Article 43

 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Failure

image: failure - when yourbest isnt good enough

I OPENED THIS SITE back in 2004 WRITING ABOUT the EROSION of MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA and MORE PERSONALLY - long term unemployment/underemployment - that DESTROYED my hope for any kind of happy RETIREMENT - and replaced it with PRAYERS for an early DEATH.

14 years later I’m still wondering HOW MUCH FURTHER down a hole A LOT of AMERICANS can SINK.

image: bls table A-12 march 2018

Long-term Unemployment, Its Causes and Effects
Why 1.4 Million Can’t Find Work Even After Looking for 6 Months

By Kimberly Amadeo
March 9, 2018

Long-term unemployment is when workers are jobless for 27 weeks or more. To be counted as such by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they must have actively sought employment during the previous four weeks. That means the number of long-term unemployed is probably under-counted. Most people become discouraged and DROP OUT OF THE LABOR FORCE AFTER SIX MONTHS. They are not included in the labor force participation

Long-term Unemployment Statistics

In February 2018, there were 1.397 million long-term unemployed individuals. There are 20.8 percent of the unemployed who have been looking for work for six months or more. That’s better than the record high of 46 percent in the second quarter of 2010. The number of unemployed first dropped below 2 million in May 2015.

The rate is also better than the darkest days of the 1981 recession. At that point, 26 percent of the unemployed were out of work for more than six months. Total unemployment then was also worse than it is today. The overall unemployment rate was 10.8 percent. Although the Great Recession initially created a higher percentage of long-term unemployment, it has subsided.

Causes

The two causes of long-term unemployment are CYCLICAL UNEMPLOYMENT and STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT. Cyclical unemployment itself is often caused by a recession. Structural unemployment occurs when workers’ skills no longer meet the needs of the job market.

Long-term cyclical and structural unemployment feed off of each other. A recession causes a massive rise in cyclical unemployment. Those who can’t find jobs become long-term unemployed. If out of work long enough, their skills become outdated. In time, this contributes to structural unemployment. They have less money to spend, resulting in reduced consumer demand.

It further slows economic growth, leading to more cyclical unemployment.

Many say that there are three other reasons for long-term unemployment: welfare, unemployment benefits, and unions. Government assistance programs require the recipients to look for work. It inflates unemployment statistics by 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent because not all would be actively looking. Those people really shouldn’t be considered part of the labor force. Benefits may also encourage people to hold out for better-paying jobs, further extending unemployment.

Unionization creates classical unemployment by forcing companies to offer higher wages than they otherwise would. These companies must lay off workers to maintain budget and profit goals. These workers may only have skills suited for a particular industry and may be unwilling to take lower wage jobs. That can result in structural, and ultimately long-term, unemployment.

Effects

Only 10 percent of the long-term unemployed find a job each month, according to a report by the San Francisco Federal Reserve. It is worse than the 30 percent per month of the short-term unemployed who are successful.

The situation is not hopeless though. The report also found that half of the long-term unemployed find a job in six months, and 75 percent do so within a year.

Even those who hadn’t found a job in 18 months find something in the end if they keep looking. The San Francisco Fed found that the chances of finding a job didn’t decline even though they had been unemployed for so long.

Being unemployed for six months to a year will almost always strain personal finances. A Pew Research study found that recession affected the long-term unemployed worse than others in the areas of personal relationships, career plans, and self-confidence. In particular, the long-term unemployed reported the following:

· More than half (56 percent) saw their income decline, compared to 42 percent of the short-term unemployed and 26 percent of those who kept their job.

· Almost half (46 percent) experienced strained family relations compared to 39 percent of those who weren’t unemployed as long. 43 percent lost close friendships.

· Almost one in four (38 percent) lost self-respect, and 24 percent sought professional help for depression compared with 29 percent and 10 percent of the short-term unemployed.

· The recession has had a “big impact” on their ability to achieve career goals for 43 percent of them compared to 28 percent of their short-term peers.

· More than 70 percent say they changed careers. Almost a third (29 percent) became underemployed with lower pay and benefits than their previous job. It’s no surprise that they became very pessimistic about their chances of finding a good job. Only 16 percent of the short-term unemployed were worse off.

A a SWEDISH STUDY found that the long-term unemployed began losing their ability to read. On average, a person who had been unemployed for a year dropped 5 percent on reading comprehension test scores.

How Long-term Unemployment Benefits Extensions Help

Federal unemployment benefits extensions assisted the long-term unemployed in their job search efforts.  Congress approved the extensions in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. They were re-authorized every year till 2013.

The benefits provided the long-term unemployed with up to 99 weeks of unemployment checks. It helped support them until they could find decent jobs. Without the extensions, they would have had to take any job they could, leading to underemployment. This might preclude them from ever catching up as their skills became more outdated.

Unemployment benefits only help those who were laid off, though. Some employers fire workers for cause or ask workers to resign in return for a severance package so that they don’t have to pay benefits. Workers who quit, part-time workers, the self-employed and students or mothers just entering the workforce aren’t eligible for benefits.

Also, not all of those eligible for benefits received the entire 99 weeks of unemployment checks. They had to live in a state that meets a minimum unemployment rate.

How to Calculate the Long-term Unemployment Rate

The long-term unemployment rate is easy to calculate because the BLS breaks down the statistics each month in the EMPLOYMENT SITUATION SUMMARY. The number of people who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more is in TABLE A-12. It also calculates the percentage they make up of the total unemployed. This table gives you the data for the previous three months, seasonally adjusted. It also allows you to compare the last two months and year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 03/15/18 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace • Section Personal
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Orlando The Next Silicon Valley

image:orlando

People Are Leaving Silicon Valley and Orlando Might Be the Next Hot Spot
Affordability, tech talent pools and access to capital top the list.

By Jeff Barrett, CEO, Barrett Digital
March 8, 2018

It costs $2000 to rent a U-HAUL in SAN FRANCISCO.  Rent one anywhere else and it’s roughly $100. This year the Bay Area will lose more people than any other region in the country. The reason is a variety of factors; affordability, access to opportunity and technology making it increasingly easier to work from anywhere.

The consolidation of TALENT BUBBLE in SILICON VALLEY has burst. It was a great run. Where do people and companies go next?

When you’re considering where to relocate, which I’m in the process of doing myself, access (both to capital and talent) is key. What I look for in a destination city are strong existing companies, a large talent pool and capital that exists but may not be investing in tech yet.

Think Outside of Conventional Tech Hubs

I toured ORLANDO in January. In the last six years the city has grown 16.31 percent. And at first blush you may think theme parks, retirees and tourism. But they have the largest university in the country, based on enrollment, in UCF. Downtown is young. And there’s a pipeline of talent both from universities and strong existing companies like Disney, Lockheed Martin and EA Sports.

Orlando has already seen the Silicon Valley exodus pay dividends, with fast-growing Fattmerchant. The young payment processing company is growing rapidly. Founder Suneera Madhani and her brother Sal Rehmetullah, who worked in Silicon Valley, intentionally chose to plant their flag in Orlando.

“Fattmerchant is where we are today because of the support of the Orlando community,” said Suneera Madhani, CEO, Fattmerchant​. “We are proud to be Orlando born and bred and find that as we expand Orlando continues to have the infrastructure we need to not only achieve our growth but to continue to surpass our goals.”

Enter on the Upswing

“We’ve stayed ahead of the curve by testing and implementing bleeding-edge cleantech solutions, such as floating solar power, electric buses for public transit, and even positioning ourselves as a national research hub for autonomous and connected vehicles,” said Chris Castro, who leads sustainability and smart cities initiatives for the City of Orlando.

If Orlando wants to attract those leaving Silicon Valley it starts with the same things most cities pitched to Amazon for HQ2. Castro anticipated this years ago and has Orlando already prepared.

Donna L. Mackenzie, Executive Director, Canvs, Starter Studio, FireSpring Fund has worked to deliver a similar infrastructure to Silicon Valley in Orlando. Her space offers a variety of education programs that are open to the public, accelerator programs that take founders from idea to a scalable venture, collaborative work spaces, seed funding, and access to angel and venture capital.

Make Sure a City Invests in Education

OTRONICON, Orlando’s annual tech conference, is different than anything I’ve ever attended. It’s for kids, rather than adults. It’s interactive, educational and full of plenty of Esports tournaments.

“It’s a great venue that introduces students to the high-tech world and gives them the opportunity for high-tech careers right here in our community,” said Adam Breed, Engineering Project Manager, Lockheed Martin​. “A software development panel at Otronicon featured a lead Lockheed Martin engineer and opened the eyes of a recent college graduate. He was quickly interviewed and brought into Lockheed Martin within weeks to help develop some of our most advanced simulators.”

Assess the Network

FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY, which prepares people for work in entertainment, has also been paramount in this youth movement. Last year 66 Full Sail graduates worked on 10 Oscar winning films.

Chance Glasco, the co-Founder of Call of Duty is an alum. His latest venture DOGHEAD SIMULATIONS is creating VR meeting space and is partnering with Full Sail University with its HQ on site. Having access to state-of-the-art and graduating talent was key in Glasco’s decision to stay local.

This rise of highly-trained entertainment talent has also translated in to a growing film industry. “Last year, the Orlando region saw a 78 percent increase in commercial productions when compared to the previous year. While Florida currently lacks an Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive Program,” said Sheena Fowler, Orlando Film Commissioner, and also a Full Sail alum.

What to Consider Most

Orlando’s challenge will be migrating real estate investors to startups and high tech. The success of Fattmerchant and the work Donna Mackenzie and others are doing in the incubator space will help.

If I’m a young company that wants to create a longer runway--keep costs low to buy time before success--I would chose Orlando. The young talent is there. There’s an Orlando tech ecosystem already in place that wants you to succeed.

There’s no state income tax, no inflated wages or housing and there’s a growing, young, downtown community.

Orlando is a lot like Bitcoin was five years ago, you should get in while it’s still cheap.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 03/15/18 •
Section Job Hunt
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Friday, March 02, 2018

Big Media Hides Truth About Immigration II

image: Immigrant in small cubicle

Feds Provide Almost $2 Billion in Subsidies to Hire Alien Grads Rather than U.S. Grads

By David North
Center For Immigration Studies
February 27, 2018

The OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT) program, in which the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT pays American employers to discriminate against American workers has grown rapidly in recent years, and during FY 2017 it used nearly $2 billion swiped from trust funds for the elderly to favor 240,000 alien college grads over an equal number of U.S.-resident grads.

It is hard to believe, but true; employers of FOREIGN STUDENTS who have a degree from a U.S. institution are given an 8.25 percent tax break if they hire an alien, rather than a U.S. college grad with the same skills, and paid at the same salary, as we described in some detail in a recent posting.

When we wrote the prior article, we were working with out-of-date numbers; subsequently we secured estimated FY 2017 data that shows that some 240,000 American workers are adversely impacted by this program (shouldered out of jobs by the subsidized aliens); earlier data set that number at 140,000.

The subsidies to hire the foreign alumni are extracted from the Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment Insurance Program trust funds and were estimated to be in the area of $1.155 billion in that article. It is now clear that in FY 2017 the total subsidies came to something like $1.98 billion, or close to $2 billion.

The program, as we noted earlier, has had silent but bipartisan support; it was created by the Bush II administration without any congressional authorization, was subsequently expanded by the Obama administration, and has been tolerated by the Trump administration.

The employers benefiting from the subsidies directly, and universities benefiting indirectly, know all about the program, which is all but unknown to the older Americans subsidizing it, and is similarly unknown to the young U.S. college grads who are hurt by it. Given this twisted political dynamic, inertia, and the total silence of the MEDIA on this point, the program persists and grows each year.

Estimation Techniques: Jobs Lost. There is an obscure USCIS documentthat shows the number of approvals of Employment Authorization Documents by category, “EADS by Classification and Basis for Eligibility, Oct. 1, 2012 - June 29, 2017”, that Daniel Costa of EPI pointed out to me.

It shows the numbers of OPT/EADs (usually good for one year) issued to F-1 college grads, as well as the number of extensions for F-1 alums who had studied science, technology, engineering, or math - STEM - and each of these, recently, has been good for two more years. So I added the most recent regular OPT and STEM/OPT estimations to the prior year’s STEM extension data to get a current estimate of the number of subsidized JOBS held by OPT aliens (and thus denied to U.S. workers) at the end of FY 2017.

Data were available for only the first nine months of FY 2017 so, assuming a constant flow of these applications, I multiplied the available number by 1.333, which produced this:

Estimated regular OPT for FY 2017: 153,646
Estimated STEM extension for FY 2017: 44,073
Reported STEM extensions for FY 2016 : 45,184
Total: 242,903

This I have rounded down to 240,000 to account for some returns to the old country and some movements to other visas, primarily the H-1B, but probably some conditional green cards for those newly married to citizens or green card holders. Perhaps this downward adjustment should be 5,000 or 10,000 larger, but not much more.

Estimation Techniques: Losses to Trust Funds. Then I took the 240,000, and applied a guess of $50,000 a year for these jobs (it is probably rather higher for the STEM people) and multiplied to get a rough idea of the total wages. It comes to about $12 billion.

Since employers and employees routinely ח each contributes 8.25 percent of the salary to the trust funds, this indicates a loss to the funds of 16.5 percent of the whole, or a total annual loss of $1.98 billion.

So the government is giving almost $2 billion in tax breaks to American employers if they hire alien - not resident - workers.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 03/02/18 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Preying On The Job Seeker 17

Image:

You’re desperate for work.  A recruiter from a big staffing agency calls with an attractive job offer.

But first you have to SIGN A CONTRACT that lets the recruiter’s company share any info they have on you, with whomever they please, while giving up your right to sue them if whatever that is comes back and hurts you.

The recruiter emailed me this:

Authorization & Release: As a registered candidate of Big Staffing Company Inc., I may elect to participate in certain programs, including, but not limited to, training, assessment, and certification programs and courses ("Programs"). As a condition of my participation in the Programs, I authorize Big Staffing Company Inc. to release certain data, including, but not limited to, exam scores, testing data, and personal data related to my participation in the Programs ("Data"). I hereby release Big Staffing Company Inc., its divisions, and their respective employees, agents, and affiliates from any and all liability relating to my participation in the Programs and Big Staffing Company Inc.’s release of Data.

Big Staffing Company Inc. and I mutually agree to resolve by individual arbitration, and only by individual arbitration, all claims, whether or not arising out of my employment (or its termination), that the Company may have against me or that I may have against the Company

All required fields and tags must be completed before you can finish the process.

I figure this is more for things like LABOR LAWS, but still - it could bite you in the ass real bad - eg: testing positive for pot, or failing some techie test - and stay with you forever.

The part about their agents and affiliates could be anybody. 

Perhaps a crook standing on the corner down the street.

Or my x-wife.

Would you sign?

Posted by Elvis on 02/14/18 •
Section Job Hunt
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Monday, February 05, 2018

Can’t Find A Qualified US Worker Redux 8

image: geek guy

Is the problem incompetence or lack of training?

By James DaSilva
Smart Brief
january 28, 2018

One of the COMMMON COMPLAINTS you’ll see today is executives saying how there isn’t enough talent out there, not enough people with the right skills or even the willingness to learn. They say that people—almost always “young people”—are too eager to jump ship.

What are companies to do when there’s not enough talent and what talent there is will just leave?

I can sympathize with this, to an extent. It’s a tight labor market (though maybe not as tight as claimed), and certain jobs are harder to hire for than others. Less glamorous jobs that require computer or technical skills can be especially vexing to manufacturers and other employers. Trucking companies can struggle to find candidates who can pass federal drug-testing guidelines. Rural areas can face obstacles that cities don’t in attracting people.

But another side of this is that employers often expect fully trained, expert employees to show up at their doors. It’s one thing to have an uneducated workforce; IT’S ANOTHER to look at job candidates with potential who need on-the-job training and say, “They aren’t skilled in what we need.”

(Lets put it another way: If your company’s work requires only skills that people should already have, those skills aren’t unique and differentiated, and it’s unlikely your company is, either. If those people have the right skills, they probably have a job already, so why leave that for you?)

Similar to this is the twin problem many organizations have: They churn through employees in certain positions, as no one seems to be able to do the job. Yet, its an open secret that some people, possibly executives, are untouchable even though they seem to lack in talent, results and improvement.

At the risk of oversimplifying, these problems have the same root cause: The organization is not taking responsibility for training people, placing them in a position to succeed and following up by holding everyone to account.

Training is personal

How your organization goes about training is a personal (and personnel) decision. Every company, every industry has its own methods. Onboarding, ongoing development or career pathing can also differ depending on whether we’re talking full-time employees, part-timers, freelancers or contractors.

So, I can’t solve the specifics for you. What I do want to talk about is the mindset you’re starting with. Let’s assume we all want a few basic things out of the people we hire:

They are able to learn and retain.
They are productive and efficient.
They understand how to do their jobs (maybe even innovate).
They understand their expectations and incentives.

That’s just one way the worker’s obligations could be phrased. Now, lets look at some of the employer’s obligations:

Be clear about the job.
Be clear about how the job is done and what is required to do the job well.
Be clear about what the worker must do to meet expectations.
Provide the support, tools and resources necessary.

Im leaving out things about safety, culture and making sure incentives line up with desired behaviors. Those are not unimportant! But let’s pretend, for now, that those can be folded into the above bullet points.

There’s one bullet point missing:

Be clear the worker understands all of the above and is actually properly trained and informed.

If you have a worker who is not doing the job, that’s bad for that person. Its also bad for the boss, the leader, the employer. If you find yourself with an employee who’s not performing, ask yourself:

Have you trained this person?
Have you explained what needs to be done, and why?
Do you have confirmation that the worker understands?
Do they have the resources they need?
Maybe reskilling is what’s needed?

Being thorough from the hiring process through this reflection and remediation is a lot of work. But there are benefits: You gain a skilled employee, who might be more loyal because of the investment of attention, time and resources. And, if there is no progress, you know that for sure rather than through a hunch or from bias.

Moving on

Lets say you’ve gone through this process, maybe more than once, and there remains a disconnect, an unwillingness or inability of the worker to do the job, and no further accomodations can be made. Well, then you know (barring legal hurdles, of course) that you can and should move on.

Indeed, you must move on, or you’ll create a two-tiered culture: people who do their jobs yet are side by side with people who don’t but aren’t held to account.

Don’t blame people for doing bad work when you haven’t done your part to prepare them. But, also, don’t keep people who just wont do what is needed. Either way, assume that it’s on you, the employer or the manager, to make sure the worker has the best possible chance to succeed.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 02/05/18 •
Section Job Hunt
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