Sunday, April 25, 2010

Forget the Jobless Recovery, We Might Be Headed for a Worker Shortage

From today's NY Times article "Rays of Hope for Job Hunters":
For the first time in two years, many job seekers may have reason to feel hopeful. Employers are beginning to hire again — or at least think about it. The shift is most apparent in job postings, which have begun to surge., which collects job listings from thousands of sources, reported a 19 percent increase in postings in March, versus the same month last year.

The number of
postings rose in 10 of 12 industry categories. (The only category that declined was health care, one of the few bright spots during the recession.) The industries that showed the biggest uptick in March openings were retail, up 42 percent; hospitality, 33 percent; and media and newspapers, 30 percent.

The current outlook is a contrast to the deep gloom of 2008 and 2009. Companies’ profit reports, recent retail sales, manufacturing and other data are generally improving. At some point, businesses will have more work than workers, and will need to hire.

Tamara Erickson, an author and work-force consultant, said the recession masked a long-term trend that will intensify: a worker shortage caused by the continuing retirement of baby boomers. Her advice to job seekers? “Cheer up,” she said. “The real possibility of finding a job that you’ll like is increasing every day.”


At 4/25/2010 5:58 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

Let's hope for a jobs boom. There is no inflation out there--please Mr. Bernanke, print money until the plates melt, and print some more.

We need some reflation, and then some inflation...I think we have good 10 year bull market in front of us in equities and properties market

...the Bush jr. era recedes into past...though we still have to wind down two wars...oh that.

At 4/25/2010 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anything, Gross seems to be engaging in wishful thinking, painting a portrait of the economy that would be wonderful if true. "In the past two years," Gross writes, "the old policy of subsidizing housing and Wall Street has been replaced by a new one that seeks to boost national operating income through efficiency." In fact, almost the opposite is true. The old policy is alive and well, and there are many in both parties who are calling for doubling down on a McMansion-and-Hummer pseudo-recovery. And if Wall Street is less subsidized now than it was before the death of Lehman, I will eat my hat.

We are propping up the most rotten sectors of the economy and diverting talent that would otherwise shift into the new interrelated systems that are slowly emerging—and this emergence will prove very slow indeed once the inevitable tax burden required to prop up aging yet politically powerful sectors hits. One can hope, like Gross, that those new commercial infrastructures and industrial ecosystems that propel growth will take shape here at home. They could just as easily emerge in China or India or, for that matter, Canada, a country that has pursued more sustainable fiscal policies.

Mike Dorning of Bloomberg BusinessWeek focused more narrowly on the success of the president's stimulus package. But it's hardly surprising that a massive debt-financed stimulus has led to an uptick in economic activity.

Sorry, We're Still Screwed

At 4/25/2010 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's no surprise to here happy talk from the Democrat Party house organ. Between now and the election they will do everything in their power to paint lipstick on this pig of an administration. But when the mortgage subsidies are withdrawn and the Obamunist era tax hikes take effect, you can kiss economic growth goodbye.

At 4/25/2010 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark you should talk to some of your former students. It is very difficult to find a job for current students. Frankly the year over year comparison is any easy one ( remember the world was ending last March.

At 4/25/2010 9:22 PM, Blogger The Right Guy said...

Not here in Iowa... Lower unemployment, but fewer opportunities...In spite of what the signs say when you drive into the state.

At 4/25/2010 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post. You defiantly deserve credit, particularly for going against conventional wisdom. It reminds me last year when (I can't remember when, nor can I remember where the post is at) you proclaimed that "This recession will be over before you know it," (or something like it) and made numerous calls for it to officially end in July; it looks like you nailed it.

At 4/25/2010 10:06 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Unfortunately though hardly surprisingly in my time at the white house as a member and then chairman of the council of economic advisors and at the world bank, I saw that decisions were often being made because of ideology and politics. As a result many wrong headed actions were taken,ones that did not solve the problem at hand but fit with the interests or beliefs of the people in power.
"joseph stiglitz" noble laurete2002

At 4/25/2010 10:18 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

Great percentage increases,but off of what base?

Consider: If employment ads drop 90% one year, and then resume the same level the following year, the year to year percentage increase is 900%. Boy, what a boom!

Or is it?

At 4/25/2010 10:24 PM, Anonymous grant said...

There is absolutely no micro economic reform in America the freight train of economic growth [fueled by created stimulus printed money] is rushing through tunnel vision idiocy towards the next train wreck sometime in the future.God bless America and of course economic recovery.

At 4/25/2010 11:08 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

Grant no matter what anyone does there will be a train wreck in the economy. Look at 1873 1983 and 1907. Until 1933 1893 was considered the great depression. So we had train wrecks with an unregulated economy as well as with the current one. Bankers start out as fools and only after experiencing a train wreck do they wise up. I suspect it will take 20 to 30 years for the instituional memory of this crash to begin to fade. Interestingly it was about 50 years for the 1930s to fade until those who experienced it were no longer influential.

At 4/26/2010 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beware Shortage Forecasts – They Serve a Purpose

I am an engineer currently unemployed. Over the years I have seen many forecasts of a coming shortage of engineers. All, and I mean that literally, have one thing in common: none has ever been right. Most often what really happens is that when the time of the forecast comes there is usually widespread unemployment among engineers.

The first one I remember was when Sputnik went up. Massive public investment in science and engineering lead to a sharp increase in the number of people getting such degrees. By the early 60s there was a surplus of scientist and engineers. In 1962 my physics lab instructor was pursuing a PhD because he had been laid off from an engineering job at the old North American Aircraft.

The biggest mistake in forecasting was by the National Science Foundation in the mid 80s. They projected a shortfall of 675,000 scientists and engineers beginning in 1991. It did not happen. What happened was another round of lay offs in the early 90s.

False projections of a shortage serve a purpose. Employers used the National Science Foundation projection to push Congress to give the cheap foreign labor in the form of the H-1B visa in 1990. Government agencies get funding to study the problem. Such projections help employers satisfy the requirement that no American is available and therefore the job can be given to a foreigner with a green card

At 4/26/2010 2:04 AM, Anonymous grant said...

reply to anon 8.13
If you are having a hard time getting a job think about going offshore to countrys that are doing well or are English speaking.
China,Hong Kong,Singapore,South Korea,Australia,NewZealand,Indonesia,Japan,u.k.,Ireland,Canada,Norway,
You could gain a lot of experience there.BEST OF LUCK.Try their banks.

At 4/26/2010 3:53 AM, Anonymous grant said...

Thakyou lyle for your posting! Yes there were rain wrecks until Maynard Keynes came along with the general theory.American banker/President F.D.R introduced various programs and I suppose the first stimulus pump prime. This was not your everyday bus stop recession but one of the big ones.
Did Keynes ever envisage the amount of stimulus funds that helicopter Ben has been dropping into this economy.Realistically how much will have to be dropped into the next one.
There is a young economist on this post who has not gotten a job in an absolute stink hole of an economy where lots needs fixing. Just that act shows there is no interest in fixing anything.The washington pigs have no intention of smoothing Americans into the future because America has gone rotten.

At 4/26/2010 4:18 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

"Forget the Jobless Recovery, We Might Be Headed for a Worker Shortage"

When someone speaks of that, they really mean this:

False projections of a shortage serve a purpose. Employers used the National Science Foundation projection to push Congress to give the cheap foreign labor in the form of the H-1B visa in 1990. Government agencies get funding to study the problem. Such projections help employers satisfy the requirement that no American is available and therefore the job can be given to a foreigner with a green card

If you are having a hard time getting a job think about going offshore

They're having enough problems w/ their own(Australia, U.K, Ireland, NZ, Japan), or are Third World hellholes (about the rest of them).

At 4/26/2010 5:09 AM, Blogger rjs said...

baby boomers cant retire cause theyre all in debt...

At 4/26/2010 8:15 AM, Anonymous DrTorch said...

rjs got it right.

This is just a flaming piece of propaganda.

Baby boomers aren't retiring, their nest eggs have been decimated, plus they're all hyped that "60 is the new 40" and they're raring to go.

Not to mention the fact is we had an echo, where birth rates for the "millenial" generation matched the boomers. In other words, we have plenty of replacement workers. That doesn't even consider immigration.

At 4/26/2010 8:39 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

this policy of using the absolute trough of the economy last march to make all the yoy comps look good is going to backfire. things started getting better, and that's going to make the comps harder.

this will have things looking like they are deteriorating by the election and the comps get tougher and tougher all year.

these numbers are nowhere near where they are in a healthy economy.

At 4/26/2010 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the numbers say and what is actually happening nationwide don't seem to correspond very well. I work in the education sector. It's hard to imagine job postings are up 11% when 27,000 teachers are about to be laid off in California, New Jersey, and other states. Lots of babyboomer teachers aren't willing to take retirement packages which they feel are lower than they deserve (due to the recession), so there's a glut of college grads and career changers with teacher certification who have yet to get a job. In addition, school districts are reducing positions and increasing class size instead of filling in those retired babyboomer positions.

Those of us in education have been told for years that there's a teacher shortage, but with layoffs, job freezes, retirement-age teachers continuing to work, that doesn't really seem true. I wonder if it's the same in other sectors mentioned in the chart.

At 4/26/2010 10:18 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

There is a narrative here that Boomers are not retiring. Boomers ARE retiring from physically demanding jobs that pay well without much training. For example: Linemen, as stated by the BLS.

There must be many other examples of physical jobs. I wonder if women will get special paid strength building sessions, on an on-going basis, to perform these jobs?

At 4/26/2010 10:43 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Let's see how the qestionable optimism in the Times compares to that of the following site:

At 4/26/2010 2:58 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Thanks for link to daily job cuts juandos


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