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Why is There a Lack of Skilled Workers With Such High Unemployment?

hvactec

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The national unemployment rate has ranged between 9 to 10 percent for nearly three years, representing 14-15 million workers and another 8-9 million workers that are considered underemployed. The unemployment rate for the manufacturing industry jumped from 8.3 percent in December 2008 to a high of 13.0 percent in January 2010, but has ranged from a high of 9.9 percent in January 2011 to a low of 8.9 percent in August.

We have lost more than 5.5 million manufacturing jobs in the past decade, and over 57,000 manufacturing companies have gone out of business. Aren't there enough workers who lost jobs to fill the needs of companies that have survived and are now experiencing the recovery of the manufacturing industry? With over 20 million unemployed or underemployed workers, why is there a lack of skilled workers?

The main reasons for the lack of workers with the specific skills needed by today's higher technology manufacturers are:

Unemployed workers mainly come from industries that have been decimated by offshoring

Fewer people choosing manufacturing as a career choice because of poor image

Attrition from retirement that is getting worse as baby boomers start to retire


First of all, a large percentage of the people who lost their jobs came out of industries that have been decimated by the offshoring of manufacturing -- textiles, furniture, tires, sporting goods, and the garment industry just to name a few. For example, the garment district in New York City has virtually disappeared, and now there is only one company left that makes gloves -- LaCrasia Gloves.

An added blow was the decimation of the automobile and auto parts industry during the Great Recession when North American auto production dropped from an average of 14-15 million vehicles per year down to below 10 million vehicles in 2008.

Most of these industries were dominated by large manufacturers employing hundreds to thousands of workers in plants located in the northeast, Midwest, and south. They either worked on assembly lines or utilized specific skills suited to their industries. In some cases, a textile plant, furniture plant, or automotive plant was the only large employer in the town. When the plant closed, workers either had to take whatever other job they could find or relocate to another area. If they were over the age of 55, they were fortunate to find a job at all. In most cases, these workers didn't have the specific skills needed in high-tech manufacturing industries.

When the manufacturing industry seems to be in a nationwide downward spiral, workers don't even know where to relocate to find other types of manufacturing jobs. And, if their spouse still has a good job, there is no incentive to move to where there might be an opportunity for another manufacturing job. For example, I'm sure that only residents in the region are aware that German industrial corporation AG Siemens has a new plant in Charlotte, North Carolina and is hiring nearly 900 workers.

read more Michele Nash-Hoff: Why is There a Lack of Skilled Workers With Such High Unemployment?
 

uscitizen

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There is not nearly as much of a shortage of skilled workers as industry leads us to believe.
They just want cheaper skilled workers.

Kinda like when they cry that their pension plans are bankrupting them and 15-20% of their pension liabilities are for executive pensions which make up <3% of the workforce.

Success by racing to the bottom.
 

phatgirl18

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I have to agree with uscitizen. Businesses want to reduce all costs. It is also the reason why they outsource and why alot of people are still jobless even if there are alot of vacancies.
 

Katzndogz

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There is a serious shortage of skilled workers.

It should make perfect sense. For decades we have accepted the fact that eveyone is entitled to go to College and end up with a degree that entitles them to work outside the skilled trades. Skilled work is demeaning. They have a college degree in Chicano Studies, you can't expect someone to have worthwhile skills after 4 years of partying and pot smoking.
 

zzzz

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There are plenty of skilled workers. But companies do not want to hire the older workers because of various reasons including health care costs.

And many companies can train a worker in a few weeks, that's why when hired you are hired on conditionally for a limited amount of time to see if you are trainable. Those highly skilled jobs that require college paper may have some shortages depending on graduation rates.

But heck, we have plenty of lawyers, just hire one of those.
 

uscitizen

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There is a serious shortage of skilled workers.

It should make perfect sense. For decades we have accepted the fact that eveyone is entitled to go to College and end up with a degree that entitles them to work outside the skilled trades. Skilled work is demeaning. They have a college degree in Chicano Studies, you can't expect someone to have worthwhile skills after 4 years of partying and pot smoking.

worked for Wall Street Traders.
 

Mr Clean

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Plenty of skilled workers in India.

And they work cheap.
 

Skull Pilot

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I know a lot of electricians, carpenters welders and other tradesmen and according to them there really is a shortage of young people who want to enter the trades.

What many youngsters fail to realize is that a skilled electrician plumber or carpenter can make a better salary than someone with a college degree. Yes the work is hard but it's also satisfying as at the end of the day you have actually accomplished something tangible.
 

uscitizen

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I know a lot of electricians, carpenters welders and other tradesmen and according to them there really is a shortage of young people who want to enter the trades.

What many youngsters fail to realize is that a skilled electrician plumber or carpenter can make a better salary than someone with a college degree. Yes the work is hard but it's also satisfying as at the end of the day you have actually accomplished something tangible.

Yeah but they cannot play ont he internet all day like with a desk job!

I am not sure that kids today could put down their cell device long enough to operate a power tool or anything in todays USA.

You think it is bad now wait till the nextgen take over....
 
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Mr Clean

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I know a lot of electricians, carpenters welders and other tradesmen and according to them there really is a shortage of young people who want to enter the trades.

What many youngsters fail to realize is that a skilled electrician plumber or carpenter can make a better salary than someone with a college degree. Yes the work is hard but it's also satisfying as at the end of the day you have actually accomplished something tangible.


If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably go the plumber route. Damn good money, people are always glad to see you when you show up, and you're not stuck in a office sitting on your fat ass all day long. That in itself is worth the price of admission.
 

Katzndogz

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I know a lot of electricians, carpenters welders and other tradesmen and according to them there really is a shortage of young people who want to enter the trades.

What many youngsters fail to realize is that a skilled electrician plumber or carpenter can make a better salary than someone with a college degree. Yes the work is hard but it's also satisfying as at the end of the day you have actually accomplished something tangible.

The kids are ENTITLED to a college degree. Then they are entitled to a nice executive job because they have a college degree. Skilled work is demeaning to them. It doesn't fulfull their self esteem.
 

uscitizen

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I know a lot of electricians, carpenters welders and other tradesmen and according to them there really is a shortage of young people who want to enter the trades.

What many youngsters fail to realize is that a skilled electrician plumber or carpenter can make a better salary than someone with a college degree. Yes the work is hard but it's also satisfying as at the end of the day you have actually accomplished something tangible.

The kids are ENTITLED to a college degree. Then they are entitled to a nice executive job because they have a college degree. Skilled work is demeaning to them. It doesn't fulfull their self esteem.

Most peoples self esteem depends almost entirely on worldly posessions. Not who/what they are.
 

Salt Jones

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I know a lot of electricians, carpenters welders and other tradesmen and according to them there really is a shortage of young people who want to enter the trades.

What many youngsters fail to realize is that a skilled electrician plumber or carpenter can make a better salary than someone with a college degree. Yes the work is hard but it's also satisfying as at the end of the day you have actually accomplished something tangible.

That's how it is in my field of industrial radiography and ultrasonics. $45 per hour jobs regularly go unfilled and most people I know in the industry get at least 3 unsolicited job offers a year. The youngest person in my current shop is 43. The math is what scares the kids .
 

BDBoop

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Don't harsh my zen, Jen!
I know a lot of electricians, carpenters welders and other tradesmen and according to them there really is a shortage of young people who want to enter the trades.

What many youngsters fail to realize is that a skilled electrician plumber or carpenter can make a better salary than someone with a college degree. Yes the work is hard but it's also satisfying as at the end of the day you have actually accomplished something tangible.


If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably go the plumber route. Damn good money, people are always glad to see you when you show up, and you're not stuck in a office sitting on your fat ass all day long. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

My housemate is an electrician. Too bad there's no work.
 

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