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Another side of the jobs picture: employers who can’t find good candidates

An empty office.
An empty office.
Jason Kuffer/Flickr

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Here’s a switch: there are good jobs out there that employers just can’t fill, from entry-level service positions to high-end engineers. The president and chief executive officer of ManpowerGroup, one of the world’s largest providers of temporary workers, says in an interview with Bloomberg, “It’s a very much across-the-board phenomena… Companies are all feeling the pressure of not finding the level of talent their businesses require.”

In any given month, there are about four million people separating from their jobs and four million people hired into new positions. Even in the thick of the recession, there were millions leaving and millions being hired. And in any given month, an employer could have trouble finding an employee for a specific job they have available. But with so many applicants applying for every vacancy, what’s the problem? It could just be that many job seekers are so frustrated with the difficulties of finding a position that they send out resumes for jobs that aren’t right for them, on the slim chance that someone will respond. Lack of mobility plays a part, too, with the unemployed often stuck with mortgages they can’t pay and homes they can’t sell, keeping them from moving to an area where jobs are more readily available. Do you agree that there are jobs out there just begging for the right person to fill them? Have you been pounding the pavement looking for a good wage for good work, to no avail?


Melanie Holmes, vice president, World of Work Solutions, ManpowerGroup, the world’s second largest provider of temporary workers

Lauren Appelbaum, research director, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment