Matching a Job Opportunity with the Appropriate Labor

We are in earnings season and so it’s a reasonable time to take the pulse of the economy. Three stalwarts – CSX, Alcoa, and Intel – have already reported strong results and the expectation is for it to continue. If earnings are strong, the next question is when will jobs return?

But is it the right question? I’m not sure it is. The distribution of joblessness is not even and never really is. However, the elevated unemployment numbers are up across the board. There are some stats showing improvement, but it’s slight.

June 2009 Feb 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010
Less than a HS Diploma







HS Grad,  no college







Some college, associate degree







Bachelor degree







And the stats for young workers (under 25 years old) are very high as well.

I often comment that I feel educational resources are not worthwhile for our population of less knowledgeable workers. I generalize the group as the local workers – those that fill roles in the employment ecosystem that have to be performed in a specific location. Construction work is an example. But one angle I haven’t considered in a couple of years is the idea that certain jobs are undesirable and are left to illegal immigrants.

The United Farm Workers labor union is running a campaign called Take Our Jobs which is an effort to highlight the situation of unemployment and illegal workers. It’s easy to think these workers are taking an opportunity from an American, but the reality is the conditions are so tough that very few US Citizens will perform the work. This is literally field work in occasionally 100+ degrees for 40 plus hours a week.

These jobs, as they stand today, keep food prices low, but we can’t have it both ways. We can’t expect to end illegal immigration like what Arizona has proposed, give Americans the jobs, and keep the conditions the same. Improving conditions will entice more American applications for this work, but it will increase the cost of the output – food. Acknowledging these market forces and allowing “guest” laborers is the right path to incrementally improving the conditions and slowly making this job attractive to those that account for the 10%+ unemployed. Or maybe things just aren’t desperate enough?

Here’s a video from The Stephen Colbert Show

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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About benleeson
My name is Ben Leeson. I currently work for a large financial company in IT. I went to school at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration concentrating in HR. Professor William Brown taught me and I enjoyed his classes; even acquiring an appreciation for just about all things HR. I didn’t pursue a job in that field after college but I’ve kept up with it. This blog will further my fascination with all things HR. I hope to grow my knowledge of the area through thoughtful writings and spirited feedback. I will attempt to have a fairly routine style so anyone reading can come to expect certain segments. Please excuse my incorrect grammar and occasional misspelling.

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