Suddenly, the Unemployable Are Finding Jobs

Source: Meagan Day, Jacobin, March 14, 2018

With a tightening labor market, CEOs are chasing after the same workers they once derided as unemployable. ….

The post-2008 recession and slow recovery witnessed a spate of reporting and commentary on the so-called “skills gap”. The gist of the argument was that if rates of joblessness remained stubbornly high, it was because workers weren’t good enough for existing jobs: they needed better education, better preparatory training, better skills, and resumes. The bottom line was that workers needed to fix themselves to fit into the economy — not the other way around.

As the economic recovery accelerates, the spuriousness of that argument comes into ever-sharper relief. It turns out corporations were just being picky, taking advantage of a slack labor market and weak demand for their products to discard twenty or a hundred job applications at a time in search of the one perfect employee who — beleaguered by competition and desperate for employment — would work for the wages of an imperfect one.

How do we know that was happening? Because it’s starting to not happen anymore. The labor market is tightening, and companies’ hiring standards are plummeting — showing just how cooked-up those standards were to begin with…..