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Old 09-29-2018, 06:00 PM
 
825 posts, read 225,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
A business owner in North Carolina complains, 50% of the applicants can't pass the drug test. I met an owner of a heavy equipment company here in Tucson: Ditto! Can't find any "qualified" workers. I won't hire anyone that doesn't pass the drug test.

And what may be other obstacles hindering applicants from being hired?

A man drinks up a storm before work the next day, and once he gets there, he's in no great shape to make his employer happy, but he passed the drug test! He's a qualified worker!

Here, in Tucson, a huge 55+ condo development, with 90% of the units pre-purchased, was scrapped, can't find workers, can't promise the buyers when the development will be finished or built. And with the Mexican population of Tucson at 40-45%?

Does any of it sound a little fishy to you, a worker shortage?
Yes. The pro-open borders crowd is constantly whining about alleged worker shortages, even during the years immediately after the Great Recession, when joblessness and immigration levels were high.

And today, they're still whining about businesses that can't find enough workers. Well, tweak your business model if you can't find people; offer better pay and benefits and better working conditions, and maybe automate or otherwise improve efficiency, and jobs will get done. Or maybe some very low-wage businesses are best done elsewhere (such as when low-wage businesses moved out of the US, freeing up labor and capital for higher-wage and more productive ones).

There may be a worker shortage in narrow fields, but overall the labor force participation rate--the number of able-bodied people who are actually working or looking for work--is significantly lower than in decades past; plenty of people able-bodied people have just given up on getting a job.

Plenty of workers are out there. Train them and pay them enough (which is what we, as a First World country should do), and they'll show up. It may take some time, but they will.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:29 PM
 
1,355 posts, read 471,154 times
Reputation: 2573
"Does any of it sound a little fishy to you, a worker shortage?"

yes.
offer a plumber $500 a hour and see him/her show up that day or night.
offer the same plumber $50 an hour and you get in line for next week.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:33 PM
 
Location: SC
8,405 posts, read 5,174,417 times
Reputation: 12146
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
A business owner in North Carolina complains, 50% of the applicants can't pass the drug test. I met an owner of a heavy equipment company here in Tucson: Ditto! Can't find any "qualified" workers. I won't hire anyone that doesn't pass the drug test.

And what may be other obstacles hindering applicants from being hired?

A man drinks up a storm before work the next day, and once he gets there, he's in no great shape to make his employer happy, but he passed the drug test! He's a qualified worker!

Here, in Tucson, a huge 55+ condo development, with 90% of the units pre-purchased, was scrapped, can't find workers, can't promise the buyers when the development will be finished or built. And with the Mexican population of Tucson at 40-45%?

Does any of it sound a little fishy to you, a worker shortage?
You don't really think this is a "qualified" worker do you? In my company; if he shows up hungover and can't do the job he is fired.

Also, I'd like to see any documentation that says that a 90% pre-sold building was scrapped because they couldn't find qualified workers. That sounds like - umpossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
There is no worker shortage. There is a shortage of employers will to pay a fair wage with benefits. Substandard pay attracts substandard workers.
Also, I would say that a major difference between now and 30 years ago is that companies seem to think that "workers" emerge from the ether full trained and knowledgeable about all that concerns the company. They have 0 interest in providing the necessary training to any employee - even one who comes with 75% of the skills they need.

When companies stop basing their job requirement on finding unicorns, yet with pay rates for donkeys and when they stop using the lack of unicorns as a reason not to hire Americans, i'll start cutting them a little slack.

Last edited by blktoptrvl; 09-29-2018 at 06:59 PM..
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:04 AM
 
384 posts, read 177,961 times
Reputation: 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by High Altitude View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff
I'd love to hire some people with 10 years experience in the field, but they just aren't out there.




They are out there, you just aren’t willing to pay what it takes to get them.

Or not willing to pay enough to make it worthwhile for someone to spend thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, plus years of time, to acquire the training to become qualified.


Part of the problem is companies that want someone with five years of experience on technology that came out last year.


It used to be that companies would hire someone as a trainee, then after six months or so, double their salary, then after a year or two, increase their wages even more.All the time, offering full benefits.


No more. Now, the employees have to guess what will be in demand when they finish their training, (paid for at their own expense) and then face the problem that no one wants to hire a someone with no experience, and end up having to work as a barrista.

Last edited by margaretBartle; 09-30-2018 at 01:39 AM..
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:08 AM
 
384 posts, read 177,961 times
Reputation: 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by RageX View Post
It's sad to see people arguing over which condition exists: a lack of skilled or trainable workers, or employers who don't want to pay enough.

The truth is worse than one or the other.

Currently, both conditions exist simultaneously in equal and, appaling, measure.

I have to say, I absolutely do not see a lot of companies (i.e. ANY companies) not being able to find trainable workers. Companies do not want to train workers. (Unless it's really low-paid, unpleasant dangerous work.)
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Old 09-30-2018, 01:33 AM
 
384 posts, read 177,961 times
Reputation: 1028
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Incorrect. This is way beyond a pay issue. More pay is simply swapping the same workers around between various employers. It won't create more qualified employees to fill the vacant jobs. If I have 5 jobs and Fred has 5 jobs and Barney has 3 jobs, that's a total of 13. When there are only 10 qualified employees, three of those jobs will be unfilled at ANY amount of money.

Sure, there are plenty of people out there who want the job and money, but they aren't qualified. They have done nothing to get qualified.



You need to put some context in that. What do you mean "qualified"? What do they need to do to become qualified? How much money will it cost? How many years will it take?


I know so many people who have spent years in college, with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans doing what they thought they needed to do to become "qualified".



When I was in school, I listened to an alum who told us that we should go out and work for free to get experience. I was one of the only people who actually did that, and a year later, I was the only one working in my field, everyone else was doing tech support, help desk, retail sales. No one would hire a student just out of school with no experience.



Most people cannot afford to work for a year without an income. Is that what you mean by them not wanting to do what they need to do to become qualified?


In the ensuing decade, millions of high-tech workers were fired, after being told to train their cheap-labor replacements. What kind of encentive is that - to invest in a short-term future?



You complain about what you don't have right now, not considering the fact that what you have right now is the result of what happened in the past. People need to have a sense of confidence that their investment will pay off. For now, that sense of confidence is non-existent.


Until people have a sense that they won't be fired the first time some low-wage guest worker shows up to underbid them, or that they will have a job that lasts more than two years, you are going to continue to experience that lack of "qualified" workers.


It's a complex situation, where employers cannot afford to pay the kind of wages that will justify the kind of investment required to be hireable.
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Old 09-30-2018, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,640 posts, read 20,310,169 times
Reputation: 22725
Just driving around Tucson, I'm always perplexed,, with all the competition, how any business can make a profit. Medical buildings everywhere you look, and who's going to all these medical places and keeping them in business? Dental clinics and pharmacies perplex me even more, as I've talked to too many here already, who hightail it to Nogales, Mexico for their meds and dental work, as I do. And all these restaurants! There's 10 of them within 3 blocks of my house and how on earth can they even make a profit? Restaurants perplex me the most as I don't eat out at restaurants, unless I'm traveling, and how on earth can they even afford to pay minimum wage in these places and keep alive!

Opening up a business on my own, the whole idea is a million miles away from my radar screen!
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:33 AM
 
5,966 posts, read 3,193,974 times
Reputation: 15709
Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
You need to put some context in that. What do you mean "qualified"? What do they need to do to become qualified? How much money will it cost? How many years will it take?


I know so many people who have spent years in college, with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans doing what they thought they needed to do to become "qualified".
.
We hire scientists and engineers for research in X & Y. To be qualified for an entry level job, they need a college degree in X or Y or a related field. AND they need to have demonstrated the ability to be a self starter; to think independently; to catch on quickly. That "AND" is very important. There is a limited supply of new graduates each year (one of the degrees we hire only graduates about 7000 each year). Then you apply the "AND" and the number of qualified applicants drops quickly. Way too many young engineers are "cookbook" engineers. They basically do the same engineering problems they did in class, essentially repeating the engineering that has already been done. They have no ability or initiative to take on world class problems and solve things that have never been done before.

I don't expect them to come out of college fully trained. A college engineering or science degree is just a license to learn, nothing more. We will train them. But they have to be trainable. They have a science or engineering degree but they don't think like one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
When I was in school, I listened to an alum who told us that we should go out and work for free to get experience. I was one of the only people who actually did that, and a year later, I was the only one working in my field, everyone else was doing tech support, help desk, retail sales. No one would hire a student just out of school with no experience.

Most people cannot afford to work for a year without an income. Is that what you mean by them not wanting to do what they need to do to become qualified?
We don't expect them to have worked for free. But after reading resumes until my eyeballs cross, you can see a distinct difference even among those with the same degree from the same college in the same year. They all have the same basic classes, the same basic degree. But one will have done more -- participated in undergrad research; submitted a proposal; co-authored a paper; been a leader in their professional society; etc. Even just being a member of your professional society and attending conferences indicates you have a true interest in your chosen profession and not just a degree. Too many college students and young graduates these days don't see an immediate value in it so they don't participate. Yet membership and participation is one of the most valuable things you can do to set yourself up as a leader in your profession and not just a cookbook engineer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
In the ensuing decade, millions of high-tech workers were fired, after being told to train their cheap-labor replacements. What kind of encentive is that - to invest in a short-term future?
.
Not in our field. Even during the worst, we simply slowed hiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
Until people have a sense that they won't be fired the first time some low-wage guest worker shows up to underbid them, or that they will have a job that lasts more than two years, you are going to continue to experience that lack of "qualified" workers.
.
Non US citizens can't even get in the door.

Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
It's a complex situation, where employers cannot afford to pay the kind of wages that will justify the kind of investment required to be hireable.
College cost are too high. But that means people need to make wise choices on where and whether to go. And then make wise choices about what they do while they are there. And frankly those wise choices need to start while still in school to take the subjects no one wants to take and study instead of drinking beer in the Walmart parking lot at night.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:45 AM
 
4,958 posts, read 1,976,147 times
Reputation: 5096
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
A business owner in North Carolina complains, 50% of the applicants can't pass the drug test. I met an owner of a heavy equipment company here in Tucson: Ditto! Can't find any "qualified" workers. I won't hire anyone that doesn't pass the drug test.

And what may be other obstacles hindering applicants from being hired?

A man drinks up a storm before work the next day, and once he gets there, he's in no great shape to make his employer happy, but he passed the drug test! He's a qualified worker!

Here, in Tucson, a huge 55+ condo development, with 90% of the units pre-purchased, was scrapped, can't find workers, can't promise the buyers when the development will be finished or built. And with the Mexican population of Tucson at 40-45%?

Does any of it sound a little fishy to you, a worker shortage?
I go to a lot of construction sites and know a lot of people in the business. They can't find workers and if a **** test is required it's even harder. One of the people i know is a plumber by trade but he is pressed into service as a delivery driver because his company can't find people to drive a 24ft flatbed truck.

The trades are hurting right now. I make a lot of money on the side doing small things companies can't get to. Today I'm up early to replace a hot water heater for a guy. The company he went to wouldn't do it right away because they're so booked up and it's not an emergency. He'd have to wait a month otherwise which he can't. It's an old hwh and he just wants it gone before he goes south for the winter.

Looks like I get to make $200 before noon!!!
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:14 AM
 
5,966 posts, read 3,193,974 times
Reputation: 15709
Quote:
Originally Posted by margaretBartle View Post
I have to say, I absolutely do not see a lot of companies (i.e. ANY companies) not being able to find trainable workers. Companies do not want to train workers. (Unless it's really low-paid, unpleasant dangerous work.)
Let's expand a bit on trainable workers. We have a detailed training program for new hires. But so many just aren't trainable. Perhaps it starts in school. But I constantly get new hires in my office, had one the other day, who complain the training is too hard. Really? The documentation and reading should take about two weeks. You're being paid to read it. Why is that hard? Because it's not in Twitter format? The OJT portion will take longer because you have to learn by doing and demonstrate you learned it. You actually have to do the work.

Or this biggie: "I don't need to know this to do my job." Oh, and you know that how? You haven't been here long enough to know what the job entails.

Or: "This is useless to me; I don't do "A" in my job." You're still a trainee. You may not be doing "A" today, but your job includes doing "A" when you get qualified to do it. Just because you don't want to do it doesn't mean it isn't part of your job.

It's beyond ridiculous how many think "doing research" means Google something. Who actually think cutting and pasting from a website is writing a white paper. How many don't know how to use a library (how they #### did they get through college). Or how many seem to expect the supervisor to go to the board like their teacher and take them step by step through the problem. Sorry, that's why you were hired to figure out how to solve that problem.

So yes, we will train. But trainable workers are in high demand and not even a blank check will turn untrainable into trainable.
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