May 31, 2008


Job Climate for the Class of 2008 Is a Bit Warmer Than Expected KATE MURPHY, 5/31/08, NY Times)

Given that the economy is flagging, this would seem an inauspicious time to be graduating from college and looking for full-time employment.

Job prospects this year, however, have been better than career counselors and recent graduates had expected. Employers are still extending offers, just not as many as last year.

As Job Surplus Grows, Iowa Workers Are Calling the Shots (JOHN LELAND, 5/31/08, NY Times)
As rising unemployment and layoffs beset workers around the country, Iowa faces a different problem: a surplus of jobs. Or to put it another way: a shortage of workers. A survey of companies by Iowa Workforce Development, a state agency, found as many as 48,000 job vacancies, in industries including financial services — Des Moines trails only Hartford as the nation’s insurance capital — health care and skilled manufacturing. One estimate projects the job surplus to reach 198,000 by 2014, with vacancies increasingly in professional positions. Greater Des Moines alone faces a shortfall of 60,000 workers in the next decade.

The state provides a small, advance view of what some economists predict will be a broader shortage of skilled workers in the next 20 or 30 years, as tens of millions of baby boomers retire from the workplace, and the economy produces more new jobs than workers. Potential consequences include slower economic growth and competitiveness, as well as higher wages for skilled workers and greater inequality.

Estimates of the national shortage run as high as 14 million skilled workers by 2020, according to widely cited projections by the labor economists Anthony P. Carnevale and Donna M. Desrochers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2008 12:02 AM

I will believe that when employers start offering wages.

A company here offered me a job. Ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week, going around to gas wells and installing and maintaining the electronic controls and monitoring systems.

$10 an hour. Oh, and between runs I could wash trucks and fix Diesel engines at the shop. They were dubious about hiring me because I don't have a CDL and thus couldn't schlep the trucks around.


Posted by: Ric Locke at May 31, 2008 10:30 AM

Having worked in such a job, the 60 hours of time and a half makes it very good money for scut work.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2008 12:07 PM

Uh hunh. So what shall I say about my truck driver friend, who works 90+ hours a week? He's able to support his family on that. Who else's family will fail of support at the end of a fourteen or sixteen hour shift?

Bah. I say again: there is no labor shortage, just as there is no oil shortage. What there's a shortage of is people willing to pay for what they get.


Posted by: Ric Locke at May 31, 2008 3:41 PM

Yes, you say that a family can be supported on two 40 hour shifts, though more hours makes it easier.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2008 8:27 PM