Everybody’s rightly piling on Tom Corbett for blaming his unemployment record on hippies and lazy unskilled workers, but let’s take a minute to lament the sad erosion of Pennsylvania CEOs’ job skills in this recession.
Many PA CEOs, particularly in the manufacturing and resource extraction sectors, have seen their job skills battered in this recession, in many cases totally forgetting how to attract qualified applicants.
In normal times, CEOs used to know that they have to offer wages high enough to fill their job openings with qualified candidates, and spend some resources training people who mostly but don’t quite fit their specifications.
The ongoing weakness in the economy, and the super low ratio of job openings to job seekers has hobbled many of PA’s CEOs with a crippling sense of entitlement to stinginess with wages and job training, which is preventing them from filling the positions they need.
The next Governor may need to launch a new CEO Retraining Program to retrain executives whose job skills have atrophied and teach them how to offer higher wages and train people when they can’t fill positions.
The complaint about failed drug tests is often repeated among employers in the “echo chamber” of the manufacturing sector, said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics. But “there isn’t good data” to support the claim, he said.
What’s true nowadays is that employers are “more picky,” Zandi said, unwilling to hire and train those who don’t “fit exactly what they’re looking for.”
He said one theory is that employers who laid off human-resources executives no longer have a strong structure for recruiting workers.
Georgetown University economist Harry Holzer pointed out that the nation faces a near-8-percent unemployment rate with a 2.8 percent job-vacancy rate – an extraordinarily high level.
Most vacancies can’t be explained by drug tests, Holzer said. “A lot of companies are posting job vacancies but not working hard to fill them, being very choosy about employees,” he said.
(Via Alfred Lubrano)