The jobs depression continues to plague this nation. If you're not unemployed yourself, no doubt you know someone who is. Fourteen million of us looking for work two years after the Great Recession. But there is a myth about this economy that I want to expose tonight. That myth is that it is impossible to find a job because there are no jobs. But guess what, it's not exactly true.
Manufacturers are struggling to fill thousands - yes thousands - of jobs!
A survey by Manpower Group found a record 52% of employers have difficulty filling positions. Thank about that - they can't find workers for the jobs they have.
On average, companies usually take seven weeks to fill job openings. But for some manufacturing companies it's taking more than twice that long! And I'm not talking a few jobs here and there.
Technology giant Siemens has over 3,000 jobs open all over the country!
According to the Labor Department - there were nearly a quarter of a million open jobs in manufacturing in August - up nearly 39% from a year ago!
If unemployment is so high, why are these companies struggling to find workers? Why aren't people lining up for a paycheck?
Simple: Many just don't have the right skills for the job!
Most of the hard-to-fill jobs are for skilled trades, technology, engineers and machine operators.
Back in 1980, math, engineering, technology and computer science students accounted for more than 11 percent of college graduates.
Thirty years later, the number is less than nine percent.
Students are choosing different directions despite the fact the numbers clearly favor these types of skills.
According to the Conference Board: One worker applies for every three of these types of jobs.
Compare that to roughly three people for every one job in sales!
And it's not like these jobs are the assembly line jobs you've seen depicted in the movies. You know 20 hour days, no pay, no breaks. In fact, many of these jobs are really high-paying ones!
Workers at low levels can make as much as $30 dollars an hour.
Annual salaries for engineers can reach the six figures in some cases!
That company, Siemens, I just mentioned - the average salary for their three thousand open positions, $89,000!
An aging population of skilled workers is adding to the problem - as with many industries retiring baby boomers are tough to replace.
It's also a potential sign of the future. That the jobs market isn't just in a downturn - it's completely changing.
Many companies are trying short-term solutions. But the only long-term one is to get America back into the manufacturing game!
We need to want to make things again - and we need to educate people enough to do it.
So this can serve as a message to all those younger people camping out on Wall Street: It's not "the man" keeping you unemployed. Maybe you're just not looking in the right places!