Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why Employers Won't Hire

From CNN Money.

"The problem with bringing down the stubbornly high unemployment rate is that employers are learning to do more with less."

Thanks to outsourcing, off-shoring, software, and/or robots. Oh, and possibly moving to another line of business.

You could've been replaced by a smart phone app.

"Retailers, who are reporting a strong start to the holiday shopping season, are apparently doing so with less help than in the past."

Just look at what happened out on the farm--machines and migrants now pick the fruits and veggies that thousands of local laborers once did. Huge tractors now do the work that horses and plows once did. Lastly, railroad cars now get the crops to market, rather than horses and overloaded wagons.

Those huge tractors are now GPS equipped, meaning they now run unmanned. The farmer has now become a hand-held computer user, programming the tractor's path from the comfort of his own home. Factories have gone this way, and soon cars will be going this way. Which way will you be going? I hope you'll be going in the direction that learns how to program those hand-held units, or maybe fixes the machines when they break down. Clearly, operators are no longer needed.

"There's no question that employers are being cautious about hiring, especially full-time workers," said Sung Won Sohn, economics professor at Cal State University Channel Islands. "They're not certain the recovery is for real so they're taking their time. And because of productivity gain they don't need to hire as many people.

The push to do more with less help isn't limited to stores. It can be seen in offices and factories across numerous industries.

Businesses were forced to figure how to be more productive and change the way they did business, in order to survive during the recession, said Tig Gilliam, president of the North American unit of Adecco, the world's largest job placement firm. And that isn't going away anytime soon, he said."


"That's a key reason the job market has remained stuck in the mud. While gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, has recovered 84% of the output that was lost during the recession, but the labor market has recouped only 11% of the jobs that were lost.

"We're producing almost as much as we did before the recession, with 7.5 million less people," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director of Economic Cycle Research Institute. "The difference is going into the productivity numbers and corporate profits."


"But that level of productivity can't go on forever, said Achuthan.

"There is a limit. Workers do start to push back," he said. "But business managers don't hire because they're nice guys or girls, they hire because they're scared that they'll lose business to someone else. That'll be what gets hiring done."


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