Saturday, February 15, 2014

We Are Apparently Short of Unskilled Workers in America

At least, that seems to be what the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is saying.  In the February 13, 2014 Fresno Bee:
If companies can't find talent on U.S. soil, or if it becomes too costly and burdensome, they will move their operations elsewhere. It's in our own best interests to welcome the world's brightest minds and hardest workers into our economy.

Immigrants can help bridge a growing skills gap in science, technology, engineering and math - the so-called STEM fields that are vital to a modern, competitive economy.
I could see his point if the private sector was willing to hire workers over 40 for these jobs, but they do not.  So it isn't talent they want; it is low wage workers.  And since you can't hire software engineers for minimum wage yet, we are clearly short of skilled workers!  But then he goes on to discuss unskilled workers:
Immigration can also address labor shortages in lesser-skilled fields where there are insufficient numbers of either qualified or willing U.S. workers to fill positions.

Many studies have concluded that the greatest percentage of job growth in the United States through 2020 is expected in low- and moderate-skilled jobs that cannot be automated or outsourced. Services like home health and nursing home care, landscaping and hospitality cannot be provided without capable staff ready to do the work.
Maybe if you paid them better than minimum wage?

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denis miller said...

there are lots of unskilled and semi-skilled workers who will work for a decent wage, not $5.00 and hour!!

w said...

Don't worry if Obama and later Hillary get control of Congress they will push for abolishment of right-to-work and when everyone is Unionized minimum wage will surely be at least $25 per hour.
/*End Sarcasm*/

Wage stagnation is a problem and WILL NOT be fixed by bringing in more foreign workers!!!! Being forced to consider workers in the US will help though still probably not enough.

Wipro often has letter size printed forms posted in 5U stating they are hiring more workers--presumably because they can't find them in the US--and will be paying at least $60K per year (I think that is a lie--they don't even pay contractors that much anymore). This is a printed out US labor form that is required by US law that has to be posted for one week.

And we have both Democrats and Republicans pushing for more guest workers and immigrants...

Clayton said...

There are certainly American workers who are not rushing out to look for jobs, and I am sure that unemployment benefits encourage this. But there are plenty who are looking, or would be, if the housing market collapse had not made it so difficult to sell a house, and so scary to buy another.

I can remember when HP used to post those H1B forms in the cafeteria, and they were often for pretty high-paying jobs: six figures. But that was when the economy was still doing pretty well (in an illusory sort of way) in 2004 and 2005.

StormCchaser said...


I keep hoping the Republican party will develop some leaders who recognize that blind support for big business is a losing proposition - and wrong.

I watched H1B Visa holders replace my co-workers in software development. Most of the new hires weren't as skilled, but due to the perversity of the H1B, they were essentially indentured servants, and paid appropriately.