Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Structural unemployment

I am not quite fond of the theory that there has been a large rise in structural unemployment in the US. For instance, the San Francisco Fed has a structural unemployment rate at 6.25%, only 1 point above the one before the recession, letting at least 75% of the rise due to cyclical factors. However a couple of recent datapoints are worrying:

First, Manpower's recent survey on skill shortage showed that far more firms were reporting problems in hiring:
 52% of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions within their organizations, up from 14 percent in 2010.
The two next points are less general. The FT had an interview with Siemens' CEO who has problems in hiring people with the right skills
Siemens(...), has around 3,200 job vacancies, and Spiegel says that filling them has been no easy task.
Finally, another case study showed something interesting too. Via Ezra Klein, a recent analysis by EMSI, a consulting company, showed a complete mismatch between the supply and demand of lawyers(admittedly, the data is 2009, so it's hardly linked to the current recession):
across the country, there were twice as many people who passed the bar in 2009 (53,508) as there were openings (26,239).

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