The Good News Has Arrived, But No One is Smiling.

“Oh look! The job I just applied for a few minutes ago just responded back. This could be good news!… Let’s see here…”

“Dear applicant,

You have requested information regarding Job Order Number ****** Office/Accounting Clerk your Employ Florida resume should include the requirements below to apply and be referred to this position.
  • Minimum five (5) years of experience as a full bookkeeper
  • Proficiency with Excel Spreadsheets and Quarterly Reports
  • Best to have construction accounting knowledge, computer experience in QuickBooks, with a full understanding of accounting which includes accounts payable and job costing
  • Experience with Rent Manager or property management is a plus.

Thank you for using Employ Florida Marketplace…”

As I’m reading this, the headlines from cable news are leading off with the good news that the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years. And cable news, being cable news, sort of left the subject at that. As if it was some sort of Friday pep talk. You know the ones? The ones that draw us out of our cubicles with donuts like animals at feeding time at the zoo. “Hey, everyone! Good news! America is back again! Unemployment is down so yeah!”


I turn off the television because there’s only so much of the cacophonous obnoxiousness I can stand. I turn my NPR as an antidote (even though I live in Florida, I stream WBUR out of Boston. Nothing against the local stations down here, it’s just that the station coming out of Orlando sounds it’s operated by a bunch of people who just want to jump off a building into a pit of hungry alligators).

Their lead story is of the current job market as well; “It seems that the unemployment rate is dropping,” says the anchor. And NPR, being NPR, will always look at the bigger picture and give the news, not the news that corporate overlords want you to hear. “It seems that the unemployment rate is dropping…BUT the report does not account for the people who have given up the search and have essentially walked away from the job market. Which is quite substantial.

“…Why did the unemployment rate sink? Because 806,000 fewer people were in the workforce. Many retired or ended their job hunts. And fewer-than-expected people began looking for work…” –JOSH BOAK AP Economics Writer 5/3/2014

Mind you this is not news. This is a news story that is recycled on a regular basis and does nothing to change the landscape for job seekers. What made it different this time was the reporter ended the lede with “…economists are still baffled as to why.” Baffled in terms of why so many people are not going back to work.

Really? I thought that being an economist involves perhaps just a smidgen of taking a look at the bigger picture. What you’re implying is that people are just walking away from the job search because they’ve given up hope, while at the same time every job has been filled. While partially true, I think you would find the answer to your conundrum if you would focus your attention on why people are allegedly walking away to begin with. Your implication would allow the typical Fox News viewer to believe that everyone in ‘Murica is lazy and it’s all Obama’s fault because Benghazi…Perhaps you should shed a little light on why companies aren’t hiring the way they used to.

All one would have needed to do was to pay attention for the past decade to at least get an idea of it:

  • Fierce competition from within and without
  • A collapsed housing market directly related to…
  • Rising college tuition.
  • A health care system that spends more time eating itself rather than taking care of people.

Couple that with outsourcing, an unwillingness to offer a living wage, a decrease in a sense of urgency to hire full time, and all but flat out criminalizing their employees for participating in the ACA, is there any real mystery at all as to why people are walking away? If you need more reasons here are some of the greatest hits every job seeker has heard before they walk away…

  • We’re not hiring right now
  • We’ve filled that position
  • You’re too young
  • You’re too old
  • You don’t have enough experience
  • You have too much experience
  • You have the adequate education, but no real-world experience
  • You have plenty of practical experience, but no degree
  • You’ve stated on your resume that you know how to do this, but that technology is too old.
  • You don’t know how to juggle while riding a unicycle (or, my favorite…)
  • We like you, and we want to hire you, but can you work for less than minimum wage with no benefits at part-time hours?

If these so-called “Job Creators” are such sacred cows, then why aren’t they holding up their end of the bargain? Granted, I knew I had not one chance at being hired for the job I started this blog with. I know I have very little chance at every other job I apply for as well. That’s not to say that I’m a complete idiot and have never worked an excel spreadsheet before.

On the job training has turned into a liability. No “job creator” wants to invest the time and effort into someone they want on a temporary basis anyway. There is no more “Learn as you go”. A degree is no guarantee, and the skill set to do something that is essentially mundane busywork is over the moon. Nowadays, you do need a doctorate degree to be considered to man the fry station at a McDonald’s. Am I exaggerating? Not really.

If these so-called “Job Creators” are such sacred cows, then why aren’t they holding up their end of the bargain? I have yet to hear of one job that was created by these people that didn’t involve guns or a casino. The American Dream has packed up and moved overseas leaving the rest of us to polish the brass on the Titanic. If there are so many good jobs out there, where are they? If the good news is that unemployment is lower than it has been in years, why isn’t anyone happy?

This is the reason why I’m trekking out on my own. I consider it madness to try and shoehorn myself into a job that I might have experience in, only to not be satisfied with it. The chances of me finding something I might be compatible with are drying up. Pretty soon, I’ll be one of the ones who’s walking away.



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