144,000 Unfilled jobs in Illinois

I saw this article yesterday and it talks mostly about the Illinois budget but I caught this: “We need those college credentials now more than ever before. In Illinois, nearly 140,000 jobs are going unfilled because workers lack the necessary skills.” http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/12769694-452/lt-gov-sheila-simon-state-needs-long-term-investment-in-students.html

Ok, my question is if there are all these unfilled jobs where are they? The want ads are very skimpy. Even the online sites are mostly full of scams and stupid jobs.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is used to push the college agenda, as in if you go to college you will have a job. Really? I have a Masters in Communications and Instructional Design, and this was a technology intensive program where one of my classes I was required to learn about the new technology then. Keep in mind this was 10 years ago so technology keeps changing but I take classes online to keep updating my skills. Yet despite all of this I am unemployed 4 years. I know teachers, lawyers and yes even scientists all unemployed. So what exactly do they want us to learn to fill these jobs?

9 thoughts on “144,000 Unfilled jobs in Illinois”

  1. It is fairly common to have a mismatch between the jobs available in a certain area and the skill sets of the people in the area. Unless one can afford to relocate or is willing to take on a long commute to chase the job, they are at a disadvantage.

    We are also seeing polarization in the job market. The mid-range jobs paying $40K or so are gone.

    What the politicians don’t understand is that training a thousand people in a field doesn’t necessarily translate into jobs in that field for those people. There has to be pre-existing demand or the skills taught have to be adaptable enough to be used in a number of fields. I find that many people have difficulty solving what I call “story problems”, where one has to extract information from a story to figure out the answer. I tutored a child many years ago who couldn’t get the hang of percentages, so I wrote him a story where he had to figure out how much the mob boss, wheel man, and each of the guys who robbed a bank would receive. After that, he had no trouble with calculating percentages.

  2. NWP- Your suspicion is quite correct. The whole “skills gap” thing is a scam, just like the higher education racket. Barbara E. has said this a lot in recent years-that is when she is able to get onto a media platform like C-SPAN or some other part of the national media-which is very rare because they don’t want the truth out there.

    Would be way too harmful to the political status quo and the interests of all the colleges. What would the pols be able to say or do if most Americans, esp. the young, woke up to the fact that what we really need is wealth redistribution followed by mass job creation by the government in order to stimulate demand, rebuild infrastructure instead of spending it on foreign wars for empire and oil, and instead spend money on health care and human needs like K-!2 and early childhood ed in the US?

    Instead they keep harping about a skills gap as the excuse for so much unemployment, underemployment, wage stagnation and the loss of hope among the working class. Instead of talking about offshoring of jobs, technology replacing workers, and the rich (thru corporations) stealing all the value and production from workers thru increasing profits while workers get less and less in return for their work.

    But that sort of discussion can’t be allowed in the corporate media or even our national politics because it might result in some validation that socialism, especially the kind of democratic socialism that Bernie Sanders promotes, would likely be an improvement on our present system of plutocracy and bare-knuckles capitalism. I’m just glad that when the local newspaper of my new home, The Des Moines Register, put out an article with the usual skills gap propaganda, a university economist from my former town had the guts to call that whole argument “baloney” ( wish he’d said bullshit, but it was in a family paper…) and laid out all the reasons why it’s propaganda while saying the real reason employers in Iowa can’t find the workers is that they don’t pay enough to lure skilled workers into commuting that far or relocating. Especially if they know that the jobs probably don’t have long-term security or retirement benefits.

    So why should they leave behind their community, extended family and their support system just to chase a job in the new “hot” industry or trend? Not surprisingly, the Register has continued to keep pushing this issue on its front pages every week or so, always from the employer and pro business pols point of view, while my economist ally who I was acquainted with in my former town has been noticeably left out of the discussion since the article where he was so candidly interviewed.

    But we all know how liberal and free the corporate media-in this case a Gannet chain newspaper- are….?

  3. Madness I remember story problems and I think if people can’t solve those their reading skills aren’t very high. I do think there could be an issue where many people in a certain area don’t have the skills but I also wonder what kind of skills those are. I live in a rural area so there aren’t a lot of jobs out here. However if I go a half hour any of the ways I hit big sized towns with lots of companies.

  4. Singing Thinker, I agree. A few months ago I was told I couldn’t get any assistance because my skills were so called in demand. Oh really, then why am I unemployed? because simply put there are many with my skills and it’s an easily outsourced job. There’s the problem, tech jobs an be outsourced and service jobs are low pay.

  5. How many of those jobs that can’t be filled because employees lack skills are going unfilled because the employers aren’t offering a competitive wage for that skill set?

    That’s the question that no one will ask, at least not out loud. Any industry wants a constant influx of people to the field to keep wages down. Maybe you would shovel manure for $15 an hour but not $10. An employer’s easiest route to getting a person to work cheaply is to hire someone fresh out of school.

  6. Madness, I wonder if that’s part of it. I see so many jobs paying much less than what would normally be paid and wanting specific skill sets that generally don’t go together like mechanics and admin or forklift and marketing. I’ve seen jobs require a degree and 10 year experience barely above minimum wage. The funny thing (if you can call it funny)is that I am willing to work cheaply and even tell employers that but they see my experience and assume I wouldn’t take minimum. Generally no I wouldn’t, but in this economy I am willing to take anything just to have a job.

    It’s a mess because employers want people with experience but aren’t willing to pay for the experience. Then they complain they can’t find anyone, not realizing they could if they were more realistic.

  7. Education is a racket, just like housing used to be. Up until about five years ago, the economy was happily humming along, with people building new, bigger houses to replace the old, crappy ones. It provided construction jobs, and everybody likes moving into a shiny new house.

    But while it’s nice to live in a bigger house, it doesn’t help you become a more productive person, and it doesn’t help the country become more productive. (OK, it may help the local government, as you’ll have to pay higher property taxes. But that’s about it.)

    Then, the housing bubble popped, and now, several years later, we’re still not sure where the bottom is for house prices.

    Education is similar to housing in too many ways. It may make you feel better, or address some self-perceived inadequacy, to take a course in something, but it doesn’t make you more productive in the real world. Moreover, like housing, the government is more than happy to help you get into debt to pay for it.

    As far as jobs going unfilled, I went to a professional conference a few years ago, and one of the topics was a shortage of maintenance technicians. Companies were having trouble finding people who were also willing to submit to periodic drug testing (not outlandish, as the work is safety-sensitive), to work nights and weekends, and to work in unpleasant environments (outdoors in whatever weather might be there, and underground). Better education wouldn’t solve this problem.

  8. That’s it too, they need to explain what jobs are going unfilled and why. Many of the jobs going unfilled are ones people don’t want to do because they are low pay, awful hours, etc.

  9. Jobs where you could work you way up through the ranks are pretty much gone. All three of my sisters were opticians. From 1975 through 1990, you could start as a “frame stylist” (the person who helped you pick out your glasses), and if you were interested, they would show you how to work in the lab and if you showed any aptitude, you could become an apprentice and eventually take the state boards to be licensed as an opthalmic techician and dispenser. There was both a written and practical section whee you did various rasks that you would have to do to make a pair of glasses, which I think is a good thing.

    Beginning in 1985 or so, New Jersey wanted people to start taking college-level courses. By 1995, they wanted an associates degree in opthalmic science to qualify to sit for the state boards. A credential that used to cost about a hundred dollars for the test fee now cost several thousand dollars to acquire, and is probably upward of $10K now.

    We’ve seen so many skills that used to be taught on the job now require some sort of PAID credential that I have to question whether the main purpose of school is to keep people off the unemployed rolls. If you’re a student, you are by definintion not unemployed.

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