Filling Jobs Is Only the Beginning

Article excerpt

Our struggle to fill jobs means that many previously unemployable people will get job training and experience, which will help alleviate the long-term labor shortage. That's if-and this is a big if-we do the right things now.

As we go to press this month, the national unemployment rate is just 5.2 percent. In Orange County, California-the labor market that most affects our ability to fill jobs-the rate is an incredible 2.5 percent. I'll let you imagine some of the candidates that we've interviewed.

Employment statistics have dominated the business headlines for months. For all practical purposes, we're living in an era of full employment. Many experts argue that those who are without jobs at this point are unemployable--permanently outside the job market.

But even that's beginning to change. Recent studies show single mothers and young African-American men-groups that never before have seen the real rewards of even our greatest prosperity-- are entering the workforce in record numbers. Now comes news that even ex-convicts are being offered jobs. Sherwood Ross, a business writer for Reuters, reports that more than 400 companies are hiring through the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

All of this is good news. It means that the economy is continuing to grow, and that, at last, everyone in society may benefit from that growth. It also means that many previously unemployable people will get job training and experience, which will help alleviate the looming long-term labor shortage.

That's if-and this is a big if-we do the right things now. We can't simply extend the reach of our candidate sourcing efforts and then breathe a collective sigh of relief when jobs are filled. And yet that's often what's happening. …

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