Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Nightmare of an Employer's Market

(Hiring sign in West Virginia. Photo by Brent McKee.)

When the supply of labor is far greater than the demand for labor, both workers and the unemployed suffer. If employers have a vast pool of unemployed workers to choose from, they lower wages, choose not to offer benefits, refuse to allow time for on-the-job training, avoid pay raises, etc.

As this sign shows, the job market is so terrible right now that some employers are unwilling to train people for even low-wage jobs.

Another sign of an employer's market are idiotic job interview questions, such as "If you were a box of cereal, what would you be?" (See "Employers weed out job candidates with off-the-wall questions"). If we had an employee's market, however, businesses would be more reluctant to ask such absurd and juvenile questions. Instead of trying to determine if someone would be a box of Cocoa Puffs or a box of Captain Crunch, employers would focus more on the person's ability to do the job.

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