People who stop searching for jobs (eg. due to despondence or poor health) are excluded from the official unemployment rate, yet they are jobless.
On a recent EconTalk, Edward Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard, said, in their recent sample, 11.9% of U.S. men aged 25-55 have been jobless for over 12 months.
From quick googling, 11.9% of U.S. men aged 25-55 is about 7.5 million people.
It's not a good measure, but it's not a case of politicians picking a convenient metric, it's just a case of a bad metric being optimized for.
Those who are interested can read the report to the 13th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (yes, there are conferences for everything) in which the unemployment definition which U-3 is based on was adpoted: http://www.ilo.org/public/libdoc/ilo/1982/82B09_438_engl.pdf
But U3 is fine for year-to-year readings of employment temperature for lay people like most of us.
1) equal pay for equal work
2) equal represenatation among (higher paying) jobs
I routinely see these two issues conflated, and occasionally the purported resolution of #1 for gender being trotted as evidence of no more "gap".
Although I can see how that could be characterized as "cherry-picking" a statistic, it doesn't make the statistic any less valid, and it detracts from the real problem of conflation. If it's true, then additional effort at #1 would, indeed, be wasted. It would be better to criticize the notion of just one "gap" rather than any cherry-picking.
How does this relate to the topic at hand? The original commentor suggested a problem of conflation, between "unemployed" and "jobless".
Elsewhere in the thread, it's been discussed whether workforce participation is a more meaningful metric.
Even that risks conflating "employed" with "fully employed" (as opposed to "underemployed", such as part time or working for a lower wage). Real wage growth comes up repeatedly, presumably because of that confounding factor.
As for equal pay for equal work - I'd be very surprised if women aren't getting that, because that's illegal and you'd expect that to show up in the form of many many lawsuits.
Yes there does seem to be an issue of some workplaces that have a boys club type environment and fail to promote women - but I don't know if that's big enough to explain the dramatic wage gaps that are touted by some people.
Negotiating a higher salary requires a bit more drive/aggressiveness than the average person has. Making up numbers here, if you say that only 20% of the population has that personality trait, men seem more likely to have that trait (perhaps 15% of men have it and 5% of women), which would contribute to the equal pay for equal work gap.
To rephrase my above statement, the current job market rewards certain personality types with higher positions & salaries, and men seem to have a higher chance of having that personality.
A completely separate question is: Is the above an acceptable situation? I would say no.
For example, more men are three times more likely to be psychopaths than women , and CEOs have a much higher chance of being psychopaths than the general population . There's a strong chance that certain psychopathic tendencies are rewarded in the current corporate structure.
Similarly, there are other stories you hear of there being a lot of backstabbing in certain companies at the higher levels. Personality types that are disinclined to engage in that will be unlikely to climb the corporate ladder there.
It's probably in the best interest of all companies and society in general that these kind of personality traits are not rewarded unless they are actually beneficial.
By fixing the problem at this level we'll not only be solving the gender/pay gap between men and women but also the gender pay/gap between differing personalities within a given gender as well.
I have another theory. Some people are so incompetent that they end up as C-level execs. Incompetent people tend to promote equally or more incompetent people.
Second, when you do that you're sort of controlling the problem away. Women don't seek more work/life balance because they're not as crazy as men. They do it because they're expected to carry more of the burden of raising a child. The literature is clear that the wage gap is relatively small until children enter the picture. After that the gap skyrockets.
This is why the main practical goal of every wage gap activist is equalizing the burden of having a child. It's why the number one policy issue is universal mandatory parental leave for both genders.
There certainly is sexism in the workplace, although the court ruled different I think Ellen Pao was a victim of this. That said, I don't know if it as prevalent and widespread so as to lead to meaningful and statistically significant wage gaps when all the factors are considered. Certainly the evidence for this sort of widespread institutionalized sexism is lacking in my mind.
Still I think the conversation here is more that the wage gap numbers are not as significant as they are often presented in discourse about gender equality
Saying you need to control for things that have already been controlled for doesn't leave a particularly good impression.
To me it seems like an uninteresting tautology. Like these others:
“False statements about immigration numbers are often presented in discourse about naturalization policies”
“Misleading financial figures are often presented in discourse about what stocks to buy.”
It’s like... yah. So?
All discourse is full of garbage. If you are interested in the truth, you weed through that and evaluate the numbers and, according to best practices, find a good estimate.
When you do that, you find there is a substantial gender-attributable pay gap in many countries in many industries.
Why that is and how we change it seems like a worthy discussion.
I am curious to why you think the existence of people with a poor understanding of the facts is a worthy topic of conversation.
There will always be people in “the discourse” saying wrong things. If that’s all it takes to halt the important conversation about how women get pay equity, then you have yourself a surefire tool to ensure that conversation never happens. Or at least that you never have to participate.
(And as a side note, the existence of a raw 77% gap is factually true. Media would have to argue that it’s entirely due to sexism for them to step into territory you object to)
"Female Uber drivers make 7% less per hour than their male counterparts—even though the algorithms that determine pay for the ride-hailing service are gender blind, according to a multi-year study."
If their conclusion is accurate, I am puzzled as to what solution can be proposed. Should we lower speed limits or cut mens’ hours?
Apologies if I don’t understand the uber cost structure. Is there not a time component in the service charge similar to cabs?
Taxis often take this even farther and make the time component only include time where the taxi is going less than fixed, fairly low speed (in NYC it is 12 mph), so slowing down from 25 mph to 20 mph wouldn't gain them any extra money on the fare but would cost them extra time.
The studies do not "control for everything". For example I have never seen
1. Control for the much higher levels of sick days taken by women.
2. Control for the product of hours worked and years worked. Women work fewer hours and spend more years out of the work-force. This has a multiplicative effect on "hours of work experience"
Additionally the power of "controlling for X" is vastly overstated. In reality it is only reliable when the different factors are close to orthogonal, have linear relationships and are not causally related. Typically none of the above are true.
Almost impossible to make any progress in it without appeal to emotion and in-group/out-group dynamics.
Women tend to choose more fulfilling lower paying careers
(last point on fortune and second last on time)
I don't have the original studies but I think the news sources here are fairly reliable
Perhaps you can find the citation yourself and use it to counter the point you are replying to.
The burden of proof is on the person making the claims. What is freely asserted is freely dismissed. How would the user you replied to even go about searching for the citation, given so little information to go off of?
The link you provided seems to allude to someone announcing their personal preference, which should not have to be defended. Assertions of what scientific literature have established as accepted wisdom are free game for questioning. That's what gives theories their fundamental efficacy, being able to withstand reasonable criticism.
Then kindly leave it at that. It is, after all, the nature of friendly and disagreeable conversation. Crying to me about it certainly isn't productive.
If simple enumeration of the fallacies contained your arguments is seen as a personal attack, You don't have a lot of ground to stand on when you accuse other people of being trolls.
If you want a citation then go find it. Don't expect other people to do YOUR work for YOU. For more information on trolling: https://github.com/prettydiff/wisdom/blob/troll/Avoiding_Tro...
Anybody who anticipates a conversation is a thing that can be won, as in a contest or battle, is probably a troll.
It persistently fell from 83.3% in January 2008, to September 2015, where it bottomed out around 80.6%. It has been climbing since then, and is now up to 81.8%. Getting that back up near 83% would be a big win for the economy.
The highest that has ever hit, is 84.5% in 1999/2000. Healthy has historically (in the last 30 years) been anything around or above 83%. I think it's plausible the US can return to that figure in the next year.
We've struggled with the prime age unemployment due in part to the big loss in production jobs since ~2000. The continued recent (curved upward again at the end of 2016 ) boom in manufacturing jobs (exports are at an all-time high) should pull a lot of blue-collar workers back into the labor market. The manufacturing sector unemployment rate is incredibly low at 3.1% (lowest since June 2000, other than the 2.6% it hit before Christmas 2017).
Trump, were he wiser on macro strategy, would resolve NAFTA, close out the trade conflict with Canada & Mexico soon, come to a deal with the EU, and then focus all the trade war on China. US manufacturing will continue to boom, cheap energy and improved margins will largely ensure that. The only serious threat is some really bad trade moves with the non-China trading world.
Female participation rates have been rising historically and it's completely recovered to pre-2008 levels
Whereas, male participation rates are declining and did not recovered completely yet.
I wonder if you actually only counted white and asian men, would the statistics look any better?
EDIT: I just realized how terrible that may have sounded. I'm genuinely only curious about what's causing this apparent disparity. (A disparity that must be a bit severe mathematically speaking.) So my "off the cuff" guess would be that large sections of black, hispanic, and native american men are not really able to participate in the employment markets. And that's maybe how the numbers get so high for men in general?
Men in that age range are actually employed at a higher rate than most other demographics. He is making a point about men in that age range being employed at a relatively low rate compared to historic rates for that same demographic, not their employment rate compared to other demographics now. Men age 25-54 have at times had rates getting close to 5%.
However, this can't entirely be blamed on a poor job market because it has become much more acceptable for men to take the role of a stay-at-home parent or caretaker than it would have when their employment rate peaked in the late 1960s. There are almost far more students in that age range than there would have been in the 60s.
This morning, the Labor Department announced that the national unemployment rate ticked up to 4 percent in June for good reasons, as hundreds of thousands more Americans sought work.
It’s great to see our workers in neglected sectors of the economy have a chance to get back in.
Sure some workers of neglected sectors got a boost (coal), but at what cost? Funny how there is little talk of the solar workers that got laid off following those change in policies.. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/07/us-solar-industry-lost-nearl...
"Yet the experience of towns like Ames and Des Moines show that such “labor shortages” might be due to insufficient wages and crummy working conditions — not an unwillingness of workers to switch industries or improve their skills for a job. The trucking industry is instructive here: Trade groups have argued that it is facing a shortfall of 51,000 workers, yet businesses have not yet shown much willingness to cut hours, boost pay, and improve conditions to lure workers in. Indeed, across the economy, companies have shown a remarkable unwillingness to boost wages, with growth barely keeping pace with inflation even as the unemployment rate has dropped to 4 percent"
This isn't progress
Who works in fast food and why? Mostly people who are either don't have any skills to work anywhere else or people who can't work anywhere else.
When there is high unemployment, high skill workers will be more willing to take a less desirable job in order to survive. As unemployment drops, the high skill workers leave the undesirable job and find better work(more pay, better hours, etc.). Fast food places then have to either raise wages or higher less skilled workers to replace those who have left.
This is progress.
The easiest way of doing /that/ is to make social benefits (retirement, vacation time, healthcare) public pools and 'single payer' (but with competition for benefits that provide services like healthcare).
When all of society is willing to say "they don't deserve more pay, the machines are doing all the work" including the workers themselves, and 'being employed' is seen as some sort of moral imperative that is more meaningful than a paycheck and totally detached from actually producing value... things can get bad. We should always remember history, and that those people were not fundamentally different from us. They were willing to bear it. We will be too. And while they didn't have a century of fighting against 'socialist' policies so were willing to discuss the New Deal, we are in a different situation on that count. Such a solution would not be discussed seriously, much less attempted.
(But, I don't fear this too much. The fact is technology is cheap and has made people so productive that its far more likely they will realize that companies no longer provide any tangible benefit compared to working directly for customers online, especially once the software is there to facilitate it.)
> In total, 6,899,000 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2013 – about 2.8% of adults (1 in 35) in the U.S. resident population.
It's very difficult to find work with a criminal record in the US.
We've got to get rid of the mindset that we need to "protect ourselves", both corporately and individually, from "dangerous people" (i.e. former criminals) by excluding them from our lives and our companies. "Love your neighbor as yourself" applies to them also. Love always involves risk. A noble society values redemption more than safety. Work itself is ennobling, especially when trust and responsibility can be earned.
That's not to say we should ignore background check results. But a crime (or crimes) in the past shouldn't mean they're automatically excluded.
However, if you got caught stealing a bunch of electronics from a past employer, you'll have a seriously hard time find a job anywhere where they have to trust you with money or property.
Honestly, people who commit crimes against their employers do this to themselves. How could you ever be trusted again when your strategy at the beginning was to shit where you sleep?
I don't feel that's really relevant, and the person who is trying to get back on their feet likely doesn't care. They just want a damn job.
"Honestly, people who commit crimes against their employers do this to themselves"
Not many do. In fact, I'd say far more employers commit crimes against their employees than the other way around. And yet, they don't have to worry.
If most people were to look at safety only a bit differently, their world outlook would change substantially. If they realized that it is stupendously easy and simple for any of the multitudes of people they come into contact with on a daily basis to kill them, and that no police force in the world could possibly stop such a thing from happening if the person were to decide to do it with no warning, the initial response would probably be fear. But, upon further reflection, they might realize that despite the tremendous ease, despite what others might have gained at any point, it simply has never happened to them. What could possibly explain that? There are ex-convicts, unpleasant people, people with disturbed worldviews, psychopaths, and other 'bad people' everywhere and you've certainly been in contact with them quite regularly. And... you've been, and continue to be, safe.
While it is challenging to keep a human being alive, what with them having all sorts of needs, it is very easy to kill one. Someone walks up to you and pulls out a knife with a 2 inch tiny blade and simply presses it into your jugular and you will most likely die in a minute. Or you could get hit with a car, or something could be put into your food, or your house could be set on fire with you in it, there are innumerable methods that are all easy and entirely within the capability of any normal person. But, killing a human requires something else. It requires the willingness to kill. Almost no one has that. Military training is arduous and difficult because even giving this willingness to the average person is insanely hard to do (and they settle for simply ingraining killing as a reflex response since they have never actually accomplished manufacturing the actual will, so soldiers typically kill before their conscious mind can decide what to do, taking their will out of the equation, resulting in neurological damage that manifests as PTSD but that's another topic). To presume that even a "bad person" runs around with this willingness constantly within them is quite ludicrous once you've faced the reality of how rare it is for such violence to occur.
And then when you look at the violence which does occur, and try to understand it, what makes those situations so different, you quickly notice that essentially all occur in situations of desperation. You might be led to suspect that perhaps the desperation is more the problem rather than the persons involved. Perhaps the 'bad people' who didn't kill anybody the day before or the day after aren't simply murder machines who will always be a threat.
This all, however, requires a great deal of thinking. And thinking about emotionally arousing topics at that. Life, death, the uncertainty of strangers, the fragility of ones own situation, etc. Before you can begin down the road of thinking about these things, you have to know how to think. And you have to be willing to think. Both of those factors are in substantially short supply in modern society. The knowing how to think because we don't teach it in schools (the Republican Party in Texas actually had opposition to the teaching of critical thinking skills as a primary plank in their official party platform not long ago) save in college philosophy courses. The willingness due to a total reliance upon intuition as a guide to truth. Intuition can not deal with these topics at all. It arises from the 'default behavior' of our brains which arises from their structure that evolved to keep us alive (just) in small tribes on the African savannah. It is prone to obsession with fear, and fearing the unknown, and fleeing from threats rather than facing or dealing with them. Until a person can turn their back on intuition and use reason instead, the monstrous 'bad people' will be a constant bugaboo.
With enough demand, we may begin to see employers willing to retrain these workers and bring them back into the fold.
That's the first sentence of the article. You're telling me that in a list of over one hundred course, covering everything from computer programming to nursing, there's nothing with pay and benefits comparable to coal mining?
When NAFTA was being negotiated, there was similar talk of retraining all the blue collars. There were blue jean factories in Western NC, once they left there were no jobs to move into. Training or not.
Now it is easy to say, "Move to where the jobs are" but for someone who owns a house in an area but has little to no other assets, this is not a solution.
The official employment stats cover both. U3 is the unemployment rate, which correctly covers only the labor force, while U6 covers the labor participation rate, which covers the population.
So what? If there's a thousand Node developers like me looking for work, and a thousand job openings for dentists, that's a mismatch. You may say beggars can't be choosers, but do they expect Node developers who went through CS courses to throw that away and take dentist courses?
> Competition for workers has gone crazy, Joe McConville, who co-owns a popular chain of made-from-scratch pizza restaurants, told me. “At almost every restaurant that I’ve worked at, you always had a stack of applications waiting,” he said. “You’d call somebody up and half the time they're still looking for an extra job. That’s not happening anymore.”
> “There are not a lot of welders sitting around looking for work. The construction trades, the roofers, the framers, the dry-wallers,” said Dan Culhane, the president of the Ames Chamber of Commerce. “Those are [workforce] challenges that Ames and Story County and Des Moines face.”
> The trucking industry is instructive here: Trade groups have argued that it is facing a shortfall of 51,000 workers, yet businesses have not yet shown much willingness to cut hours, boost pay, and improve conditions to lure workers in.
Also, all kinds of stressors can create recessions - from a supply shock (the sudden increase in oil prices in 1979 forcing the US economy to restructure to adapt), to a demand shock (a sudden drop in consumer access to credit in 2008), to sudden shifts in the type of demand (both WWI and WWII ended in steep, short recessions during the switchover from wartime to peacetime production).
Businesses need to be made to squeal in pain here. Run the economy as hot as we can get it for as long as we can and shove wages through the roof at the cost of business margins (which were just considerably boosted via the tax cuts).
If the Republicans and Democrats weren't collectively so stupid, they'd be cooperating on hammering out a massive infrastructure spending plan paid for by a trillion dollars printed by the Fed across 10-15 years (or similarly constructing an infrastructure bank filled courtesy of abusing the global reserve currency while we still have it). And doing that would juice things that much more right now and for the next decade.
Wages will naturally adjust to the equilibrium supply and demand. If the needed increase in wages to increase production pushes prices up such that supply falls then production will be cut to adjust. That is what actual economic theory says.
In the real world their is a lot of lag, so some market participants will be increasing wages and producing too much, and then they lose money, and have to overcut on the other side, but in a massive diverse economy this random noise balances out.
The market will never over price labor, therefore inflation cannot come from increasing wages.
Inflation comes from printing money (or creating it digitally since we don't actually print any more). When the inflation from printing money results in rising wages, then that is a sign to the bankers that they should cut back so that they can keep the poor in line, and keep them from paying off their loans so that they can't get out of debt.
Real world economics.
But from a business standpoint, no point in increasing wages above inflation until workers revolt. So what's needed is a healthy dose of inflation to get workers to revolt, and make business compete for workers by taking the risk, instead of hoarding, and paying more. Businesses and their shareholders have had it really good compared to workers, because workers have been docile and shareholders have been there to scoop of the profits that workers refuse to fight for.
i gotta say, this idea has some appeal. since businesses tend to use the new tax savings for stock buybacks or paying out dividends instead of hiring and expanding, force their hand a little.
Yet the experience of towns like Ames and Des Moines show that such “labor shortages” might be due to insufficient wages and crummy working conditions — not an unwillingness of workers to switch industries or improve their skills for a job.
What does such a restructuring look like, in concrete terms?
The dependent part is where these slashes and cuts are accompanied by lowering prices in a race to the bottom within the industry, to the point where every business in the sector is operating on near-zero margins. Then, when wages overall start to go back up, the first business in the industry to flinch has to raise prices immediately as well, and ends up getting out-competed into oblivion. But if nobody flinches, the entire industry's labour pool dries up, harming everyone.
That's a good thing. Welding is hard to learn and takes a lot of practice to get right. There shouldn't be people sitting around idle with that skill.
Ask employers who are whining about a shortage of skilled labor "how many people do you have in training right now?"
When people talk about higher wages for these jobs as a solution for the labor shortage, I always bring up improvements in working conditions (safety, hours, etc.) as a perhaps more cost-effective way to make these jobs attractive.
That strikes me as an exaggeration. Notwithstanding "sitting is the new smoking", I don't imagine trucking has nearly the permanent health risks of welding, especially considering that maximum-time regulations are now actually getting enforced, thanks to electronic logbooks.
> Who wants to spend a month at a time away from family?
Someone without a family (usually modified by "yet") or who's into making shorter-term sacrifices for the longer term. The latter would apply if the pay were high enough, but it isn't. The latter type seems to exist in the military.
The question makes an assumption that isn't necessarily valid, as there's another kind of person: one who has no kids and brings a spouse along to drive as a team.
None of this, of course, necessarily translates into an attractive long-term career, but it's also not high- or increasing-skill labor.
> improvements in working conditions (safety, hours, etc.) as a perhaps more cost-effective way to make these jobs attractive.
I suspect the reason such measures are particularly unattractive to employers is that many would be practically impossible to roll back once the job market turns. Wages are a "knob" that turns both ways, but once you've spent money on all those safety upgrades at the plant, there's no un-spending it.
As cynical as that may sound, for low-margin businesses, the fear of being out-competed is always on their mind. Whether the fear is exaggerated compared to reality is another matter.
Now that's a good point. The job could be much better if the employers were better organized. Employers want to send someone out on the road for weeks at a time. With better scheduling, the first driver drives for four hours, stops at a truck stop, and swaps trucks with another driver going the other way. Both drivers end up back home at the end of their shift. Where's that Flexport guy who's always on here when you need him?
That's the point I was getting at.
Is that a pharmacist degree? Don't those need a PhD equivalent to be most beneficial?
(I know that wasn't really your point since you were comparing with something more different like dentists...but the fact that the example specifically said "node developer" instead of just developer is scary)
No Java shop worth its salt gives a flying duck if you know Java's syntax. They care if you understand how to build systems. Caching, queuing, service to service communication, algorithms, performance, debugging etc. If you learnt that stuff in Go instead of Java, who cares? Yes, the job reqs and lazy recruiters will come at you with a list of keywords, but that's usually not what the hiring manager truly cares about.
How many Java developers would come in knowing how to use LINQ efficiently and know the difference between
customers.Where(c => c.Age > 65).ToList()
customers.ToList().Where(c => c.Age > 65)
when using Entity Framework or the Mongo linq driver? They would both give you the same result but one is much more efficient.
You can’t imagine the number of times I’ve seen people use a Func<T,bool> instead of an Expression<Func<T,bool>> and wonder why their code is so slow in production.
How many Java developers would migrate toward log4net because they have heard of log4j instead of using the much better Serilog?
How many would come in knowing how to efficiently use ASP.Net Core and plug things in the pipeline?
Knowing the language is the easy part. Knowing the frameworks and the ecosystem takes time.
No one would hopefully ever say a Windows system admin could function at the same level with Linux as someone who had Linux experience.
That’s just like the “AWS Architects” who translate all of their knowledge of on prem deployments to AWS without knowing AWS best practices and wondering why the same infrastructure costs more.
I’ve been a hiring “manager” - more like the architect. I’ve got deadlines and deliverables. Why am I going to hire a Go developer when I can find perfectly competent C# developers that have the skill set I need? Why would I learn Go knowing that the local market wants C#, Java, and Node developers?
The competent developer with knowledge of systems know that the first step when using any form of ORM or sql generation tool is to figure out how to look at generated queries.
Also in that particular example, you're dealing with a reasonably common concept across all languages (generators). While LINQ works by letting you introspect the AST and its a reasonably unique concept, when looking at the snippets here it actually doesn't matter if you don't know that: in basically any data structure manipulation code, doing a data structure conversion followed by a predicate operation is almost always a mistake, because the whole point of "toSomething()" functions is to go from the specialized domain into the language's generic's constructs. LINQ is a particularly accessible implementation of concepts that are age old. The Rx family of tools (which do exist in java) follow similar semantics, and then most ecosystems have very similar constructs even outside of RxWhatever.
Those fundamentals won't let you figure out edge cases, but they're pretty easy to pick up once you get it. The system building aspect is what takes a lot of experience to catch. Other examples would involve how to debug a server's memory dump: it's very different between C++ and .NET, but very few people know how to do it in EITHER environments, while anyone who knows how to do it in one can pick it up in another by skimming a blog post in the middle of an outage.
Probably a reason why people should learn Category Theory too. Not quite the same thing, but it would help people make more solid assumptions.
At least, that's been my experience working in both Canada and in the US, and I've never been close to Silicon Valley (or the west coast for that matter, so if its true there, I stand corrected).
Whats harder is finding a job you'll love with great career advancement opportunities, using the tech stack you like, with a manager you "click" with, and where you're appreciated.
What does “career advancement” look like to someone who doesn’t care about management? Career advancement for me means keeping up with the most marketable tech stack and getting paid as much as I can in my local market and still staying hands on.
“The tech stack I like” is whatever stack pays the most and has a reasonable amount of opportunities. By definition, a popular tech stack will have plenty of openings where you can stay current.
I choose to work for small companies with highly technical managers. A small company can’t afford to silo you. As far as “clicking with the manager” that kind of just happens with more technical managers when they trust your judgement. The only “appreciation” I need is to be paid market rates based on my skill set. I’ve had managers “appreciate me” verbally but didn’t push for the salary I wanted - I left.
I’ve been offered signing bonuses by recruiters who really wanted to get thier cut of my first years salary. I’ve turned them down. Out of my three requirements for a job - right technology, right environment, and money. Money is the least important as long as I’m making the median for my market/skill set.
The interesting openings are through direct connections and referrals.
I can sit back, tell recruiters I’m looking for a salary that pays no less than $X and sit back. It’s never taken me more than a month from the time I’ve started looking to having another job.
If they truly have a shortage of workers they are going to either reduce the stringency of their requirements, raise wages to entice workers to come to them instead of competitior's, or train employees. The SF area does some of the wage raising, when they aren't colluding with each other to keep wages down, but the rest of the country seems content to just complain about a lack of qualified people without doing anything to change their situation
I network like crazy - with people who know where the jobs are.
Position filled: 4
Phone Screens: 9
I didn’t like tech stack: 2
Didn’t have qualifications and didn’t apply: 1
In person interviews: 4
Rejections: 0 - I took myself out of the running after accepting an offer.
I actually had 6 phone screens in one day from different companies.
Notice that out of the 16 “leads” none of my resumes disappeared down a black hole. I always knew where I was in the process and I knew that someone in the position to hire me was considering my resume.
Also, I don’t contribute my 100% non failure rate to being a special snowflake. I was able to discuss each lead with a recruiter and had inside knowledge of what the hiring manager was looking for.
I’ve worked with recruiters to hire people. The good ones form a professional relationship with the hiring company.
Back in 2012, I left a job with nothing in the pipeline for a new job. I called one of the recruiters I had been working with and within 4 days I had an offer making $10K more with what was then a Fortune 10 company.
My last job search last year took 7 days from the time I started looking to getting an offer with the salary, (slightly higher), the technology stack, the location, and the company size I wanted. The pickings do of course get a lot slimmer though the higher your salary requirements.
Additionally look at all the work you've put in. "Networking like crazy" as you say. This obviously had benefits for you and is probably worth it for the vast majority of engineers. However, why is this amount of work necessary to find a job in an industry that constantly complains about a shortage of engineers? It seems like they're crying wolf when they say there's a shortage but the hiring process gets more insane every year
Getting a job is easy. I used to work with a guy who had (severe) mental issues, did significant drugs (enough to pass out in front of everyone on the job because over overdoses), couldn't code for crap, sexually harassed every person with breasts in the office (long story on how he got hired in the first place). When they threatened to fire him, he quit, and had a well paying job 3 weeks later.
Whats harder is finding a job you'll love with great career advancement opportunities, using the tech stack you like, with a manager you "click" with, and where you're appreciated. This is where networking starts to matter. Job boards and (non-internal) recruiters are automatically biased against this: most of the jobs that fit the above criteria are filled by insiders before they ever need to be advertised. There are exceptions (its a crap shot if someone knows someone qualified to pick up that director/VP position), but there is a bias. I've worked for about 15-16 companies, from tiny 3 people startups to some of the largest companies in the world, and I've (almost) never seen the best positions advertised, except when large companies are growing and hiring hundreds of engineers at a time, and for very niche roles or roles where the company did not have the expertise to train (eg: the first site reliability engineer hire at a company).
Then you also have the cost of job advertisement. Recruiters often take 10, 20 or 30% cut, which can translate to tens of thousands of dollar or more. If you bypass and go straight to the company, and a friend refers you, not only will you usually skip the stupid phone screen and maybe a phase of the process, but guess where some of the money they save will go? Your first year's sign on bonus!
The Fortune 10 company having a fast hiring process was dumb luck.
The department I got hired in was originally a small startup that had been acquired by the larger company. The hiring manager was the founder of the original company. At the time, they hadn't been fully integrated with the company as a whole.
As far as the results not being typical, I've had a former coworker who was laid off that contacted me because they call me the "job whisperer". I put him in contact with three of my recruiters and he also had a job within three weeks working for a large well known company. I did help him with his resume.
As far as why I had so many leads, I attribute that to aggressively learning only what the market cares about, and at the time, my salary requirements were right in the median for what the market was paying for senior developers (and still $10K more than I was making).
I've since changed jobs again, but the learn things->change jobs -> make more money process stops being as affective and gets slower once your salary requirements go up.
 I stayed at one job way too long and became an "Expert Beginner". My skillset and salary suffered the consequences. 10 years, 5 jobs, and a lot of studying later, I'm just now at the median salary for an "architect" and still have some gaps I want to fill in my skillset.
Networking like crazy" as you say. This obviously had benefits for you and is probably worth it for the vast majority of engineers. However, why is this amount of work necessary to find a job in an industry that constantly complains about a shortage of engineers? It seems like they're crying wolf when they say there's a shortage but the hiring process gets more insane every year
Out of all of the interviews I've done, I don't think any have been "insane". My technical interview at $largecompany consisted of a pair programming exercise correcting a program and making the unit tests pass. All of my other interviews have been the standard "explain your projects", talking and demonstrating architecture and best practices. I didn't have any programming work for my last two sets of interviews.
But with so many "developers" out thier who can't implement FizzBuzz, you have to be careful.
These same companies are ones I see talking about shortages of engineers
No way. WWII, for example.
I can either complain about the direction that front end development is going and Node or I can look at the current technology landscape and where the market is going and learn what’s hot and keep my family fed.
But there is s move toward “rural sourcing” where outsourcing companies would use foreign outsourced labor are now setting up shop in rural areas where they can both pay people less than in the major cities and still get the benefits of being in similar time zones and people can travel more easily to be on site occasionally.
These are all reputable agencies that don’t submit your resume without your permission. They will tell you the salary range up front and once you talk to them, they will tell you the name of the company.
As far as relocation. Probably not, but if you’re a good developer and not finding jobs quickly in your market. You need to relocate anyway.
It’s neved taken me longer than a month to find a job as a developer in over 20 years - always paying more.
I moved from a small town the week after I graduated from college in the mid 90s because I knew there were no jobs there.
The salary survey posted by Matrix jibes with my experience at least for Atlanta.
I just picked a random city -Boston - and Google’d “Boston software recruiters”. I found two or three just now.
Even with the job boards, recruiters post jobs thier and instead of sending your resume, talk to them. If you have the skills, and interview well, they will be more than happy to work with you. They get a 20% finders fee from the company you are eventually hired through and it doesn’t affect your salary.
If they won’t give you the information for the hiring company when you ask - don’t deal with them. Also, don’t be shady. Don’t go behind the recruiters back, make sure you aren’t being submitted by more than one company and make sure they always ask before they submit your resume.
The general rule of thumb is not to tell them your current salary. I’ve never gone by that rule. I always tell them the minimum salary I want - and no “target compensation” and bonuses don’t count - and don’t waste my time discussing any company that can’t meet my requirements.
I’ve had them negotiate on my behalf after a company was interested for more than the salary the company offered. The more I make the more they make.
As for mismatches, what is your solution?
Principal will tank when the market drops (company almost tracks large index funds), they have already hearded most employees into shared community desks like cattle with draconian policies against any personal items or even paper.
DuPont is about to be eaten alive by State funded Chinese seed corn.
John Deere is at an inflection point where they need massive RD spending in a bad economy. Either they ship autonomous bots for seed/weed/feed or they become a dinosaur.
Wells Fargo ... isn't exactly the most ethical corporation.
Those are pretty impressive honestly.
Wells Fargo is 2008 Bank of America. They will do everything they can to improve their image -- good time to join actually, IMO.
DuPont will be fine. JD can become a dinosaur and still live another 50+ years on name alone.
The longest we've gone without a recession in the past 100 years is 10 years.
To use a different metaphor, the Fed and the Presidents are playing a game of musical chairs with their successors and no one wants to be the one standing when the music stops.
So yes, it's not about the President, but the nature of control over the financial system is not through the interest rate channel either.
I'm not sure how you can come to that conclusion given it is common knowledge and fairly obvious that the Fed has been inflating the economy at absurd amounts to get us out of the 2008 crash.
Sadly, it's highly likely that the current administration will - of course take credit - but more importantly - reap all the rewards (i.e. votes) in the next federal election.
I still am amazed at how Obama pulled the US from the brink of utter financial collapse shortly after taking office. Hopefully the next incoming administration will be as lucky.
The public debt almost doubled from 11T to 20T during his presidency). He also created moral hazard by not only NOT prosecuting people who he himself called "fat cats of Wall Street", but actually continuing to bail them out (started by W. Bush)
It's worth noting I do blame Obama era policies for wage and working condition stagnation/deterioration, which is the thing I actually care about (gdp and unemployment numbers are basically pointless if people who have jobs are living in third world conditions). That said, I have zero hope that the current administrations policies will reverse that trend in any way.
The market started rising promptly after Trump's election, presumably in anticipation of the coming tax cut.
Also, impose tariffs as we're seeing with the last 24 hours.
Businesses don't have to worry about being the primary source of food or housing for their employees either, and somehow this is true without the government taking over agriculture and real estate.
Obviously it's not as simple as that but it certain implies that something uncommon is happening in the financial markets.
But I was happy when it showed up recently. It provides a good explanation about the yield curve and a more specific way to look at things.
There's no rigid guide that the US expansion has to end anytime soon just because ten years was the longest expansion in the prior century. Perhaps this one will last 19 years and set a new benchmark, who knows (answer: nobody).
Could we double or triple the length between recessions? Sure, but I doubt it.
For example, 10 years ago we had quantitative easing done by US/Europe, which led to subprime loans. Now, all of the major economies around the world is tapped out with QE, so deflation is the theme going forward
Also, 10 years ago the dollar prime rate was 0%. Now it's close to 2%. That drives the emerging market capital outflow back to United States, since there is a great need to pay back dollar-denominated loans before rates go up even higher . This means as opposed to 10 years ago where there was capital diffusion from US into the emerging markets, now there's capital consolidation back into US, leading to great FDI for US.
10 years ago, US had the dual threat of energy crisis and offshore/globalization. today, US is the major oil/energy exporter, and robotics/automation/tariffs is bringing factories back to US.
QE did not cause subprime loans - QE was the response to the effects of the subprime loan era.
There was no QE before the liquidity crisis and subsequent economic recession, although it had been discussed academically.
Please don't mistake me for some kind of commie, PG's essay on the necessity for income inequality to drive innovation is convincing. But that doesn't mean we should celebrate shameless cronyism, kickbacks, and rent-seeking either.
Growing middle class income is nice, but income is a very poor metric to use to determine economic class. Net worth is what really matters.
To explain the deflation story especially over the last 4 or 5 years, you need to look at the drop in Oil Prices - which as you point out, is primarily due to fracking and the US going from the #1 oil importer in the world to a small exporter. I wouldn't call the export aspect major statistically, but the change in oil trade terms certainly is.
1. Kuroda and Draghi are merely taking a breather. BOJ and ECB balance sheets were still growing as recently as April 2018. SNB shows no signs of ending their relentless buying of the QQQs.
2. No global central banks are prevented from restarting QE or QE-like programs at any time of their choosing. The very second deflation again becomes a threat, you can bet your ass that Powell, Kuroda, and Draghi will step on the gas.
"Tapped out" implies limits to the volume of beer in the keg. Central banks have no limits. It is extremely trivial to begin printing money again if these governors/presidents will it so.
What happens when they buy all 100% of ETFs and bonds? Venezuela?
I sure haven't seen it. The price of gas, rent, food, etc. have gone nowhere but up for me. Is there any sector of the economy where deflation is actually happening right now?
1. The market, and the macroeconomic system in general, is not a purely stochastic process. This is a meme.
2. If by "naive chartism" you mean technical analysis, then sure, I agree. But if you're attempting to reduce the entirety of academic and industrial economic theory and practice to "naive chartism", then your middle brow dismissal here is both incorrect and breathtakingly arrogant.
Our entire economic system is predicated on the idea that there exist inefficiencies that can be profitably capitalized on through cause and effect. No one professionally or academically familiar with this idea claims it's a guarantee, but they also don't dismiss the concept of past data being a useful but imperfect measurement for the future state of things.
Even Fama walked back from the strong EMH, and to claim that we can derive no insight about the future from the past is to utterly dismantle everything we know about the credit debt cycle and market macrostructure. If you'd like to believe that then more power to you, but implicit in that belief is a fair amount of hubris.
You fail to grasp a fundamental reality: data about the past can only tell us about the past. Data about the present can be useful for making predictions. Some of it is so useful that using it is criminally prosecuted by the SEC.
By "naive" I mean any approach that relies solely on trends rather than an actual understanding of underlying causal factors. Sadly there are so many of those factors that a correct analysis is virtually impossible, but that's no excuse not to try since some factors tend to dominate others and those can sometimes be found.
I feel obliged to downvote you because of the first two paragraphs, why did you add them? You were trying to refute what you considered an "accusation of arrogance" with the most arrogant opening paragraph possible?
We can agree to disagree on the exact definition of "virtually impossible", but in the broad strokes I think we're both saying some factor analysis can be sometimes productive. In particular, I definitely agree that 1) an "actual understanding of underlying causal factors" is imperative, and 2) an approach based on trends (and trend following) is naive.
QE "Purchases were halted on 29 October 2014" 
Think of the amount - trillions already spent on war. And trillions more in debt because of it.
Tell me again how WWII helped all the various economies involved and was not a net loss to the majority of them?
I think this sentiment has been repeated time and again here on HN.
I suspect the tech community is particularly attuned to it, as our sector has something like this employment situation even when the economy as a whole isn't doing as well.
- In 2017 the combined reshoring and related foreign direct investment (FDI ) announcements surged, adding over 171,000 jobs in 2017. he U.S. had gone from losing net about 220,000 manufacturing jobs per year at the beginning of the last decade, to adding net 30,000 jobs in 2016. http://reshorenow.org/blog/reshoring-initiative-2017-data-re...
- Within the United States, growth also has become more balanced across industries. As in past years, the service sector, supported by growth in employment and real wages, has grown steadily with increases in retail trade, business services, personal services and construction activity.
- Job-hopping increases, in possible boon to wage growth and productivity
I ask because my mom is a 68 year old woman with a high school education in a rural community and she's had probably 6 jobs in the last two years. They aren't awesome paying jobs but at least half of them were full time and enough to squeak by. She just tries them on for size and quits them if they don't fit. Definitely a job hopper, but I don't understand how she can get so many jobs in a depressed area in the midwest and folks like yourself remain unemployed.
Well, self-fulfilling prophecy: now I'm following my more heartfelt interests and doing a PhD in neuroscience. Turns out finding a lab that fit my interests perfectly worked great.
Which is to say: being the "spiky fit" actually sucks, but it seems to be what the labor market is targeting right now.
In Iowa 2008 was the biggest drop in nominal personal income since 1955. The period 2009-2017 had the slowest nominal personal income growth since the end of the great depression in 1931. 2017 was one of 3 years to record negative income growth in the last 50 years (2008, 1993).
This all speaks of a labor market working far beneath capacity, one that hasn't yet made up the loss of income from the last recession. One no where close to full employment which leads to constant and substantial overall income gains.
It certainly doesn't seem like full employment, but it also doesn't seem like it can be extrapolated to the other 99% of the population in other states (not that I'm saying that's what you were implying).
"employers bidding more to attract new workers and offering raises to retain their existing staff." "The rate of wage growth has doubled of late"
> Yet the experience of towns like Ames and Des Moines show that such “labor shortages” might be due to insufficient wages and crummy working conditions
> Indeed, across the economy, companies have shown a remarkable unwillingness to boost wages
> Low wages continue to be an extraordinary problem preventing workers from connecting with a good job and keeping potential employees on the sidelines — in Iowa and across the country.
> “But there’s still this cliff, around $13 or $15. If you are making less than that, you can’t take a job. And we are not seeing too many companies go over it.”
The economy is healthier with safety nets that prevent people from "dropping out" of the economy through homeless, excessive debt, being trapped under huge debt burdens that limit their options, etc.
But the economy is also healthier when it is fully participatory. When only a small slice of the public has any significant amount of discretionary spending the economy tends to stagnate.
Also, forcing employers to pay more is actually a supply/demand conundrum. If you want to buy unskilled labor for $8/hr but the going rate is $15/hr you're not going to have much luck.
>Also, forcing employers to pay more is actually a supply/demand conundrum. If you want to buy unskilled labor for $8/hr but the going rate is $15/hr you're not going to have much luck.
The issue I have is most people who want a living wage, want to be done by setting the minimum wage so that a 40 hr week job gets you their. The causes lots of problems because it eliminates everyone from the labor market that cannot produce that much value. So in the end, you negatively impact the young, the old, the disabled, those who want to work part time, even ex-cons by setting minimum wage at a living wage value.
That said, putting the minimum wage to an amount that is surviable at 40 hours a week removes people on the margins that would benefit from a job that paid these than a living wage. Note I am taking as a given that a business will only employe someone if they on average produce more benefit than they cost.
Two examples of people on the margin that would otherwise be priced out.
Frank is retired and draws social security he is old and doesn't move as fast any more. He gets a job with the park service cleaning/resetting campgrounds. He enjoys being outside, interacting with campers, and the extra money is nice. Since the service pays per spot cleaned, Frank will never make a living wage. I think Frank should be able to take this job.
James just got done serving 5 years for felony distribution of crack. Seeing his son only once a month has made James decide to go on the straight and narrow from now on. As an ex-con it is hard for him to find a job. In fact because ex-con tend to be bad employees most business don't bother. If there was no minimum wage a business could hire James at a rate of the average ex-con and he could prove himself a good worker and move to a better paying job. I think such a job should exist for James.
I think these are two examples of productive economic activity that would otherwise be impossible if the minimum wage was set to a living wage.
With all due respect, that's probably because you're not someone who's having to survive on it.
"That said, putting the minimum wage to an amount that is surviable at 40 hours a week removes people on the margins that would benefit from a job that paid these than a living wage."
I don't believe that population is significant, or more significant than those that do need it to be a living wage.
"James just got done serving 5 years for felony distribution of crack. Seeing his son only once a month has made James decide to go on the straight and narrow from now on. As an ex-con it is hard for him to find a job. In fact because ex-con tend to be bad employees most business don't bother. If there was no minimum wage a business could hire James at a rate of the average ex-con and he could prove himself a good worker and move to a better paying job. I think such a job should exist for James."
I do not believe that having a non-living wage job would help, because James would still need to survive, and on a non-living wage, he's going to have to supplement that income somewhere. A better thing for James would be "Ban the Box" laws, which prevent potential employers from asking about criminal history if it's not relevant to the job.
"I think these are two examples of productive economic activity that would otherwise be impossible if the minimum wage was set to a living wage."
And I don't. Just about every example for why it shouldn't happen comes down to business wants cheap labor. And that's not an argument that I am sympathetic to.
>With all due respect, that's probably because you're not someone who's having to survive on it.
I have a lot of respect and empathy for those working multiple minimum wage jobs to make sure their children have food to eat. With that said, whenever I consider a policy I start with how I think the world ought to be and then I make considerations for how the world really is. Hence why I say it is probably a good thing that we have the minimum wage.
>I don't believe that population is significant, or more significant than those that do need it to be a living wage.
Data would be nice, but I would guess that the long term gain in increased experience from more jobs happening would be better than the marginal increased income for those with the now higher minimum wage.
>I do not believe that having a non-living wage job would help, because James would still need to survive, and on a non-living wage, he's going to have to supplement that income somewhere.
James would need to live somehow, by keeping the min. wage low, we give James the chance to gain a work history at a low paying job (while he is provided supplemental support) so he can transition to a better paying job.
>A better thing for James would be "Ban the Box" laws, which prevent potential employers from asking about criminal history if it's not relevant to the job.
Ban the Box is a bad idea because it hurts young black men. tl;dr when employers cannot know that a person does or doesn't have a criminal record, they don't hire from the populations with high rates of criminal records (young black men).
>And I don't. Just about every example for why it shouldn't happen comes down to business wants cheap labor. And that's not an argument that I am sympathetic to.
I feel like you missed an important assumption I made, business will never hire a person if the value that labor produces is less than the cost of the wage. The min. wage sets a floor on the value a person and this hurts people that cannot produce more value than the floor. This is different from the fact that a business seeks to minimize costs of which labor is a major one. That is capitalism, some business seek to pay people that absolute minimum they can to cut costs. Others (like QuikTrip and In-N-Out) pay a premium for better workers to get better value.
What is your suggested fix for businesses wanting cheap labor?
One issue with the current model is that Frank has to retire in due time. He cannot be allowed to work for cheaper while receiving benefits, otherwise he's taking the spot of younger folks who are supposed to be working there at a normal wage and finance his benefits.
You misread the conclusion. There is no need to bring down the minimum wage for everyone, just because he doesn't need a full wage. He can simply work part time and get half the money.
I gave two examples where increasing the hourly rate would make it so that the business would not hire the worker because it would provide negative value to the company.
Working half the hours does change the fact that each hour loses money for the company.
Your example is completely invalid today.
"The issue isn't that wages have grown to slow, it is that important costs have grown to quickly."
And employers bear the responsibility for that.
>And employers bear the responsibility for that.
Per the article  after adjusting for inflation "That makes the current cost [of college] more than two-and-a-half times as much as it was in 1988 — a markup of 163 percent."
How are employers responsible for a 163% increase in the real cost of college?
I don't think you can say that when they're the ones who set those rates. Especially when they constantly complain about not being able to find qualified workers.
"I would say there are much better second order effects from focusing on bringing prices down than the second order effects of focusing on forcing employers to pay more."
Maybe, maybe not. But that's not an argument for not increasing wages.
>Maybe, maybe not. But that's not an argument for not increasing wages.
The initial comment was about paying a living wage. There are two ways to make a non-living wage a living wage. Make the wage higher or make the living cheaper. I think way to much political energy is focused on making wages higher when I think it would be more productive in the long run to focus on making living cheaper.
Somewhat related, but sometimes the issue is an unreasonable definition of "qualified". I feel like there are a lot of choosing beggars, particularly in the tech industry.
That said, I don't actually mean to merely quibble over semantics and wish to clarify: Is what you meant that many tech tech companies are hoping to hire someone that just doesn't exist at all , rather than not existing in sufficient number?
 Expecting, like Dilbert's pointy-haired boss that, just because qualifications can be listed in a job description, there must exist someone who fits them all.
Assuming true, that would be limited to the silicon valley and new york area.
Try to work in tech in smaller cities and you will quickly realize that there are few employers and they can be picky.