The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that the unemployment rate has declined a bit, but still remains at 5.9%. Apparently, this has to do with the fact the job market is improving, so some people who had quit looking for work have reentered the job market. This translates into 9.3 million people…officially.
I say officially because as near as I can tell, the actual numbers are higher than this, especially when you include those with a part time job or who are underemployed due to their inability to find a job to match their skills.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also announced that there are 4.8 million job openings, which was the highest level of job openings since January 2001. Most of these openings come from businesses although a few were in government.
I find the whole thing confusing. Transwall is growing, which has led to our hiring some new people and looking for more. We have well-paying jobs, but had only a few people applying in spite of all those unemployed people. In March we not only posted job openings for Project Managers and Sales Support positions on Monster and Craigslist, but we also engaged a professional recruiter.
We watched our inbox expecting many applications.
The results were underwhelming. Three months of no or few responses. One phone interview generated by the recruiter – not a good fit. Where are all the unemployed people looking for work?
We manufacture, sell, and service spectacular commercial movable wall systems and related products. Our business is based on new commercial construction and renovation and building and retaining a loyal customer base.
Dedicated, engaged, and informed employees are key to our success. We value them and work hard to take care of them. We really do believe that our people are our greatest asset, so we work hard to be a good place to work, so why so few job candidates?
Our products are engineered to high standards. We are involved in complex projects, so we require skilled workers from the salespeople, designers, and engineers to the painters, metalworkers, and installers. And therein seems to lay the problem.
Millions of people are looking for work with skills that don’t match the needs of businesses. According to that aforementioned Bureau of Labor Statistics, the situation is going to get worse. By 2022 the US will be short 41,700 cement masons, 114,700 electricians, and 218,200 carpenters.
How will these unemployed find work and what will companies do to fill their openings? The worker skills and company needs mismatch is tremendous.
In our case, we continued to look for people through networking and posting on various job boards. We kept our eyes open and mentioned our needs to everyone. Finally, a very good candidate showed up. A couple of months ago, I saw the young gent who has been selling me my mobile phones for 5 years. He was looking for a new challenge.
He started a week later in our sales support group.
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