Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jobs, Not Job-Seekers

It's the myth that won't die, apparently.

Five or six weeks ago, Robert Oak stated flatly "there is no labor shortage in the United States.    None, and that includes high skilled labor.     Relying on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, he explained

In 2010, there were 3,531,000 computer & mathematical related occupation workers. Yet in 2008, there were 3,676,000. In just this occupational category alone, the United States is down 145,000 jobs, or -4%. The same is true for engineers and architects. In 2010 there were 2,619,000 people employed in these occupations, yet magically, in 2008, average, there were 2,931,000, another drop of 312,000 jobs, or -10.6%.  

He noted, as the graph (below) from the BLS indicates,

the unemployment rate for professionals, those with college degrees in specialized areas should be below 2.2% for full employment. Clearly the above shows not only is there no worker shortage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, there are U.S. citizens needing a job.

Yet, the President remarked in his State of the Union message

I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can't find workers with the right skills.    Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job.     Think about that- openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work.    It's inexcusable.   And we know how to fix it.

Oh, no, he doesn't.    Or at least if he does, he's not letting on that he knows.       Instead, the President has a scheme, to be led by Education Secretary Arne Duncan of Chicago, which would hasten the demise of the  American public school system through a combination of abridging teacher tenure, expanding the scope of charter schools, and other "reforms" which have failed to demonstrate success.

Obama, more intent on being "transformative" than effective, continues to peddle the self-serving fable from the American business community that it would so love to hire more individuals, but they just aren't qualified.      It is, though, self-serving also for the President.   Were he to propose the corporate world assume even a modicum of accountability for devastating unemployment, he not only would incur condemnation from the GOP but would indirectly be acknowledging that joblessness remains far too high.     The problem is not the Washington establishment, public or private, you see; it's American workers.      They simply are too darned uneducated.

Until recently at least, the White House was expecting the nomination of Mitt Romney, the worst possible scenario imaginable, given the individuals who have been part of the GOP's presidential race.      Romney, of course, wouldn't suggest that the private sector should assume any responsibility for the high  unemployment rate.      But his campaign slogan is "Believe in America."       "Americans" might be conflated with "America" in the minds of American voters, who might come to suspect that the challenger believes in America, and in American workers, more than the incumbent.      And that could be disastrous.

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