease.

It really is just that simple. Any argument that claims otherwise is a bunch of self-serving sophistry.

Buddahpundit on August 17, 2013 at 2:50 PM

txhsmom on August 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Want to live in a state where welfare pays more than work? Check out the think tank that did the numbers and can tell you where to go.
Resist We Much on August 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM

I don’t. The social chaos when it all falls apart is not what I want to be near. And, there’s an error with your link.

txhsmom on August 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

If you’ve ever interacted with a typical HR department, even internally when you already have a job, you know they couldn’t power up a desk calculator.

jangle12 on August 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM

It’s just the market in action, really.

If you want a clear example why so many people remain with the democratic party, look at clueless quotes like this.

We have few (if any) free markets left. When you have 12 million+ working illegals, unpaid interns, and other significant national market distorters (e.g., Obamacare), don’t talk about “the market in action.”

I love HotAir, but really, if anyone is wondering why the democrats are able to get away with what they do despite the fact that they are primarily responsible for the American labor market loses and distortions in the first place (e.g., NAFTA), you need to reflect a little bit on how your message reads to the average working American.

And anybody who can say with a straight face that America has a “free market economy” is simply delusional.

EV on August 17, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I don’t. The social chaos when it all falls apart is not what I want to be near. And, there’s an error with your link.

txhsmom on August 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

I don’t either. It will be like New Orleans after Katrina.

The link came from The Next Page: 15 big news stories you missed.

Resist We Much on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

With food stamps, ObamaPhones, housing subsidies, etc., why bother to work?

merlich on August 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Let’s see – I just lost a 32 hour a week employee at the beginning of August (he decided to go back to school for a PHD) and am replacing him with a 27 hour a week new hire starting in September.

As a small business person, why would I do that?

I wonder why? I wonder why?

Bruno Strozek on August 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Why is hiring so much lower than new job openings?

Because PART TIME jobs don’t pay as well as welfare, and welfare leeches really don’t want to work anyway?

Pork-Chop on August 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

The qualified people are over 50, and the businesses are waiting for “immigration reform” to kick in, bringing in 180,000 STEM workers annually that they can control, use up in 14 hour 6 day work weeks, and then spit back to India after 10 years.

motionview on August 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM

I am working on an essay that will likely never be read by anyone, but one of the points of it is that, in contrast to when I was in my twenties, the future, quite simply, looks bleak for someone just starting out. Meanwhile, back in Washington they are doing their best to send the message to these young people not to worry, the government will take care of them. There will always be a percentage of that age group that will persevere, and succeed, but the ratio of those to the ones who are planning how to get a SNAP card and social security disability before age 25 is not trending optimistically. By the way, where can I get one of those bumper stickers with Obama photo that says “Does this ass make my truck look fat?”

bville 13027 on August 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

use up in 14 hour 6 day work weeks, and then spit back to India after 10 years.

motionview on August 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Got some links to back this particular statement up?

chemman on August 17, 2013 at 3:20 PM

It will be like New Orleans after Katrina.

Resist We Much on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Sorry to break it to you RWM but it had all fallen apart in New Orleans long before Katrina. All the storm did was accelerate what was the inevitable. And the really sad part is that some very smart people went in afterwards and told the inmates how to fix some of the biggest social and structural problems (cleared out blocks of urban blight is not an opportunity that cities get often). It was all for naught.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

There’s a mismatch between the skills needed and those available on the market
Employers are offering wages too low to attract applicants
Jobs are mostly being filled with internal candidates
Firms have reduced their “recruiting intensity,” and just aren’t that excited to fill openings

5. Waiting for amnesty to pass, more H1 visas and more cheap labor, qualified and not…

6. Waiting for obama’care’ to sort itself out. Have you ever seen a law with a more stupid and dishonest name?

OT – their obama :)

Schadenfreude on August 17, 2013 at 3:26 PM

With food stamps, ObamaPhones, housing subsidies, etc., why bother to work?

merlich on August 17, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Why indeed now that we’ve taken the stigma off of being a parasite? The perfectly healthy single guy they showed on Fox News proudly using SNAP to buy lobster and high-end sushi says all that needs to be said. There is no shame in being a parasite.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Has Anyone Said That Jazz is An Idiot, Lately?

EVERYONE GO SEE “KICK ASS 2″ TONIGHT OR ELSE OPRAH’S RACIST REWRITING OF REAGAN HISTORY IN “THE BUTLER” WIL WIIN THE WEEKEND!!!

DON’T LET THE RACISTS WIN!!!

williamg on August 17, 2013 at 3:31 PM

What can account for the disparity in these numbers?

Unemployment and food stamps pay more.

PattyJ on August 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM

in contrast to when I was in my twenties, the future, quite simply, looks bleak for someone just starting out. Meanwhile, back in Washington they are doing their best to send the message to these young people not to worry, the government will take care of them.

bville 13027 on August 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

One of the better Romney speeches last year was when he introduced Paul Ryan as his running mate. There was lots of talk about equal economic opportunity and equal opportunity to fail (as compared to the current administration’s picking winners and losers). It was a theme I thought they should have exploited during the campaign.

I see the current generation of young people as one of those the rat-eared coward has decided are among the losers. He has sold their future so as not to tick off old people. They are expected to not only pay for the massive spending spree since 2008 but they are to finance Obamacare when they are healthy so those that actually need healthcare are subsidized. Throw in a lousy job outlook, student loans, and all the rest….. hard to see how this isn’t a sacrificial generation so that those that came of age in the 1960s or before don’t have to pay their fair share.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Even if you are not racist, you are racist:

Oprah: Just Because You’re Not Using N-Word, Harboring Ill Will Towards Black Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Racist

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2013/08/16/Oprah-racism-Trayvon-Cooper

davidk on August 17, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Two weeks ago a friend’s office at a college completed a job search and offered a job to one of the candidates – job to begin in 2 weeks.

Last week the lucky job recipient called in and asked if she could delay work start until September because she got her first unemployment check and “it was really nice” to get 2/3 pay and be off from work.

Yes, she called the boss and said she wants to defraud unemployment insurance instead of starting work, and yes, she thought that was OK and fully expected to retain the job offer.

And she did. The office called HR which told them they better keep the job offer on the table and wait for her to get done vacationing and committing fraud.

No I’m not making this up.

forest on August 17, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Oprah: Just Because You’re Not Using N-Word, Harboring Ill Will Towards Black Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Racist

davidk on August 17, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Well that’s true. Oprah and many others proved they were racists in their comments about George Zimmerman shooting a black street thug. Not a hint of racism involved until blacks and the liberal media made it into a hate crime by innuendo, selective editing of the 911 tapes, and a constant drumbeat that Trayvon Martin was something that he wasn’t.

Oprah is a racist even if she isn’t using the n-word. She just is too damned stupid to have a real discussion about the issue.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

…most of them are part-time…that’s why!

KOOLAID2 on August 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

I am not a racist, but this past year has been very trying.

From Zimmerman/Trayvon to my driving a school bus in a black school district my good will toward man has been stressed.

davidk on August 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

No I’m not making this up.

forest on August 17, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I’m not entirely seeing the problem here other than I question the candor of the person hired used in making what was otherwise a reasonable request (delay start by a couple of weeks).

Job searches are expensive and she may well have been the best qualified of the candidates interviewed. You don’t throw that away for a couple weeks difference in start dates. And since this is academia, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t agree with her approach.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Let’s see – I just lost a 32 hour a week employee at the beginning of August (he decided to go back to school for a PHD) and am replacing him with a 27 hour a week new hire starting in September.

As a small business person, why would I do that?

I wonder why? I wonder why?

Bruno Strozek on August 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Noted Hot Gas “economist” bayam will be along shortly to assure you that it’s All Bush’s Fault.

Del Dolemonte on August 17, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

She is seeking to defraud the unemployment compensation system. It’s illegal and unethical, although you’re probably right that it would probably be acceptable to most academics.

forest on August 17, 2013 at 4:08 PM

It will be like New Orleans after Katrina.

Resist We Much on August 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Sorry to break it to you RWM but it had all fallen apart in New Orleans long before Katrina. All the storm did was accelerate what was the inevitable. And the really sad part is that some very smart people went in afterwards and told the inmates how to fix some of the biggest social and structural problems (cleared out blocks of urban blight is not an opportunity that cities get often). It was all for naught.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM

A+

Spent a week in New Orleans 20 years before Katrina. It had already fallen apart, even then.

Del Dolemonte on August 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

I know of two professional unemployed men who took their two years of unemployment until it ran out and slipped into an underfunded retirement. They felt they owed it to their families to take the higher rate of unemployment, rather than lose those benefits by taking part time minimum wage jobs. I think they both hoped to re-enter their professions when times got better, but after two years their skills became rusty and times never did get better.

They are not lazy and both have great educations. They work hard with volunteer organizations to keep depression at bay and give their labor away for free to neighbors or family in need.

keats5 on August 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM

My company posts “job openings” when we don’t have any. We are always interested in the available talent, even if we aren’t currently hiring. We don’t post impossible standards, or low salaries, we just post jobs we have no intention of hiring for. Besides showing us what the available talent pool looks like, it makes us look like a more prosperous company if we are “hiring”.

Buford Gooch on August 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM

I am not a racist, but this past year has been very trying.

davidk on August 17, 2013 at 3:54 PM

On some level I think most non-blacks could make that claim. One of the associate pastors at my church delivered a sermon so offensive that I (for the first time ever) launched an e-mail at her about how offended I was.

It started with a children’s sermon where there was the one racially accurate picture of what they think Christ would have looked at surrounded by centuries of the Western European depiction of Christ. The children were asked to choose which picture they thought looked most like Jesus and invariably they picked the one they have seen in art and not the scientifically derived depiction. It was a set up.

Then in the sermon itself, the pastor made it clear that whites were awful people. She continually used loaded phrases like “white privilege.” I didn’t talk to a person afterward that hadn’t considered walking out (I would have except I was in the center of a pew and it would have been a tad too dramatic).

We Americans truly need that open discussion about race the left keeps demanding. But we can’t because the race industry isn’t interesting in killing the golden goose. Despite blacks and other miniorities serving at the highest levels of government, business, and other societal institutions- we are supposed to agree with them that governors are still standing in schoolhouse doors and the police are still lined up on Edmund Pettis Bridge to attack the protesters marching to Montgomery. Rosa Parks is still a martyr to the cause and not the designated victim to spark a bus boycott. Tawana Brawly and Crystal Magnum are still innocents. And the evil killers of James Byrd never got justice in Texas.

So Sad.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Spent a week in New Orleans 20 years before Katrina. It had already fallen apart, even then.

Del Dolemonte on August 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Try living there pre and post Katrina. The only real difference was the rate of decline.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM

My company posts “job openings” when we don’t have any. We are always interested in the available talent, even if we aren’t currently hiring. We don’t post impossible standards, or low salaries, we just post jobs we have no intention of hiring for. Besides showing us what the available talent pool looks like, it makes us look like a more prosperous company if we are “hiring”.

Buford Gooch on August 17, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Liberal owners and/or Board of Directors?

Because citing job openings is exactly what the rat-eared wonder and his filthy party use to “prove” an improving economy?

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Free meals is the answer.

Why should anyone want to work, which would increase their net worth, just so the #IRS could take their rewards away from them via the Democrat-Care confiscatory taxes?

The American people have boxed themselves into a situation where it just doesn’t pay to pursue the American dream anymore.

Americans ALWAYS get what they vote for. That is so easy to understand that even a cave man can do it.

DannoJyd on August 17, 2013 at 4:22 PM

And the evil killers of James Byrd never got justice in Texas.

So Sad.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I trained some East Texas Army Reservist in the late 90′s.Most of them were state prison guards.They told me Byrd had served time with a couple of his killers and Byrd had been in on a prison rape of one of them.I knew it was heresay but they were serious about it.They said a judge wouldn’t let it be introduced in the trials.

docflash on August 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

They said a judge wouldn’t let it be introduced in the trials.

docflash on August 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

That makes sense. Without actual proof, it would have been putting the victim on trial. Same reason why that faux judge for the George Zimmerman trial refused to let any of the true nature of Trayvon Martin be introduced at trial. As far as the jury was concerned, Martin was coming back from Bible study when he was killed.

Martin’s true nature, IMO, is why his despicable parents have yet to file a civil case against Zimmerman. Because, unlike the criminal prosecution, Martin’s character would be part of the discuassion. It isn’t a hate crime so it really comes down to a question about whether a thug who was kicked out of his school for having pot and stolen property, the ingredients for making a drug cocktail, and a questionable reason for being where he was and what he did was killed in such a way that a civil penalty should apply.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Why is hiring so much lower than new job openings?

Because PART TIME jobs don’t pay as well as welfare, and welfare leeches really don’t want to work anyway?

Pork-Chop on August 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Trust Jazz to completely miss the obvious.

deadite on August 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

“I’m a college graduate, with a college degree. I deserve a 6-figure salary, and am willing to live in my mother’s basement until I’m offered one.”
/typical “entitled” graduate

RoadRunner on August 17, 2013 at 4:46 PM

For those of us who have had to settle for part-time employment because we have applied for dozens of jobs (for which we are completely qualified) for which we have yet to garner any interviews, we would like an answer to the question as well. For someone like me, I strongly suspect age discrimination, but it’s nearly impossible to prove.

College Prof on August 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Having not reviewed the metrics and formulae for counting these “openings,” I can only call upon the spirit of the pilot, Sum Ting Wong.

One possibility is multiple listings for the same job. Job search sites face steep competition, so often they poach want ads from bigger sites just to “stock their shelves” – if you don’t have a lot of jobs listed when you start, the job seekers won’t check back a second time. Naturally, since these listings weren’t actually placed by the companies with openings, the copycat sites have no way of knowing the positions were filled, or when, so the listings stay up and get counted over and over even though there was only one job for each and it was filled months ago.

Whatever the reason, any exhuberance over mere listings is purely irrational (like most of the rah-rah economic reporting in Obama Wonderland the last five years), since only people who are actually hired improve the economy.

Adjoran on August 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

For those of us who have had to settle for part-time employment because we have applied for dozens of jobs (for which we are completely qualified) for which we have yet to garner any interviews, we would like an answer to the question as well. For someone like me, I strongly suspect age discrimination, but it’s nearly impossible to prove.

College Prof on August 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

They do not interview the unemployed. They only scalp from other companies, figuring someone still working is worth something.
I spent a 51 weeks unemployed. If it was not for having very specific and needed experience at a specific company, I would likely still be unemployed, well, self employed by now.
I have a friend who was a co worker at many of my old jobs. It does not matter how good of a statement I make about him, no one will interview him. He has been out of the workplace way too long.

astonerii on August 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Maybe because not working is paying better every year.

TB on August 17, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Because the numbers are from BLS and they’re meant to drive a narrative rather than report a statistic?

BKeyser on August 17, 2013 at 2:34 PM

All of the above?

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 17, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Spent a week in New Orleans 20 years before Katrina. It had already fallen apart, even then.

Del Dolemonte on August 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Try living there pre and post Katrina. The only real difference was the rate of decline.

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I was down there for JazzFest, and over the course of my visits to the assorted venues got to meet some of the local musicians, especially some of the wonderful New Orleans blues players along with some of the brass band folks. Over the years I’ve stayed in touch with some of them, as the American blues scene is a very tightly-knit community, and you see the same folks every year at the assorted music festivals around the country. In fact this weekend here in NH we have several New Orleans blues and zydeco musicians playing.

After Katrina, many of them left The City That Time Forgot. And never came back.

I’ve always found it curious, and kind of sad, that many of these musicians’ audiences are 90% or more white. They have been rejected by their own race who think the “new” black music is superior to theirs.

Del Dolemonte on August 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

For someone like me, I strongly suspect age discrimination, but it’s nearly impossible to prove.

College Prof on August 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

How do they know your age when reveiwing your resume?

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM

How do they know your age when reveiwing your resume?

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Job 1, 1956 to present.
Job 2, 1946 to 1956
Something like that.

Or 32 years experience in X.

astonerii on August 17, 2013 at 5:34 PM

How do they know your age when reveiwing your resume?

Happy Nomad on August 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM

If he’s a College Prof, he’ll not only list his previous jobs and their dates, but also the date of his degrees. For example, if he got his Bachelor’s degree in 1984 and his PhD in 1990, his age is very easy to estimate.

Age discrimination is alive and well in pretty much every field, and academics is no exception. Good luck being over 50 and unemployed and ever finding decent paying work again.

AngusMc on August 17, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Age discrimination is alive and well in pretty much every field, and academics is no exception. Good luck being over 50 and unemployed and ever finding decent paying work again.

AngusMc on August 17, 2013 at 5:46 PM

You will always have money stolen from younger workers that you voted into your pockets over those many decades. At least you will have that. I hear it is no problem to get onto disability for a toe fracture from decades past. So instead of 1 to 3 decades of end of life plantation ownership, you can aim for 4 or 5 decades.

Of course, if the older people who have been voting for decades had voted with good morals and educated the children, who are starting to vote, better, we would not be in this current economic down turn and every person who wanted a job would be encouraged to apply and actually be interviewed.

I used to actually try to have empathy for older people. Now days, not so much. They sold my life and any of my children’s life to slavery, racked up 17 trillion in “official” debt and hundreds of trillions in real debt. Have hamstrung the country with things such as environmental laws, federal land grabs, their retirements, welfare, labor rules, particularly supporting the incestuous government employee union fiasco.

astonerii on August 17, 2013 at 5:57 PM

I spent a week in New Orleans last thursday afternoon.

docflash on August 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Let me count the ways:

Obama phone
WIC
Food Stamps
Subsidized housing
Free medical care
TANF
+ a whole host of State and Local programs
(I knew someone who was given money specifically to fix her car)

Why work?

CW on August 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Until such time as the job market swells back to the point where job creators have to fight for the best talent, expect prices and other forms of compensation to shrink. It’s just the market in action, really.

So.. IMMIGRATION… and employers DEMANDING to be able to import the employees that they want, who will often work for less in terms of both wages and benefits.

Meanwhile, American workers are unemployed, chronically underemployed ( which Obamacare is exacerbating in a monumental fashion) by the millions… and working for far less… in terms of both wages and benefits.

thatsafactjack on August 17, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Forest,

Another issue here is that when one is hired, it always seems to be at the butt-end of the pay period. Unemployment doesn’t cover you until your first paycheck, it cuts off when you are hired. You could go a whole month washing your clothes, gassing up your car, and being nagged about the phone and electric bills, without the means to pay for it. Maybe that employee wanted something in her pocket first.

Sekhmet on August 17, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Obamanomics!

Wealth transfer payments!

Rent seeking!

Corporatism!

Keep voting democrat!

Murphy9 on August 17, 2013 at 6:35 PM

I spent a week in New Orleans last thursday afternoon.

docflash on August 17, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Taking a cab into town from the airport in Kenner no doubt! What a ride…

BTW one of the best of the local NOLA blues guys is Mem Shannon, who was a French Quarter taxicab driver for 18 years before cutting his first album. He gave up his day job and has been a regular at JazzFest ever since. Saw him live earlier this summer on one of his rare trips to New England.

http://www.memshannon.com/

Del Dolemonte on August 17, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Reason 1: software that filters out way too many qualified applicants. Resumes uploaded are “parsed” for key words and phrases. If you don’t hit enough of the key words and phrases your resume goes into the reject bin e.g. /dev/null.
Reason 2: if you put your name, address, and phone number in the resume header instead of the body it all gets filtered out. So the resume might pass the key word and phrase filter, but won’t show any contact information — so the $10/hour HR contract employee just discards it.

There are other reasons but the above 2 are sufficient to filter out many, many qualified resumes that are never seen by a human being who will actually review the resume for a valid fit.

SunSword on August 17, 2013 at 6:37 PM

For someone like me, I strongly suspect age discrimination, but it’s nearly impossible to prove.

College Prof on August 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Aye.

It’s alive and well.

avagreen on August 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM

My department is constantly hiring to fill, generally, the same positions over and over again. Someone will show up, interview, pass the drug test and complete all the paperwork, and then not show up for the second day of work. No call to say they quit, nothing. And then we’re advertising that position again.

Jinxed on August 17, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Like I’ve said before, large companies “create” job openings they want to fill with highly-trained (and low-paid) foreign workers, then they lobby Congress for green card increases. These aren’t real jobs open to Americans.

Marcola on August 17, 2013 at 8:05 PM

“There’s a mismatch between the skills needed and those available on the market.”

This is certainly an issue in this area. We have openings for plumbers, electricians, machinists, etc. in this area with no takers. The reason? Everyone wants to get a college education to get a white-collar job and turn their noses up at blue-collar jobs. I posted last year or so that an employer in this town was begging for two machinists and could not find them. The salary was $80,000 yearly, but no one had the skills needed.

If high schools would start or at least, speed up the vocational training, it would solve two problems: jobs that need applicants, and unemployment.

BTW, my father was a Millwright and we traveled around the U.S. all of my life from grade school to graduation. Mother said he had more taken out in taxes each week than most people made in their jobs. She would never tell me how much he made, but she paid cash for the five houses she bought, all the cars they bought and two travel trailers.

I knew of one plumber in a small town south of here that was a millionaire.
Electricians make approx. $65 hr…..I know, I just hired one.

There’s money to be made if people would just shift their views of what a good career would be.

avagreen on August 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

In an update to his post, Joyner explores some other explanations which have been offered, including the possibility that many of these employers are simply “fishing” to see what the market will bear. If they post a number of positions with impossibly high requirements and previously unthinkably low wages, it may simply be a metric to explore what kind of talent will show up under those conditions.

A lot of that goes on. Often when you see a situation where the list of requirements is long and the pay small, they’re doing a survey OR want to hire an H1-B person. Thats the standard scam tactic.

Employers are lowballing candidates and they aren’t all that eager to hire due to ZeroCare ™. So the short answer is: All of the above. There are few reasons for employers to hire and many reasons NOT To.

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Electricians make approx. $65 hr…..I know, I just hired one.

There’s money to be made if people would just shift their views of what a good career would be.

avagreen on August 17, 2013 at 8:10 PM

The charge $65 they don’t make $65. After all the taxes they’re lucky if they make $30.

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Jinxed on August 17, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Wow that sucks. What does your department do?

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:15 PM

The charge $65 they don’t make $65. After all the taxes they’re lucky if they make $30.

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Doesn’t that actually hold true for all wage earners?

avagreen on August 17, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Doesn’t that actually hold true for all wage earners?

avagreen on August 17, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Yes, we just don’t express it the way you did. His earnings are much less than the labor charge. So he “makes” $30 an hour.

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Wow that sucks. What does your department do?

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Corporate data and document control for a company spanning eight states. It’s nothing glamorous, but it pays decently, and the job is steady. And most positions are considered gateway positions into the rest of the company.

I’d wondered for a while whether we were just being used to reset everyone’s unemployment benefits…

Jinxed on August 17, 2013 at 8:26 PM

I’d wondered for a while whether we were just being used to reset everyone’s unemployment benefits…

Jinxed on August 17, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Sounds like nice clean office work someone should be happy to do. Your company might try training some homeless vets.

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Even the sheeple who thought a few years ago “this too shall pass” and “the pendulum is just swinging…wait and it will swing back” are getting worried.

Most people I try to inform about what’s going just kind of look at me like they just don’t accept it…but don’t fully reject the news, either. And I’m careful to not get hysterical or sound tinfoil hat-ish-just trying to get them to think about being somewhat prepared because I think they’re decent people and should the systems of support collapse, I realistically know I won’t be able to help them much.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 17, 2013 at 8:39 PM

The second largest employer (behind WalMart) is Kelly (temporary) Services. That says a lot!

bw222 on August 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I’ll go with door number three (internal hires, though not necessarily promotions anymore).

First, however, I must correct the record – the number of private-sector hires in June 2013 (4.54 million not-seasonally-adjusted/3.93 million seasonally-adjusted) is still significantly higher than the number of private-sector openings in June 2013 (3.52 million NSA/3.53 million SA). Further, since the start of the JOLT survey in December 2000, only twice on the NSA side (December 2000 and December 2006), and not at all on the SA side, has the number of private-sector openings exceeded the number of private-sector hires.

Yes, the ratio of openings to hires is higher than it has been any previous June, breaking the June 2007 record. However, the short history of the JOLT survey does not allow for a historical correlation between the ratio of openings-to-hires and the broader economy.

Countering the negative, the ratio of separations (3.79 million NSA/3.78 million SA in June 2013) to hires is right in the heart of the “healthy era” average. Again, I warn that there is little history to go on, so that positive also could mean nothing.

Steve Eggleston on August 17, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Let’s see – I just lost a 32 hour a week employee at the beginning of August (he decided to go back to school for a PHD) and am replacing him with a 27 hour a week new hire starting in September.

As a small business person, why would I do that?

I wonder why? I wonder why?

Bruno Strozek on August 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

PlaceboCare? A lack of trust that the suspension of the employer mandate contained therein will hold?

Steve Eggleston on August 17, 2013 at 9:15 PM

The second largest employer (behind WalMart) is Kelly (temporary) Services. That says a lot!

bw222 on August 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

A lot more than the subject of hires-vs-openings, to be specific.

Steve Eggleston on August 17, 2013 at 10:08 PM

I have been trying to hire folks for a year and a half. I get tons of applicants, but they have no skills. Many of them have college degrees, but I’m not sure what they did to earn them.

I had a guy whose CV said he was an electrical engineer with four years of experience. He could not answer the following question: What is Ohm’s Law?

Apparently, once one gets a degree, every employer is just supposed to open their arms and hire them for $100K per year. I mean, it’s not like they have to work, right? They have a degree. That means they get a job and the salary. Work is what they’ll be telling others to do.

What do you expect when they’ve spent the last 17 years being told about life by a bunch of people who have not left the safe environment of academia? I think 20 years of workplace experience should be required of all college professors, and 10 years for all high school teachers. This “from school to college to teaching” path is not preparing students; it’s just a conduit for government money to go to non-achievers.

Wino on August 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

I have been trying to hire folks for a year and a half. I get tons of applicants, but they have no skills.
Wino on August 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

There ya go.

avagreen on August 17, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Another thing employers must consider is the scourge of O’Commiecare.

A business may want to hire people but can they afford to? Will all the regulation, red tape, “health” regime, EPA regime, DC graft be surmountable?

One tries to guide a business taking into account economic setbacks and that every decade or so a degenerate like Clinton or a completely incompetent joke like Obama may stumble into the White House and that an occasional degenerate like Reno or Holder at DOJ will enact their “whatever isn’t prosecuted is legal” perversions.

Then there are the curveballs like traitor JustUs Benedict Roberts who pulls a ruling out of his royal ass because his ego drives him to subject the lowly peons. When legitimate business sees that they know all bets are now off because with that sort of malevolent “justice” one could as well try to get on the “good” side of Stalin because the odds are better.

viking01 on August 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Yes, we just don’t express it the way you did. His earnings are much less than the labor charge. So he “makes” $30 an hour.

dogsoldier on August 17, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Which comes out to about $62,400 a year. I’m sure many would love to be able to make that in this economy.

Makes my point I was trying to make……..that blue collar jobs pay well and are often overlooked in the push to have the prestige of a white-collar job.

avagreen on August 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM

avagreen, an electrician on a drilling rig (offshore, hard work, family separation for half the year) gets over $100K per year.

And he earns every penny of it.

Wino on August 18, 2013 at 1:57 AM

I had a guy whose CV said he was an electrical engineer with four years of experience. He could not answer the following question: What is Ohm’s Law?

Apparently, once one gets a degree, every employer is just supposed to open their arms and hire them for $100K per year. I mean, it’s not like they have to work, right? They have a degree. That means they get a job and the salary. Work is what they’ll be telling others to do.

What do you expect when they’ve spent the last 17 years being told about life by a bunch of people who have not left the safe environment of academia? I think 20 years of workplace experience should be required of all college professors, and 10 years for all high school teachers. This “from school to college to teaching” path is not preparing students; it’s just a conduit for government money to go to non-achievers.

Wino on August 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Ring-a-ding-ding-ding. If one can’t even give the equation behind Ohm’s Law, much less the explanation of it (given a constant resistance, which eliminates items such as diodes and batteries, the current through a conductor between 2 points is directly proportional to the potential difference, i.e. voltage, between said 2 points), how did that person get an electrical engineering degree?

Steve Eggleston on August 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM

It really takes a rocket scientist posing as a politician to figure out the governments coo coo when it comes to living off the government. Food stamps, housing, cell phones, welfare, anything to keep them voting us back in office and even now that we have the voting fraud working for us. We are slowly becoming a third world country.

mixplix on August 18, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Because nobody’s actually hiring, right down to fast food, despite the mysteriously…resilient…insistence by conservatives that there are huge numbers of job openings in fields with great pay.

Every business both tall and small is sweating at the imminent arrival of Obamacare, not unlike a town waiting on a tornado warning. Everyone is terrified which way the destruction will go and until then its Katy bar the door.

MelonCollie on August 18, 2013 at 9:09 AM

I have been trying to hire folks for a year and a half. I get tons of applicants, but they have no skills.

Wino on August 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

“No” skills is a pretty strong word, sir or ma’am. May I ask what you’re hiring for?

MelonCollie on August 18, 2013 at 9:10 AM

In this instance it isn’t Obamacare, as we’re talking about filling jobs that have been created in spite of it.

As a retired Silicon Valley veteran (Intel, 1983-2000) I’d say it’s largely because employers have become hyper-picky about “skill sets” as well as discriminatory towards anyone with more than a few months of unemployment. For example, I can’t recall prospective hires at Intel being subjected to 9-10 interviews over weeks or months as seems to be the norm these days with just about every hot Internet company.

I think the “skill set” argument is likely bogus as it seems applicants are being rejected if they only have 9 out of 10, or their experience is with version 10 and the employer wants experience with version 11. In short, employers are willing to let a job go unfilled for a year (or clamor for foreign workers) rather than hire someone who might need a few weeks of training to get up to speed.

Heck, I’ve seen construction industry employers say they won’t look at
hires who’ve been out of work for 4-5 years because their skill sets are obsolete. We’re talking carpentry here, folks. Bogus.

kd6rxl on August 18, 2013 at 10:11 AM

I don’t see what the big mystery is. My company has tons of “job openings” because we haven’t hired anyone new since last year.
Two words: HIRING FREEZE.

Companies all around the country have imposed freezes on new hiring. Every time a worker leaves, that’s a new “job opening”. But it’s open only in the sense that no one is filling it….and they’re not going to anytime soon.

Thus, the disparity in “openings” and “hiring”.

jeanneb on August 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I think the “skill set” argument is likely bogus as it seems applicants are being rejected if they only have 9 out of 10, or their experience is with version 10 and the employer wants experience with version 11. In short, employers are willing to let a job go unfilled for a year (or clamor for foreign workers) rather than hire someone who might need a few weeks of training to get up to speed.

Heck, I’ve seen construction industry employers say they won’t look at
hires who’ve been out of work for 4-5 years because their skill sets are obsolete. We’re talking carpentry here, folks. Bogus.

kd6rxl on August 18, 2013 at 10:11 AM

This. Companies are no longer willing to give employees any training. They want 11 specific skills, and if they don’t get all of them already existing in a person, they won’t hire them. This did not used to be the case.

My middle-aged mom got in fresh into the computer industry in the 1980s after being a housewife for years. She had no specific training in computer programming, but she had a decade-old math degree and smarts. A company hired her, trained her in computer languages and programming from scratch. She ended up writing a program that made the company several million dollars per year, and she stayed with them for 27 years.

Put a middle-aged mom in the same situation today and the company will laugh at her and tell her to go away.

Sometimes business people are amazingly short sighted.

AngusMc on August 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

This. Companies are no longer willing to give employees any training. They want 11 specific skills, and if they don’t get all of them already existing in a person, they won’t hire them.

Sometimes business people are amazingly short sighted.

AngusMc on August 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM

This. They’re not going to bother investing, which would require work on THEIR part, they’re just going to sit on their fannies until the Right Employee ™ knocks on their door and begs to work at long hours for low wages just to pay rent.

About the only place left that will train people is call centers.

It’s getting increasingly hard to defend capitalism when businesses seem to be competing to see who can make a Dilbert cartoon look ridiculous.

MelonCollie on August 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Dr. James Joyner and Bloomberg’s Peter Orszag have covered the disparities between the numbers quite well.

However, I would ask both gentlemen; is have they read the Job Classification/Position Descriptions for all vacancies.

As the sign says, Now Hiring Now, Right Now Hiring Right Now. Most job offerings such as this (sound so desperate you would wonder, first what type of person they are looking for to do what kind of work, and finally is worth it?). This sign shows desperation to get a Just Over the Boarder type of employment for those standing outside Home Depot.

Today’s recent collage graduates are not looking for a Job. They are looking learning opportunities where jobs they had in High School and the skills (engineering, marketing, management etc.) learned in college allow them to be creative, and say later, “I did that, I hope it make your learning easier.

However, if they walk into the initial meeting for this position, and provid HR their bio. Then are asked to review the Position Description and Job Classification, which does not appear to have been updated or provide the opportunity to be creative and work their way up the Organization Chart because the HR section has not been doing their job the smart applicant will say adios. Now the employer is forced by time to obtain a Just Over the Boarder type that the employer is stuck trying to train. Or worse spending hours/days fighting with the EOC Department of the Federal Government, the State equivalent, and Union Reps to get rid of the this employee that the company goes broke.

Each time an employer creates an employment Opportunity, understand you are creating a position that you one of your skilled and dedicated craftsman can move into and you can fill the lowest position on the Org Chart with another self starter. Always remember to keep your position descriptions are current and written by the person filling it – they will help the new person in performing their new job and also leave mark in the Organization.

MSGTAS on August 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

One of the reasons employers want skilled workers and aren’t willing to train, is that turnover is so much higher than it was 20 years ago. Loyalty means nothing. Who stays at a job for 27 years anymore? They come in, work a couple of years, then hop to something else.

Meezles on August 18, 2013 at 8:58 PM

There is a difference in the metrics of “openings” (potential) and hiring (actual). The disparity means that employers do not have confidence in making those hiring decisions. It costs nothing to post an opening on your web-site (and many other job-sites), but it’s a long-term liability to hire.

What did politicians think would happen if they started messing with taxation and employment law? They are about to drop the hammer on a surge of illegals into the job-market too. It’s shameful that serious people sat around without objecting to the absurd claims that more spending on health care (administration) would spur the economy. Everyone knew that was false.

virgo on August 19, 2013 at 11:32 AM

It’s getting increasingly hard to defend capitalism when businesses seem to be competing to see who can make a Dilbert cartoon look ridiculous.

MelonCollie on August 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Indeed.

To everyone: I think this is one of those situations where “all of the above” really is the case.

AesopFan on August 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM

All the above plus… Bargain Shopping Employers

RalphyBoy on August 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM