Why you can't find a job, even though the new jobs report says there's a bunch
Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press
Lots of voices sprawled across the Internet this morning about The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest jobs report. After all, 217,000 jobs were added, which has essentially made up for all the jobs lost in the Great Recession.
So there are jobs. Cool.
But people can’t really find jobs, as news reports suggest.
Let’s backtrack a bit. The New York Times reported on the jobs report, noting that much of what was offered by the Labor Department was in-line with what economists expected.
“While the flat unemployment rate might be considered good news after a big drop in April to a five-and-a-half-year low, one cautionary signal was that the percentage of Americans in the work force did not budge, either,” wrote Nelson D. Schwartz for The New York Times.
So while there are jobs, there just aren’t enough workers. This has been especially true in government offices, like the Postal Service or in different government agencies, Schwartz wrote.
“Even as private employers have gradually increased hiring in the recovery, the work force at government agencies and the Postal Service has shrunk dramatically,” Schwartz wrote. “Total government employment is still down by more than one million from where it was four years ago.”
It’s not just government jobs that are losing out, though. FiveThirtyEight reported that a number of different groups struggled over the last five or so years in finding a job.
“Women fared better than men in terms of employment, in part because they were less likely to work in sectors such as construction and manufacturing that were particularly hard-hit in the downturn. Men have experienced a stronger rebound in the recovery, but only slightly,” Ben Casselman wrote for FiveThirtyEight. “As a result, women returned to prerecession levels of employment last summer, while men remain hundreds of thousands of jobs in the hole.”
And humanities-related jobs, for example, have long since been pinpointed as an area where jobs are being lost, The Atlantic reported.
In Benjamin Winterhalter’s piece for The Atlantic, he explained that humanity majors and enthusiasts can’t find job in that topic area because funding for those positions have lessened. And that, in turn, is because less people are trying to find jobs in that area.
“The stinging irony of the whole situation is difficult to dismiss: The very people demanding to know why English and art-history departments weren’t doing very well were often the people who’d helped drive students away from those departments to begin with,” Winterhalter wrote.
College graduates as a whole have been struggling, though. NPR had a story Friday by its business editor, Marilyn Geewax, about how college grads can find a job, they’re just not getting the job they want. So they just stay unemployed, NPR reported.
“The big problem for a lot of college graduates is not so much finding a job, but finding a job you actually want and that pays you something decent,” said Geewax on NPR. “In other words, you graduate from college, and yes, someone wants to hire you. But you're working in a retail sales job at the mall. You're really not in the field that you wanted to be in.”
But maybe it’s a lack of motivation. Back in late May, Express Employment Professionals found that 47 percent of people have “completely given up” looking for a job. And nearly half of unemployed Americans haven’t gone on an interview or made a conscious effort to try and get employed.
Looks like entry-level jobs may be the way of the future.
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