The US labor status

Wurkkos

jtr1962

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It's been my observation that some large percentage of want ads for white collar work are, at their core, exercises in fiction. I've seen several reasons for this - the laundry list of requirements effectively exclude 100% of applicants, the demand (wages, benefits, work environment) offered by the employer fail to rise to meet the market's tolerance for supply, or the listing itself wasn't genuine (individual requisition got pulled, a larger initiative to form a new group crumpled, or it was ultimately a "resume gathering" exercise).
This actually is nothing new. In the late 1980s when I was looking for work out of college, after giving up finding something in my field, I saw lots of ads in the help wanted section for "manager trainees". It sounded OK. I didn't expect to make big money, but it turns out these ads were totally misleading. Yes, they were hiring, but not for what was being advertised. I went to one of the places advertising. Filled out an application, then was asked to sit in a large room with other applicants. Someone came to explain the job. Turns out it wasn't "management trainees", but a commission sales job. After speaking for about 30 minutes he then made the rounds asking people why they thought they should be hired. I was almost ready to say thanks for wasting my time with a misleading ad but I simply said something along the lines of this type of job really isn't for me. Honestly, the minute they said "sales job" I wanted to just walk out of the room then and there but given they had my name, it might reflect poorly on me if the same company had another job that might suit me better. Just for kicks the following week I called all the places that had ads for "management trainees" and asked them point blank were these were really sales jobs instead? Most declined to answer. A few were honest. I guess it's a common tactic when you're trying to hire people for a job most will reject out of hand, you put in a misleading job title. If they advertised "commission sales positions" I doubt they would get very many people in. For starters, most people are awful at sales. I couldn't sell beer on a troop ship. Even my brother, who is a lot more of a people person, tried selling for Kirby for about a month. He made one or two sales, then quit.
 

knucklegary

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Works best with food, so does not repeat. I take one 600mg with each meal.

It's not a magic bullet, but sure helped me cut back taking so many aspirin or ibuprofen

Sorry to be off topic!
 

Poppy

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This actually is nothing new. In the late 1980s when I was looking for work out of college, after giving up finding something in my field, I saw lots of ads in the help wanted section for "manager trainees". It sounded OK. I didn't expect to make big money, but it turns out these ads were totally misleading. Yes, they were hiring, but not for what was being advertised. I went to one of the places advertising. Filled out an application, then was asked to sit in a large room with other applicants. Someone came to explain the job. Turns out it wasn't "management trainees", but a commission sales job. After speaking for about 30 minutes he then made the rounds asking people why they thought they should be hired. I was almost ready to say thanks for wasting my time with a misleading ad but I simply said something along the lines of this type of job really isn't for me. Honestly, the minute they said "sales job" I wanted to just walk out of the room then and there but given they had my name, it might reflect poorly on me if the same company had another job that might suit me better. Just for kicks the following week I called all the places that had ads for "management trainees" and asked them point blank were these were really sales jobs instead? Most declined to answer. A few were honest. I guess it's a common tactic when you're trying to hire people for a job most will reject out of hand, you put in a misleading job title. If they advertised "commission sales positions" I doubt they would get very many people in. For starters, most people are awful at sales. I couldn't sell beer on a troop ship. Even my brother, who is a lot more of a people person, tried selling for Kirby for about a month. He made one or two sales, then quit.
I had a similar experience with Cutco knives.
Long story short, they got a group of us there on false pretenses, someone gave a product demonstration of their knives, spatulas, and how sturdy the handles were (made of the same thing as bowling balls)... full tang construction, the whole 9 yards. This was in the early 1970's, and if we wanted to make any money, we had to buy our own set, IIRC about $560!

Then we had to take our trainer, on a couple of sales presentations, where he would do the presentation, and make the profit, but we'd be getting training.

I told them, no, I would use one of THEIR sets. I was told they were old and beat up, and wouldn't sell very well. Hmmm, how would these virtually indestructible knifes with bowling ball handles get old and beaten up?

My training ended before I walked out the door.

They are good knife sets though. They are currently selling for about $1,500.
 

bykfixer

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So the other day a jobs report came out. 61% of the 300+ million Americans have a job. Yet unemployment is less than 5%? Huh? How is that possible?

Apparently retired people and those under age make up around 39% of the population is how.

Is AI gets closer to reality that number will grow.
 

idleprocess

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So the other day a jobs report came out. 61% of the 300+ million Americans have a job. Yet unemployment is less than 5%? Huh? How is that possible?

Apparently retired people and those under age make up around 39% of the population is how.

Is AI gets closer to reality that number will grow.
The official unemployment figure has a number of interesting caveats. The BLS has a high-level summary in what's otherwise 14 pages of light reading:
  1. People with jobs are employed.
  2. People who are jobless, looking for a job, and available for work are unemployed.
  3. The labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed.
  4. People who are neither employed nor unemployed are not in the labor force.
Point 2 is the parsing occurs. "Jobless" is fairly easy to define, however "looking for a job" and "available for work" are largely dependent upon having filed for unemployment. As such large swaths of those who meet the lay definition of unemployed aren't counted - i.e. recent college grads looking for work, those just released from prison, out-of-work freelancers, the long-term unemployed that have fallen off the unemployment rolls, retirees whose pensions/retirement funds came up short that are looking for work, etc.

The affirmative labor force participation rate is a bit more informative, and seems to be a figure that's increasingly reported alongside the unemployment rate by the financial press.
 

bykfixer

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Last evening Mrs Fixer and I took a lap around the town after a nice meal with the kids and saw several places that would have ordinarily done well in sales that time of day were closed.

The local KFC closes at 5 now. A Wendys, 3:30!! Everyday.
Mattress stores, the Books-a-million, clothing stores that used to stay open until 8, and other places. They all say due to labor shortage.

It was like life during the 45 days to slow the spread period all over again.

My company began advertizing for what is called "senior inspector" in September. A very well paying job with goodies galore and have received 0 applications so far. Well I take that back, there was a retired school teacher who applied.

One trend I noticed a few years back may have helped lead to this. As giant "public" companies succumbed to demands of their investors who demanded more and more cuts to labor costs the once staff of say 12 for example had been reduced to 10, then 9, then 8 while those 8 were expected to do the work of 12. Then somebody quit and corparate said don't fill the spot and now perhaps the remaining 7 have said "day shift only or I quit". The store where my wife works closed at 6 for a long time because of that. They stay open until 7 now when pre-pandemic stayed open 8am to 9pm. They open at 10 now.
 
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