Friday, September 11, 2015

Two Distrubing Employment Facts That Aren't Being Reported

Every month the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases two reports regarding the state of employment in the country.  The first is the Employment Situation Report which most of us simply call the employment report or monthly jobs report.  The other is less-known and is called the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (aka the JOLTS report).

On September 4th, the Employment Situation Report was released with data covering August's employment data. It showed that the August unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3% in July with a total of almost 8 million people out of work. But what is generally overlooked is the fact that 4.1% of the workforce is working part time because they can't find full time work.  The BLS labels this as workers " working part time for economic reasons". This is an amazing 6.5 million workers which is not that much less than the 8 million who are officially out of work.  To put it into perspective, normally part time workers equal about 2.7% of the workforce, and this 4.1% is 52% higher than the norm.

It is quite possible that ObamaCare is responsible for this substantial increase in part time work. After all, the employer mandate and the associated penalties are based on how many full time equivalent (FTE) workers an employer has.  Businesses that are close to the mandate threshold can escape it all together by converting some full time workers to part time.  Something that many opponents of ObamaCare said would happen.

Then, just five days later, the BLS released its JOLTS report for July.  In that month, the number of unfilled job openings rose  to a record 5.8 million since this reporting began in the year 2000, and that July number beat the previous record of 5.4 set in May. So, here we have 8 million unemployed workers looking for work and 6.5 million working part time for economic reasons, and the number of job openings is increasing.  This, too, is not normal.  If in fact, the unemployment rate is falling, so should the number of job openings.

This contradiction exposes the fact that we have a skills and education problem in this country.   Essentially, job openings are being left on the table because we don't have the kind of workforce that can fill them.  This is why big businesses and major corporations want immigration reform.  They don't care about a bunch of uneducated or poorly educated workers streaming over our southern border.  What they desperately need is more H1B work visas to provide the kind of educated employees we need so that we don't have 5.8 million jobs left open.  This is something that no politicians -- especially the political left that supports the teacher's unions -- want to talk about when the subject of immigration is broached.


The Employment Situation for August 2015:

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for July 2015:

CNN Money: Business wants immigration reform. Why? Because they can't find enough workers:

H1B Work Visas:

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