I want to draw your attention to a post I found genuinely interesting from Dave Altig of the Atlanta Federal Reserve. In the post he examines a peculiar fact of the recession and its aftermath: despite the large number of unemployed many employers report an inability to hire workers.
I recommend that your read the post in full but I’ll summarize it quickly. Roughly 10% of employers aren’t willing to pay what prospective employees demand. More than half of the employers report that they can’t find candidates with the necessary skills, experience, or inter-personal skills and there is some evidence to suggest that experience is the most important of these factors. Although once again I am reminded of the help wanted ad I saw in 1982: IBM PC Expert Wanted; Must Have 5 Years Experience (the IBM PC was introduced in 1981—not even the people who designed it had five years of experience with it).
Around here it’s been suggested that employers are reluctant to hire the long-term unemployed even when they have the necessary skills. I suspect that reluctance is reported either under the lack of technical skills or lack of inter-personal skills category.
It’s an interesting and important subject.