Addicting Info does not endorse the idea of discussing politics at holiday family dinners. It rarely ends well, unless everyone tends to be at least sort of in sync. However, we understand that when faced with a barrage of talk radio and Fox News talking points, restraint can be difficult. With that in mind, we’ll try to arm each and every Addicting Info reader with some quick and easy facts. Let’s start with this one, which we’ve been hearing a lot:
The unemployed are lazy – Your Fox News watching Father-in- Law/Uncle/Cousin/Sister knows that because (s)he personally knows of a guy that has a job opening and can’t find a single qualified person.
Well, a time of drinking may not be the best time to bring up the difference between an anecdotal argument and a fact based argument, but it could be helpful for them to know. The right seems to use anecdotal arguments a lot. Could that be because facts are never on their sides?
Here’s where we present the only fact they need to know — For the last 34 months (long before Obama took office), there have been four unemployed people (on average) for every job opening. That doesn’t mean that there are an average of four people applying for each job. No, the number is much much higher than that. In fact, each job opening averages about 50-60 applicants.
What about that guy who’s having trouble filling that job? Well, employers are looking for very specific skill sets and they’re being very selective…primarily so they aren’t forced to interview dozens of candidates for each opening. There is a lot of talk about applicants lacking the skill set necessary for today’s job market. There is truth to that argument, but that is due to the changing job market, not to poor planning. Sure, many if not most job applicants could benefit from going back to school, but is that the answer? Maybe not with rising tuition rates and mounting student debt. Employers used to offer training…not so much anymore. With so many applicants, they feel that they can hire people capable of hitting the ground running.
Which brings me to my final point; employers are using this crappy job market to crap on employees. According to Jonas Prising of Manpower, “There may also be an increasing imbalance between employers willingness to pay higher salaries in what is still a soft general labor market compared to the salary expectations of prospective employees, especially those with skills that are in high demand.”
In other words, employers don’t want to pay what they paid even three years ago, because they think they don’t have to. It kind of makes it tough when you have a mortgage, student debt and the need to support a family, on a fraction of what you were making. But let’s back up for a second. Of course, your Father-in-Law is going to argue that desperate times call for desperate measures, that the applicant should be able to work for less. The fact is, many are, but there’s the job interview. Who among us hasn’t heard this question, “What are your salary requirements?” That question can turn a seamless job interview to a time of wishing you’d have used the strong antiperspirant. The answer, “I’m willing to negotiate,” is no longer acceptable to most employers. If you go too low, the employer is going to think you aren’t worth it. If you go too high, you’ll lose the job. No. The employer wants the person who has 20 years of experience, ongoing and specific education and is able to guess the below living standards salary range that is being offered. Then of course, there’s that catch-22 of being the perfect candidate whose salary history was too high. Employers know that the recession won’t last forever. They don’t want to hire the perfect candidate, just to turn around and lose them to a higher paying job.