Early last week I happened to see an article on Bloomsberg regarding the faces of unemployment
Worth the job market being shit, technological advances and a bunch of fools in the US electing a madman. I figured it would be worth having a discussion on the current face of unemployment. I don't want to turn this into a general labor thread, since that seems to broad and we've already had a few labor topics that have spawned their own threads. I'll get to specify what those threads are, after covering some points in the linked article. Though IMO, I wouldn't describe any of the 5 issues as new and that is probably an indication of just how badly the public discussion of unemployment has been.
The first story they discuss, mostly has to do with the impact of towns being gutted by the primary employer leaving and essentially taking most of the other jobs with them. It does cover a few other things, but I think some of the later stories do a far better job of covering the other issues. Small towns in rural areas that are heavily reliant on one business to stay viable isn't anything new, nor is society's inability to effectively address the issue long term. As we see in the story, moving out of the area is not something most people can do easily and even if they do, there just isn't a guarantee they'll find something. I'd argue this one of the reasons why Obama did the auto bailout early in his first term, was because he realized not only would it be hard to find those people jobs, but it would also be incredibly difficult to move so many people to places that did have jobs. We also saw this discussion come up during last year's US Presidential election. This has been a contentious issue because not everyone can move to place that might have a job, nor have some of these declining areas been friendly to the idea becoming than a "we're an X kind of town," be that coal, manufacturing or what have you. The sad reality to, is it isn't just coal towns that will become cost towns or manufacturing plant closures creating ghost suburbs in major cities. So the question becomes how we we deal with our current ghost areas and how do we diversify the remaining singular industry towns to prevent more from coming into existence?
The second story deals with how hard on crime fuckery has pretty much fucked people over for the rest of their lives. I'm sure everyone has heard the cliche line "You'll never work in this town ever again!" More accessible background checks, people feeling entitled to be pricks towards those convicted of a crime and assholes designing laws with the intended goal of fucking over a specific group, while not being obvious. Has more essentially created a class of individuals, that really aren't a danger to society or an employer, but can no longer get a job anywhere. I've seen how absurd this can get, a coworker of mine has a boyfriend that has to work under table because he did stupid shit when he was a teenager and despite keeping out of trouble for 10+ years, no honest person wants to give him a job. We have people who have done things more minor than what he has done and stayed clean for far longer that can't land a job because of their record. I'm deeply disappointed that there hasn't been much public discussion of addressing this issue because not all wrong doing is equal and not everyone that commits a crime is irredeemable, nor does every job require someone to have spotless background. Finally, through in the inequality issues within our own justice system, this unfair setup isn't even being applied to someone equally. There are people that have jobs they shouldn't have, but get to have them because they can afford to hire a top end lawyer to weasel them out of being convicted, while we have people barred from work, that did nothing wrong, but couldn't get adequate legal council.
Our third story deals with an issue near and dear to me. As an individual with a disability, I fully get how bullshit society's views are towards individuals with disability working. I also get that the people that make up this group of American isn't homogeneous and rather diverse. So despite having two disabilities, my CAPD isn't super obvious to begin with and I have had therapy to make it less obvious, while I'm currently taking remicade to deal with my ankylosing spondylitis, which make that one not very obvious these days. I know there are plenty of disabilities that people will pickup on and that could easily result in someone getting a bad deal because of the biases society has towards those with a disability. Again, nothing new, humans have always been terrible at the idea that they might need to accommodate someone's disability and I'd say current corporate culture has only made that worse.
Next, in our forth story, I'd argue that while, it primarily focuses on employers being unable to find people that can work or want to work the jobs they are offering, but it's also hard not to think about the number of times that employers have unreasonable standards, nor to think about how unrealistic societal standards have been harmful as well. I'm not going to touch base on automation, outsourcing or foreign workers here. I do think that we do have a real issue of many employer just asking for unrealistic standards with certain jobs, just think of how many positions now demand a 4 year degree, despite nothing having changed with the job. Also fun to think about how many employers have decided they shouldn't have to invest anything into training new workers and that someone else should front the time, resources and expenses for training the employees they want. Obviously, unreasonable compensation is another issue, but I feel that should covered in another thread. Finally, we do have the issue where a decade or two ago, many thought that everyone should go to college, which created a gloat of people that had either useless degrees from diploma mills or a degree in something where that just isn't much in the way of demand. Ironically, many of those probably would have been better served if vocational training was also presented to them as an equally valid choice to a college degree, which brings us back to the issue that MLP in the article is running into where they can't find enough qualified people (I think their expectation of sober workers probably isn't unreasonable, but we're getting well outside my area of expertise).
Our final story deals with age discrimination. We always knew this was a thing. Again not going to go into how the current bullshit compensation models probably contribute to this. It certainly is easy to spot age discrimination when we're dealing with older workers that can put forward an impressive resume and then get turned down for less qualified younger workers. What I do find interesting in this story is how easy one could miss the other form of age discrimination. The one where where the current job market essentially discriminates against younger workers because they aren't going to have the long resume that an older worker can put forward, nor do many young workers have the financial means get the training they need to pad their resumes further. Obviously, I'm looking back at some of what the fourth story might get someone to think of, without actually saying it.
Many factors contribute to unemployment, but I fear we as a society focus to much on some of the more obvious issues, while ignoring some long running issues that seem to give us trouble. Like how do we deal with the complete collapse of the job market in the rural town that just lost their only major employer. How do appropriately deal with those convicted of crimes and their ability to find gainful employment. What individuals with disabilities, how do we ensure a fair balance between their needs and the needs of employer, while also preventing bigotry from fucking them over. How do we deal with making sure people have the skills that employers want, while also making sure employers invest fairly into them? What do we do about age expectations in the work force, so that it doesn't unfairly impact a specific group? These are the kinds of things this thread is looking to explore. I think until the mods say otherwise, Trump unemployment policies not linked to EOs, immigration or whatever loser gets confirmed as his Secretary of Labor can probably do okay here.
Useful Tips (added to OP by request).
Also, if you're unemployed and applying somewhere - try to find a contact for the job with a phone or direct email and ask for the hiring manager info for an informational interview to learn more about the job. Quite often in f500 land we're forced to use terrible recruiters and don't see all the apps. Doing the above gives you a chance at an in.
What this thread is not about:
1. Unions since there is a thread
2. I'd like to avoid minimum wage and compensation in this thread, since that isn't really about unemployment, even though it can contribute. Someone would probably need to make a thread for this if they wanted to talk about it.
3. Those damn dirty robot, jumping manufacturing plant walls to steal our jerbs (we actually had a thread for these, but not gonna link one that has been inactive for over a year), nor about their thriving self-driving auto brethren, which has been discussed here
4. Outsourcing and the impacts of immigration on the job market.