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May 9Tim McLellan

What is the Real Unemployment Rate?

May 9Tim McLellan

This question comes up all the time when I have a client trying to hire someone.  They all state that it is very difficult to find quality employees despite the unemployment rate being near 10%.  I have a manufacturing client that has a starting wage of about twice minimum wage, along with very good fringe benefits.  Business has picked up, and they are looking to hire three people.  Word hit the street and there were about 6 inches of job applications.  Just for fun, I started to review the applications.

The most interesting part of the job application is the employment history, especially the “reason for leaving” section.  So here is a sample:

                Excessive absences

                Late too much

                Fighting with other employees

                Stealing company property

                Destroying company property

                Drinking / Doing drugs on company property

                Went to jail

                Bail ran out and had to go back to jail (swear I didn’t make this up!)

                Hard to explain, need to discuss in person

Would you hire any of these people?  I also notice that most people come in to fill out an application looking like they just got done working in the garden or changing the oil in their car.

I was at a conference last week and there was a job fair down the hall.  At the end of the day I hopped on the airport shuttle.  I happened to catch the shuttle being driven by the owner of the shuttle company.  The driver said he had been watching people show up for the job fair all day, but there was very few that he would hire, just based on their appearance.

So if you take the unemployment rate and divide it by 2, that is percent of people that are actually employable.

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