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Posted on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Why Michigan can't fill its 76,000 job openings

By Nathan Bomey

In Michigan, we often hear superlatives asserting that we have the best talent of any state in the nation.

“We don’t,” said Lou Glazer, president of Ann Arbor-based nonpartisan think tank Michigan Future Inc. “That’s the simple answer.”


Brian Gasiewski, who received training at Macomb Community College, removes an external housing for an industrial shock absorber from a CNC (computer numerical control) machine at Fitzpatrick Manufacturing Co. in Sterling Heights. Michigan needs more advanced manufacturing workers to fulfill jobs like these.

AP Photo | Duane Burleson

Indeed, if Michigan had the best talent pool in the nation, we would be able to fill more of our 76,000 job openings, a figure regularly cited by Gov. Rick Snyder based on a database at

So we have a fundamental problem: We’ve got an underemployment rate that averaged 21 percent to 24 percent in 2011, according to Gallup, and pockets of labor shortages at the same time.

We need to face up to the possibility that the jobs aren’t getting filled for a reason. For some jobs, the talent simply isn’t here — at least not yet.

That’s why there are chronic shortages of talent in areas like nursing, software programming and accounting.

To recruit and cultivate talent, Glazer said, Michigan needs to invest more in education, welcome more educated immigrants and revitalize Detroit — because vibrant urban environments attract talented young professionals.

Here’s our dilemma. About 35.6 percent of Michigan residents ages 25 to 64 had at least a two-year degree in 2008, trailing the national average of 37.9 percent, according to a September 2010 report by the Lumina Foundation for Education.

But the number of jobs that require an associate's, bachelor's or graduate degree is expected to rise by 5.3 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. How will we fill those new jobs without more trained professionals?

Meanwhile, the number of jobs that require only a high school diploma will rise by just 1.4 percent.

So unless Michigan begins to crank out college grads — which seems unlikely as tuition continues to rise and Congress blocks talented foreign immigrants — Michigan will face pockets of high unemployment and areas of labor shortages for the foreseeable future.

These studies reflect a widening socioeconomic divide. On one side, there are workers who have a college degree or professional training. On the other side, there are workers who have only a high school degree or dropped out.

The divide between the two will continue to expand. There’s simply only one way to cross the divide: Earn a degree or get professional training.

Perhaps encouragingly, though, 25.6 percent of Michigan adults — about 1.37 million people — have "some college" but no degree, according to U.S. Census data cited by Lumina. If we can help them cross the finish line, we’ll immediately improve our economic prospects as a state.

In Washtenaw County, home to the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College, about 60.4 percent of residents have at least a two-year degree. That's 7.4 percentage points higher than the next most-educated county, Oakland. (Correspondingly, Washtenaw’s unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in December, lowest among Michigan’s 83 counties.)

In recent months, the dramatic recovery of the U.S. auto industry has given us reason to celebrate. Many factories have reopened, the auto companies have added thousands of Michigan jobs and workers are getting bonus checks. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler were all profitable in 2011.

The Automotive Components Holdings plant in Saline is operating at full capacity with some 2,000 workers, and the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in Superior Township plans to add 50 new jobs in a $15 million expansion.

The auto industry’s comeback has certainly fueled Michigan’s gradual economic recovery. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 9.3 percent in December, marking the lowest it’s been in 28 months. It’s about 5 percentage points below its peak.

That’s encouraging, but the auto industry’s contribution to the recovery is an aberration. It’s a one-time deal, so please don’t count on it providing sustainable growth.

“The auto industry will never again be the major engine of prosperity in Michigan,” Glazer and U-M economist Don Grimes wrote in an August 2011 report. “It will be substantially smaller, employing far fewer workers and paying them less, with fewer benefits.”

They added: “The decline in autos is part of an irreversible new reality that manufacturing (work done in factories) is no longer a sustainable source of high paid jobs. Nor is it a source of future job growth.”

Advanced manufacturing, on the other hand, holds promise.

But “that’s Michigan’s problem,” Glazer said. “We don’t have enough of the new manufacturing workers.”

Before coming to Michigan and growing in Michigan, companies need to feel reasonably comfortable that they’ll have access to a sustainable pool of talent here. Without that, they’d be foolish to come here.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


My V. Nguyen

Sat, May 19, 2012 : 4:13 a.m.

I just came back to Michigan from San Jose California, living there for over 6 years. As most people know already, California has the highest unemployment in the nation. There are many white Americans with degrees in software engineering and in other engineering specialties without a job. Cisco, SunMicrosystems, HP, Yahoo, and other high tech firms in Silicon Valley are announcing plans to lay off people everywhere! So don't tell spread this propaganda LIE that businesses are having a hard times finding workers. Many bloggers have posted intelligent comments about scam "double postings" and of nonexistent jobs on the Internet (76,000 job postings?). The typical salary of a software engineer is about $70,000 a year in Silicon Valley. Unlike Detroit which employs many UAW workers, employers in Silicon Valley don't need that many software engineers. The largest number of software engineers employed in Silicon Valley never exceeded 2 thousand in a full employment economy. As a result of this fact, former Gateway CEO Rick Snyder is lying right there about the need of Michigan to fill 76,000 high tech jobs in an automobile state. What does Big Business want from Congress is to open the gates wide open for H-1B Visa Indian workers and unskilled Latino workers to come to this country and take American jobs!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

To determine why Michigan has a shortage of skilled workers, all one needs to do is follow the agenda of the Michigan Legislature - it's one bill after another eroding or outright attacking Michigan workers and their basic rights. Whether its the ability to join a union to obtaining medical care for job-related injuries, to the PACs that employees can send contributions to, it's a constant all-out assault on the rights of workers. The result is, the employees that are able to leave this backwards state have left or are planning to leave. Whenever Michigan suffers an economic downturn and workers are laid-off, they leave Michigan in droves and the statistics bear this out. The only people here are the ones that can't leave. Those are the ones that are already employed or don't have the experience, education, or skill-set to be hired at anything more than the most basic of occupations. Beyond that, there's a barrage of political decisons and legislative actions that are making it difficult for anyone to feel economically safe in Michigan. Increase the sales tax and never worry about school funding again, except when we no longer feel like funding the schools that way. Communities are guaranteed that a certain amount of tax dollars will be returned to them, except when we want to unilaterally change the formula. Now your children can't get a decent K-12 education (but it's the teachers' fault) and your community can't fix the streets or keep the streetlights on. Nice state, this Michigan.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:21 a.m.

In answer to the writers comment regarding H1 Visa workers (foreign workers), well that is part of the problem in Michigan. New grads can not find technology job openings for entry level. The advertised entry level position requires 1 to 5 years working experience in most job ads. How is that entry level? Turns out most of the out-sourced jobs like help desk used to be entry level jobs in AMERICA! By bringing in H1 workers to fill positions deemed unfillable, these employers have created gaps in the American workforce. Without bringing the H1 visa person to train someone, and refusing to train an American worker, the gaps remain and continue to grow. Students will not continue to seek degrees in fields that hire only a chosen few every year. Five years "work" experience is not a realistic entry level requirement. Schools have limited extern/internships available, not everyone can get them, most are at such low wages you could not afford to drive there. Basically, many employers have taken advantage of the recession to offer wages tech grads couldn't pay back their student loans with. This week CompTIA printed an article siting the UK is having the same problems in tech jobs & tech grads. The article also sites the reasons as out sourcing jobs, which meant those jobs were not available for grads, and with no jobs there is no interest among students. I've invested to many years learning something that is a total disappointment to me. You have to cultivate trained workers, they don't just happen. There are unemployed tech grads looking for work, but employers don't want to hire American workers, older workers, or the unemployed. Could it be because I'm a woman? OMG!!!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

If the figure of 76,000 unfilled jobs came from a database, I have to assume that figure is made up of all of the current job postings on the talent bank or other job database? How many of those jobs are temp/contract? Does the writer know that when a company uses a staffing agency to find personnel, that company may have assigned that same task to many staffing agencies. Many of those 76,000 jobs may be duplicate postings for the same position at the same employer, but posted by many different staffing agencies. Since some agencies attempt to win work for themselves they will see a position and post it to get the applicant to work through them because that is how the staffing agency makes its money. One job posting could be listed by twenty companies and multiple job boards on the internet. I find that on the talent bank all the time. As for the comment that there is not enough talent in Michigan, there is talent here, but employers don't want to hire people who are older with a lot of work experience. The last interview I went to I was told by the interviewer that even though I had a lot of pertinent experience, the interviewer was only concerned with the all of the time I had been unemployed. Mind you I have never been fired from a job, I was laid off for lack of work during the economic downturn. I have references, I have a bachelors and associates degrees. I was updating my skills taking classes at the local community college and just as I was to enter the advanced classes this semester, the state of Michigan canceled all funding for No Worker Left Behind. I had no other funding, and learned this week that the state has education funds, but only in predesignated areas like Lansing and Detroit, where they are offering to fund up to a 4 year degree, and I can't finish what I started. Businesses do not want to hire college grads or give them entry level jobs they want only trained workers in technology.


Mon, Feb 27, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

A couple of points: Unfortunately, the caliber of students graduating from High School is very uneven, so employers routinely specify a College Degree as a prerequisite to insure they get applicants with basic literacy in math and reading. Even if every Michigan High School Graduate was suitably prepared to enter college, and they're not, there is no way they or we could fund a 4 year education for all of them. How many Colleges or Universities in Michigan even offer programs that teach the skills the manufacturing industry says it needs? Suggestions: Devise a certification program- perhaps by re-purposing the GED, ACT or similar- that in conjunction with a Diploma demonstrates an applicant's command of math, reading, and basic computer skills. Make sure that High School and Community College Guidence Counselors know precisely what the industry expects and is looking for in prospective employees- along with information on wages, benefits, and job potential. We probably have plenty of aspiring MBA candidates and Liberal Arts Majors- but not nearly enough folks coming into the workforce with solid math, reading, and computer skills to learn on the job, even if the apprenticships were avaialable.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:41 a.m.

Once again I am believing that you do not want intelligent people issuing intelligent discourse. Your loss. Let the others prevail. Why DO I bother? Stupid me.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:11 a.m.

Perhaps dismissing UM football and the Michigan teachers' union in one "opinion" comment was too much?


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:20 a.m.

I had written an earlier response but it got deleted by moderators, presumably - UM football grads or teachers??

Stuart Brown

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:10 a.m.

More corporate clap trap! First of all, 76,000 jobs is a small percentage of the 1 Million jobs lost in Michigan since 2000 (< 8%). Secondly, if this is true, then wages should be going up fast--anybody's wages rising faster than inflation? I didn't think so (unless your part of the 1%). Neel125 got it right, the purpose of floating these crap arguments is to justify the continued domination of the economy by the 1%; this is propaganda, not analysis. The 1% thinks things are just fine and nothing needs to be fixed. Their main concern is that enough people in the 99% will get wise to what is really happening and actually do something about it.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

Really, why was I deleted?


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

I just came back from LA, one of the large tier 1 suppliers was advertising IT jobs in the LA paper in Detroit, starting salaries were $25K. I will lay 3 to 1 odds, those jobs are not advertised here. But since they are advertised and no one responded, the company can now ask for H1-B visas to fill the jobs. Leaving Michigan citizens to go unemployed and hungry. If the local congressmen wanted to help people find jobs, they would require that before an H-1B visa (or other visa) can fill a job that the job opening be advertised locally. Right now you only have to advertise. I see ads all over the US for jobs here that never make the Michigan want ads.

Jim Osborn

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 3:27 a.m.

@DonBee - Why not mention the company's name? I'm sure that they would love the additional advertising. For that matter, mention where the ad was located. LA Times? I'd like to have my Congressman, John Dingell tell why he supports these H1B visas for this company, or if not, he will end them.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:03 p.m.

So why is it that I know nurses who can't get a job in Michigan? Why did my son's best friend have to go out of state for an accounting job? I, for one, don't believe the jobs mentioned are truly real. I do agree that we need to do a better job educating our population.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

I doubt that 76,000 number is anywhere near accurate. Many of the higher end jobs are bogus postings. Companies have to publicize jobs even if they already know who they will hire. The UM is famous for this, it's all about complying with laws that state you have to publicize openings. Also, temp agencies post bogus jobs just to lure in applicants, so clerks can make their quotas in processing apps. Once the applicants ask about the posted jobs, they are told that those are "filled." Bail and switch. "We'll call you, don't call us." Many ongoing online postings also are for "work at home" or low paying "direct care" jobs or child care jobs, paying very little, and usually temporary. Those "job portals" also contain a lot of duplicates, unverified jobs and shams, as mentioned here. Unless AA dot com is willing to post a link to the source, with the data to back up the claims of 76,000 verified openings, I strongly doubt that the number of real job openings in MI is anywhere near that number.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

Thanks for the answer before. Another question for you. Even though this 76,000 number is probably very inflated, how does this compare to other states? Is the inflation just as bad in those other states?


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

I have a question for somebody smarter than me. The University of Michigan provides world-class graduates, many of which choose to go work in places like Washington DC, Chicago, or New York upon graduation. If businesses are so eager to higher young, educated employees, why would they not search the U for young talent? If there are good jobs available in Michigan, I'm sure grads can be convinced to stay close to a place they've grown familiar with over the past four years. Obviously there are some that have their minds set on going to these big cities, but I'm sure employers can convince some of these people to stay around. Michigan as a state has good Universities relative to many other states, so there are definitely qualified graduates out there.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

The article doesn't list where all these supposed jobs are located. Not too many UM grads would want to live in some areas of the state (Detroit? Detroit burbs? flint? Grand Rapids?). I also don't think that many of the "good" jobs out there are for new grads. Many jobs require some experience, and many of the postings are bogus (the company already knows who it will hire, and is posting to comply with state laws). Moving to another larger city in another state with more potential for other jobs and career moves makes more sense to a new UM grad. Many UM grads move to large growth cities to look for jobs, even if they don't have one to start with, which is more and more the case these days, except for the elite grads in law, business, etc., who might land something before graduating.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

So explain ... "But the number of jobs that require an associate's, bachelor's or graduate degree is expected to rise by 5.3 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. How will we fill those new jobs without more trained professionals?" And: "Meanwhile, the number of jobs that require only a high school diploma will rise by just 1.4 percent. So unless Michigan begins to crank out college grads — which seems unlikely as tuition continues to rise and Congress blocks talented foreign immigrants — Michigan will face pockets of high unemployment and areas of labor shortages for the foreseeable future." ... which together imply that the people needed to fill these jobs simply aren't here [in Michigan]. BUT Michigan colleges, and there are SEVERAL, even some pretty good ones, "crank out" people with degrees all the time. Some have even written in to reply to this article. Tell me what these 76,000 jobs are. What skills they need, how much they pay annually. Because I DON'T BELIEVE THIS. Prove it.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 9:29 p.m.

MANY of the jobs on the Michigan Talent Bank are for light industrial, truck drivers, various mortgage positions and insurance sales persons. Low paying, entry jobs altho truck driver might make decent money. On the flip side, there are LOTS of jobs wanting computer skills but I have to wonder if these are contract positions which wouldn't pay as much and no benefits.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

So, Nathan a few readers have posted comments questioning where these 76,000 jobs are and what type of jobs they are. Are you going to answer?

Honey Badger Don't Care

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

Nathan you need to grow up! Be above the fray. This is shameful journalism.

Don B. Arfkahk

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

There is no answer. I own stock in's parent company, a multinational corporation that owns nearly 1500 media outlets across the globe, and gave him the made up figure myself. Expect more articles like this. I need to manufacture political support for right wing policies that make me rich.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

@Nathan: That site contains a little over 650 postings. Where are the 75,350 other postings?

Nathan Bomey

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

MEDC tells me the figure comes from a collection of job openings listed at, including those at the &quot;job portal&quot;: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> It ranges from &quot;lawn sprinkler service summer helper&quot; to &quot;SQL data analyst&quot; to &quot;speech language pathologist&quot; to &quot;Unigraphics NX design engineers.&quot;


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

I'm having a very hard time believing this article. I am yet another example of a college graduate that is underemployed. I've been applying for jobs in my field for over 4 years with little to no luck. When I first started going to college, there was a big push for cleaning up our environment and alternative energy manufacturing. I thought getting an environmental studies/science degree would be a GREAT degree to have. Unfortunatly, the environmental issues got pushed to the backburner and funding to environmental organizations/agencies got cut here in Michigan when our economy collapsed. So, where does that leave me? With a job that has nothing to do with my degree...and getting paid 9 bucks an hour. Is this my fault? Nope. So, now what? I have to go back to school to get my degree in something else because our politicans totally dropped the ball? And I've &quot;wasted&quot; four years of my life because even if I WANT to go back into my field in another state, I don't have the recent experience. I know my story is not much different than most underemployed college graduates. But it's OUR fault as college graduates that we couldn't foresee four years into the future when we picked our majors. What a joke.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

One of the problem is that companies are too cheap to train anybody anymore. Even low end hospital jobs now require you to go to college for at least a couple of semesters. A smart person could learn the same amount with on the job training in a few weeks.

Martin Church

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

let's start by looking at what is being taught and how it fits in the real world. Until recently WCC was still teaching DOS. and when (I am a computer Tech - Hardware based)when to take classes in UNIX. I received a good course but it did not cover what I needed to know. Such has how to change drivers in UNIX and Linux, which is what I was supporting at two of the now closed ACH plants. I was taught to administer the program but not how to fix the program or diagnose the program when it broke down. When I asked if any such class was taught, I found no only how to administer the network. Now in order to take any class to update my skill set I have to take a test in basic computer usage and I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and A+ certified. Same thing could be found in other skills. we need colleges to start teaching real world skills. Looked into a master program for computer engineering. found the class at several universities did not even include the subject in the master program. Only how to manage people.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

I'm am a tech also. You seem to be complaining about what school did not teach you. That's what experience will teach you. Even the instructors only know how to operate the hardware and software, they have no idea what to do if it breaks. Do you think they actually get under the hood to fix it themselves? I've only had one instructor at WCC who would install, configure, test, and troubleshoot what he taught. That was Bill Reichart, and instructors like him who don't follow a script (he actually wrote the scripts) are hard to find. Sorry to tell you your skill set will only improve by doing and not waiting for a class to tell you how to do it. There is no way in IT that a class will give you what you need in real scenarios. That's why degrees and certs are a joke in IT (and I do happen to have plenty of degrees and certs). I spent years on top of years in school taking every imaginable class in IT and I didn't truly start learning and mastering until I started doing.

Don B. Arfkahk

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

I have some of these job openings. They are salaried positions offering 12k, requiring 200 hours of unpaid overtime per month. I can't understand why no one wants to take out $20,000 in student loans and study unpaid for years to have access to such a fantastic opportunity. Michiganders are just plain greedy and lazy.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

I'm an unemployed woman in my mid-40's who was employed at Borders HQ. I've attended a few job clubs at Michigan Works and many of the speakers are from employment agencies that are focused on light industrial jobs which pay $9-$12/hr. One speaker told us that the company does drug screeing and background checks. She said that 3-4 times in the space of 30 minutes. She also mentioned showing up to work on time was important and if you couldn't make it to work, you must call the agency. That tells me these positions can't be filled for several reasons: don't pass the checks, don't show up, quit after a few days or weeks. Possibly the most telling is the pay. Depending on your previous job and your familial situation, it sometimes makes more sense to take the unemployment rather than make 9 bucks an hour. Particularly if you have to pay for child care and/or bus fare. I have over 20 years in retail at multiple companies and 12 years working in a corporate setting and haven't had one interview. A friend of mine has a very technical science degree and after sending out 200+ resumes and getting 4 interviews, he finally landed a job at Johns Hopkins. So why can't Michigan fill it's jobs? In many cases, I hardly think it's lack of talent.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

This sounds like a bunch of junk to me. 1. Where are these &quot;76,000 jobs?&quot; I don't see a list of anywhere near that many on any site. 2. Are they actually jobs or &quot;training available&quot; or one of the 30 made up job titles to get you to join the army, or air force, or write at home for the examiner, or some other scam. If you have ever spent quality time looking for a job on these sites, you'll find many of the postings are not for an existing job at all. Work at home! Earn eleventy billion dollars eating nachos! Be a secret shopper! I've been unemployed for well over a year and a half and have searched and searched for a job. I have a four-year college degree. I have eight years of experience in my career field. After hundreds of applications, a dozen of calls, a handful of interviews I finally got a job by sending my resume out to specific places I was qualified to work at and asking for one. P.S. Ann, I have a degree in Journalism.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

I had the same thought. Where is the description of these jobs? Where are they?


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:38 p.m.

Studies have shown that when businesses are awarded tax cuts as incentives to &quot;create jobs,&quot; they happily take the cash and invest in non-human infrastructure. People are expensive! &quot;Creating new jobs&quot; is a buzz-phrase used to wrangle money for improvements that will, in effect, REDUCE employment opportunities. And in Ann arbor, we love our &quot;young professionals.&quot; We even have *whole churches* for them! If you're old and skilled, don't look for a job nor a place to worship.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

In regard to your reference on tax cuts to create jobs, I would prefer a link or source to support that, or simply put that it is our opinion if that is the case. That said, I too have always been wary of this unemployment &quot;solution&quot; of republicans. How do we know for sure tax cuts will create jobs? Hoping so, or that it supposedly was the case two or three decades ago does not make it for me. I do think that a state with high business taxes is not going to attract business if there are other states with lower business taxes and it is clear that right to work states are drawing business too. So there is more to it than just lowering taxes. My suggestion is create a tax climate that will attract business and offer tax breaks to companies that are hiring.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

&quot;The divide between the two will continue to expand. There's simply only one way to cross the divide: Earn a degree or get professional training.&quot; Or companies can train people themselves in whatever specialization is in demand at that time. There is no need for community colleges and universities to shoulder this weight. If companies want talent, they need to pay for it either through wages or train personal to perform the necessary tasks inherent to the job.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

This story is a sham, there aren't 75K positions open in MI. They are recycled and reposted part time no benefit &quot;openings&quot; in a database of about 1.5 million resumes. Employers are settling for no less than china slave wages and expect candidates have perfect qualifications for the positions. This isn't just limited to Michigan, this is a nation wide phenomena, although primarily in the service industry it is spreading to others as well. It is a fact, 60% of openings are part time no benefit positions that lead to nothing but misery and vice, not enough qualified talent? Or just perhaps folks that aren't dumb enough to bite the hook of insanity.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Obviously, alan, Jim Osborn and Mike D. have touched on crucial elements which are overlooked or &quot;under mentioned&quot; in this editorial. And overall: the editorial is well done but fails to point out that we have been &quot;redefined&quot; as ineligible to hold any &quot;modern jobs&quot; (i.e., those which provide a living standard above the national average). If you follow the logic to its root: corporations have decided to make this an economy for the elite. Unskilled &quot;service work&quot; jobs are &quot;for the masses&quot; and anything else requires &quot;proof&quot; (in the form of a college degree) that we are worthy of holding &quot;real jobs.&quot; Now, the next time I'm in the grocery store, I'll better understand why the people doing the work there seem... unmotivated. This isn't a joke: the &quot;American Dream&quot; is out of reach for too many under this new, redefined job market.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

I believe that this number is inflated due to a lot of duplicate postings. There are also a lot of jobs requiring an advanced degree that someone with a Bachelors could easily perform. Industry wants us to believe these numbers so they can make their case for more immigrants to fill them. They prefer foreign workers over Americans because they are more obedient. This is just one of many examples that I can give you from my own experience: I worked for a company that made its engineering department (composed entirely of imported workers) work on Christmas Day. The rationale was that &quot;Christmas is a Christian Holiday and none of you are from Christian countries.&quot; They all worked of course because none of them wanted to return to their native countries. I personally have sent hundreds of resumes into a black hole. I am tired of being told that I am &quot;overqualified&quot;. I am also 60 years old and my age is a problem. So I only put a 20 year work history on my resume and I don't include any dates that will give away my age. I believe that there are many talented baby boomers with transferable skills that never get considered because a word search of their resumes doesn't reveal what the company is looking for. Heaven forbid that they actually read someone's resume before rejecting them.

Jim Heinold

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

How many of our high school grads can run a CNC machine? Bet they all know how to &quot;tweet&quot;... that pays well.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

DonBee, one point you missed, especially in AAPS, we don't have vocational education classes any more because ALL of our students need the college prep curriculum because All of the AAPS students are headed towards 4 year universities! NOT!!!!!!! So we leave many students with nothing that they are trained to do!


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:01 p.m.

Mr Heinold - In most SE Michigan school districts shop and metal shop classrooms have been dismantled. Less than 10 locations in SE Michigan offer any real vocational training in machining or metal work (beyond Jewelry) and fewer yet in wood working. The High Schools decided the liabilty for teaching these kinds of classes was too high, and not in their &quot;mission profile&quot;. If you want vocational training, don't look at the Public High Schools, unless it is Jewelry or Ceramics.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

&quot;To recruit and cultivate talent, Glazer said, Michigan needs to invest more in education, welcome more educated immigrants and revitalize Detroit — because vibrant urban environments attract talented young professionals.&quot; All of these things are items that the Michigan Republicans are actively cutting, so the Governor's handy card listing 76,000 unfilled jobs will only grow unless they change their poorly thought out strategies.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

Once again, I do not see these programs working. Who wants to go to some training if there is no job? How about on the job training? Instead of putting tax dollars into a program with no probability of a job, why not give it to companies that will hire and train, preferably by a tax break?


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Why, this is what I would do: Recruit and cultivate talent, invest more in education, welcome more educated immigrants and revitalize Detroit, because vibrant urban environments attract talented young professionals. Now, where have I heard that before?

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

How would you solve this problem ?


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

No talent? Let's see in my circle of unemployed friends I have the following people: 1) CPA with 15 years at a big 5 and an MBA, as well as a PhD - 2 years unemployed 2) Manufacturing Engineers with 20 years experience and an MBA - 5 years unemployed 3) CPA with 25 years experience and a MS/PhD - 5 years unemployed 4) Programmer with 34 years experience with an MS - 5 years unemployed 5) Programmer/DBA with 30 years experience with an MS - 5 years unemployed 6) Programmer with 25 years experience with a PhD - 5 years unemployed 7) Another dozen or so folks with similar capabilities So what do they do, all of them send out 4 to 10 resumes a week, and have forever. Most get at 1 or 2 call backs a week. So what is wrong - all over 50, all highly qualified, all have international experience, all have held very senior positions in high speed companies, no HR director will even touch them. They are too old, too qualified, and the HR people think they are too expensive and too lazy. No, we don't have talent in Michigan, none at all.

J. A. Pieper

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

And this state wants to import more immigrants for our jobs!


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Most HR personnel I've interacted with are narrow-minded folks who sprew the company line. They are hired to perpetuate the corporate mindset, i.e., hire young, mostly white, males. For the lower level clerical jobs, it's ok to hire some young women. Minorities? Mature applicants? Forget it. Oh, that's right we have legislation that makes it illegal to discriminate against applicants for reasons of race and age, so the HR dept talks to a few of them, completes the forms, and then hires the young white males (or young white females). These policies start at the top of the organization, and corporations hire people most like the execs themselves.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

I have always figured that the problem with employment is bad management. No one should hold any HR function if they perceive older people as poor employees. The only way to determine how good an employee will be is what kind of an employee they have been. I was working at the advent of the creation of HR in organizations and was never impressed with HR personnel. The reason is that good HR reps are hard to find. Too many of them live to protect the employer and not correct problems. To reject a potential employee based only on age is unbelievably stupid and one who thinks this should be unemployed.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

doug - If you call Toys R Us, pizza delivery, retail stocker contract work, then yes they are doing contract work. Most can get 10 to 15 hours a week part time at these kinds of jobs. But again employers don't want them because they are not perceived as desirable.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

It sounds like we need to educate the employers more than the workforce. I'm sure your friends are doing contract work &amp; hopefully that can lead to permanent employment.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Let us keep educating foreign students so they can return to their respective countries and take jobs away from ours. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it ? The students in this country deserve to have those spots in our admissions policy.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

Foreign students don't qualify for financial aid, so universities love them. They pay the full freight, unlike most US students. It's all about money.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

i've employed people in businesses around the country and I think there's a lot of truth to this article. But Michiganders have plenty of good things to offer an employer as well. For instance, the distribution of skill sets follows the same Bell curve here as in other places. That is, the best software engineers here are as good as the best in Silicon Valley, there are just a lot less of them. The best creative directors here match up well with Madison Avenue, but they're harder to find. The average Michigan employee is more loyal, however, less likely to change jobs, more dedicated, and more likely to foster teamwork. Michiganders seem to form tighter bonds with their companies and their co-workers, which is a wonderful thing. Correspondingly, a business owner's investment in training, health care, personal development, etc., provides more payback. I do think businesses (especially technical ones) are likely to grow more slowly here, but they will be built on a stronger foundation.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

The shortage of software engineers is somewhat artificial. A lot of posted jobs have salaries about 20% below what they were before the recession. Many employers will only hire the currently employed. Few people are going to take a 20% pay cut to switch employers. If people want to hire the best, then they had better be willing to offer a 20% increase in salary for a software engineer to leave a stable job in this market. If you can earn six figures commuting to D.C., then why would you take a local job that pays half that. It's not just people who are underwater. The cost of living here is low in comparison to the D.C. area, and you can make a bundle consulting in the Beltway.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

Two great comments here! I had no idea there were so many long distance commuters from MI. I'll bet they are still stuck here because they are underwater in their mortgages and couldn't relocate if they wanted to.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

snark12 - Ride the morning flight on Monday to DC or NYC and see how many great software professionals from Michigan are headed off there to work. It is almost a joke, the Newark flight on Monday morning is known as the &quot;Software express&quot;, probably 100 seats on the early flight are full of software people headed to large banks and Wall Street. Similar flights go to California and Texas each Monday. Delta would have to close shop if those people did not fly every week. Most would rather work in Michigan, but companies here will not hire these gray hairs.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Nursing, software programming and accounting are the fields listed that are having difficulty finding employees, but where are these jobs located in the state? People will move for jobs, but not if they are in undesirable locations. How many parts of Michigan have the jobs and are good place to live? The article should have been more specific. Also, the statement about Detroit as a city not attracting young professionals is an incredible understatement. Detroit is not a vibrant growing city, to say the least, and young professionals are not likely to move to MI to live in Detroit. Additionally, there aren't enough, if any, training programs for unemployed workers in the 50 - 60 age group. There are plenty of people willing to change fields but who can't afford the training. And employers aren't interested in hiring mature workers, with age discrimination as a real part of the problem. The state needs to get its priorities in order, start spending money on retraining programs, and create incentives for companies to hire workers over 50.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:54 a.m.

Don't believe all the hype you see in the news. Detroit is changing and evolving. There are small movements all over the city that are trying to improve it. Being a naysayer isn't helping. Sure, it has its crime, but people are taking over the city. It's cheaper to be an entrepreneur in Detroit then Ann Arbor. There is lots of space to grow in Detroit.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

@walker101, The degrees you mention aren't worthless to people who have a passion for their field. Archeologists live on rice and beans while making great discoveries, as do many biologists wandering around in the rain forests. Historically, the Arts help define great nations. You sound all about money. Of course, any student who chooses any field should go in with their eyes open. Not everyone can find work that they love, but they're better off if they can. I agree with others who suggest we pay to educate people to stay in Michigan for a period of time. A technical degree to fill those open jobs, for instance. You can raise my taxes for that.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Not that I believe there are 76,000 jobs that can't be filled. As a 99er with a Master's, I can tell you that education is not the reason. Companies that are hiring have created a narrow and specific job description - which includes changing job titles and emphasizing RECENT work. So basically if you have been unemployed or haven't done that exact job - don't bother to apply. Yes, the ads do say that. The economy is trying to improve by righting off the middle class that went unemployed to create this &quot;recovery&quot;. I have been told no when hiring in entry positions, because I am over-qualified, and no to the job I have done for over 20 years, because somehow now I am under-qualified. Every manufacturing worker I know had drastic changes in there jobs over the last 20 years, and now companies believe that they can't handle the changes anymore. That is a weak excuse. I would prefer they just say we want to hie the new people at $12hr instead of $25 or we are going to leave the country. At least that is honest as opposed to this claim that the workforce is unqualified. If you look at when they leave the country; they do not have a more skilled workforce, but they are able to throw 3 times the bodies at the process for a tenth of the cost.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

One primary reason not mentioned is that businesses believe that anyone over the age of 40 is a liability. I have two master's degrees, 15 years of experience as sole proprietor of a business which is now gone, and about 15 years of college teaching experience. I've returned to school and I'm now about 6 credits shy of the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam (one of the jobs mentioned in the article) but I have had exactly one interview in 2 years from hundreds, if not thousands, of applications. I've been told very bluntly on several occasions that I would be a great candidate if I were younger. I easily have another 15, maybe 20, good years left but I'll probably spend the rest of my life unemployed despite the fact that I am qualified and would do a much better job than most 22 year old new graduates. There are a lot more qualified applicants than we are led to believe but businesses need to stop tossing resumes on the basis of one's year of birth. Just because we are over the age of fifty we are not a bunch of doddering old fools with physical problems and memory loss. In fact, we probably get a good night's sleep, show up for work on time, and take our jobs seriously.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Thanks Mick. Sorry, but not surprised, to hear that you are in the same position. The problem is that no employer will ever tell you that you're too old. Recruiters, of whom I've worked with several, will tell you honestly that they can not place you because of your age. There is no violation at all because they are not actually hiring anyone, merely being honest. Your resume is usually not seen by a human when applications are taken online. It is searched for keywords by a program which rejects it before it gets to a human. I'm sure you've experienced the programs that parse your resume, return nonsense, and then ask you if it's correct. Sometimes they do make me smile with the humorous things they return.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Alan, Sally is correct and if I were told that I would be on the phone with my attorney or maybe just the EEOC. Also I have heard the opposite too, that employers often discriminate against younger people, especially young women, who may get pregnant and take a leave, which runs up costs. I am around your age, have a Masters and am looking and not finding a job, but since I am early retired and have health care coverage I would think that would be an advantage. I also have a good work record, something young folks may not have had the ability to build. So if companies are not hiring us, I am not sure they are a good place to work anyway. Another thing that bothers me is the seeming failure of the application process. Almost all applications are online, copy and paste your resume, cover letter, no phone calls please, and I have even been told that some applications are reviewed by a computer, not a person. This all seems to me like a poor system and make me feel no wonder the state is in such a mess. I file applications and get no response at all which apparently is quid pro quo now, you will only get notified if you are considered. No &quot;thanks for applying&quot; or any indication even that your application was received. I don't know if I was rejected or they are backlogged. And people tell me right now its not how qualified you are, it is who you know. I guess for many jobs qualifications are ignored in favor of favoritism. And there is the old, &quot;union members will receive first consideration&quot; posted on applications. I want to know if I am wasting my time filling out applications for a job I am immediately barred from right up front. But that would be illegal so they make us waste our time.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

@djacks24 Not exaggerated. One interview. No, nobody ever contacted me to tell me that I was too old, but I have dealt with several recruiters who have told me that exact thing. Of course nobody puts their birthday on their resume, I've even removed my graduation dates, but it doesn't take a genius to figure it out from work experience. You make a comment that is for some reason repeated. Why would you assume that I'm not willing to accept an entry level position? The majority of positions that I've applied for have been entry level. I never suggested that I was looking for a particular job. Any job will do.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

&quot;I have had exactly one interview in 2 years from hundreds, if not thousands, of applications. I've been told very bluntly on several occasions that I would be a great candidate if I were younger.&quot; I gonna say this is quite exaggerated. First of all, who lists their age on their resume? Furthermore, you've had one interview. This would mean that maybe you were told this once, and I highly doubt an interviewer would be so bold. Furthermore, I highly doubt from all those passed over resumes they actually contacted you to tell you that you would be perfect if you weren't so old. To add, I would assess your inability to find work is more attributed to: 1. Being overqualified (2 masters degrees). 2. Being out of the work force too long. 3. Unwillingness to take an entry level job to show your eagerness to work no matter what the job is. 4. &quot;15 years of experience as sole proprietor of a business which is now gone&quot; for whatever reason.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

It is amazing to me how job interviewers can be so ignorant of employment law. The sad thing is even the informed will weasel their way around the laws to keep from hiring someone they want to discriminate against.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

While I empathize with your struggle and sincerely hope you find employment soon, I have to take issue with your last sentence. You are clearly implying that younger people, in their 20s or 30s I guess, stay up all night, come in to work late and hungover and blow off their responsibilities. That is age discrimination on your part, and maybe these prospective employers (who may be younger than you) are picking up on that. Try being more neutral and you'll get better results.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

alan - Carry a pocket pen that records to your next interview.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

True Sally, but we have a lot of unenforceable laws. You have to prove it, a virtual impossibility.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

&quot;I've been told very bluntly on several occasions that I would be a great candidate if I were younger.&quot; That is age discrimination and should be reported.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Why would any company hire college grads with the 10 worthless college degrees, like Fine art, Art History, Women Studies, African Studies, Marine Biology, Archaeology, Law, Sociology, Journalism, Fashion design, and performing Arts. Unfortunately this is just a few of many that are likely to never be worth the paper it's written on. The Universities have created a business of selling worthless degrees that will not help the average student to succeed or prosper after acadamia and yet students continue to spend thousands of dollars or parents to get a higher education on worthless degrees. Maybe having a class on which degrees that will help you in life should be a prerequisite in high school, but heaven forbid they'll realize we live in a capitalistic country and not a socialistic society that many strive for. All college institutions should re evaluate their priorities and consider which degrees are advantageous in our society and or make these others degrees as a secondary major. It's not realistic to think that someone will be hired into a 6 figure position just because they have a worthless degree.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 4:45 a.m.

I feel that you are right. I have one of those &quot;worthless&quot; degrees (archaeology/classics/geology). I was so done with school. But the only way to get anywhere with that degree was to go for a Masters, which I couldn't afford or want. I don't beleive that my BA is worth the paper it was printed on. I graduated in '06 and have had many jobs (min wage) that have nothing to do with my major. All the jobs I had have just required a high school degree. What was the point?


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

Hi, I have a Journalism degree, and I'm sorry but I think the skill of being able to write well is extremely important in the lol, idk, bbq world we live in today. I don't have to be a &quot;Journalist.&quot; That degree is useful in a wide range of industries. I don't need a 6 figure job either. I had an extremely difficult time just finding one that would pay more than $9 an hour. I don't know who these people are that can live off fast-food wages. Employers don't want to PAY!


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

We're talking about Ann Arbor and Michigan local employment, how marine biologists do we need here, how many archaeology majors are needed in Michigan, wake up people, how many people are making a living (good) with fine arts degrees and working in that field. Those individuals that are protesting about the 1% I'll bet any money the majority have the degrees mentioned about, how nurses nurses are out of a job or engineers, scientists etc?

Emma B

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

I was waiting for a comment like yours, walker101-- just so you know, I graduated from UM last year with a BFA in Art &amp; Design-- not even two months out from graduation I got hired IN the state of Michigan as a graphic designer in a salaried position with benefits, etc. And you should know that, to the best of my knowledge, the vast majority of my graduating class in the art school is also gainfully employed by now.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Who are you to say that those degree majors are worthless? Do you know of the job market for graduates in journalism, law, performing arts, art, marine biology, etc.? What would our world be without the culture, study of history, and the arts? Even people living in caves, understood the value of that!

Stan Hyne

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Most businesses try to sell what their customers want


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Not sure I should respond to someone who claims &quot;law&quot; is a worthless &quot;college degree.&quot; But I will. The answer is that people with those degrees do, in fact, get hired all the time. They wind up doing a variety of jobs such as technical writing or corporate management, which don't require specialized technical training but do (hopefully) require basic college education and the ability to write coherently. I know VPs and CEOs with degrees like that, as well as a lot of middle management people.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

I wouldn't want to live in a world without art, music, journalists (oh wait, we don't have them them anymore), sociologists, or marine biologists. I could do without the lawyers.

Jim Osborn

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

I often wonder how often jobs go unfilled due to HR types who too narrowly define a job, not realizing that a person has easily transferred skill sets. This is especially true in emerging industries that are developing. Yes, an employee needs the basic education, but they often will do just fine even though they have never done the exact job before. Far too often, they look for exact experience, not transferable skill sets. This goes as far as needing to have the correct industry acronyms instead of spelling out the descriptions, due to using computers to sort resumes.

Ricardo Queso

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

&quot;Using computers to sort resumes&quot; tells me that you are behind. Screening software is the reality today. To not adapt sends you inquiry directly into the electronic dust bin.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

Except &quot;HR types&quot; don't define jobs ... the jobs are defined by those departments that actually need to fill them. They are the ones that detail the skill sets, knowledge, etc. that HR should seek out on their behalf.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

I've been surprised in my own experience how often the skills are not transferable. For instance, we've hired laid off Big Three programmers for Web software engineering jobs and given them training in the latest technologies. After 12 months most of them get to a minimal level of proficiency, but they never get as far as fast as 25 year old kid from San Francisco. There are exceptions, to be sure, but it seems the mindset of software engineering has changed as much as the technology in the last 20 years. Had similar experiences in marketing. I fear a whole generation is condemned to underemployment in this state. :-(


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Some academics and labor advocates say a problem with the skills mismatch argument is that it shifts the blame for the jobs crisis onto workers who lack skills, and away from cash-rich companies declining to hire. The supposed mismatch also relaxes debate on the need for fiscal stimulus policies to increase payrolls. &quot;The point of the argument is to then say: 'We don't need to ramp up demand or infrastructure investment. We need to fix people,'&quot; said Paul Osterman, a professor of human resources and management at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management. This rhetoric, Osterman added, fits well with another priority for business owners: &quot;Firms are always interested in shifting the costs of training to the public sector,&quot; he said. Over the past 30 years, experts say, most in-house training programs at manufacturers have disappeared. The programs have never been entirely replaced, even as private and public training programs have been created, with a wide range of success in employment placement. Recently, more companies have looked to states to train their workforces. North Carolina, for example, spent $1 million to develop a custom curriculum at a community college for workers at a Caterpillar plant. The primary beneficiary, The New York Times reported, was Caterpillar itself.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

Professor Osterman is right, of course. It's part of Milton Friedman's externalizing cost philosophy - everything that can be pushed off on others should be. And since the '80s, large corporations have been extremely successful at externalizing, and the public's been very, very obliging. Business today wants plug and play employees, without any training costs to them. Monolithic structures appeal to monolithic thinkers. And Michigan is a fertile ground for such ways to flourish.

bob elton

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

One reason those jobs aren't filled is because there is a whole, large pool of people who, despite experience and ability, are routinely passed over for consideration. I'm talking about guys who are 50-65 years old. No recruiter is going to waste time with older guys, since most employers aren't going to hire them anyhow. This is particularly noticeable in engineering, sales, marketing, and other white collar positions. Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to try and break through this barrier than to try and re-organize our entire post high school educational system? Bob


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Where our state and country have failed is in providing educational programs to retrain workers who have lost jobs to overseas companies. Sure there may be open jobs, but a lot of them require specific experiences and skills that most workers don't have. An example is the medical field. There are lots of jobs, but most unemployed people don't qualify for them without going back to school to get a new degree. There is also a mismatch between the type of degrees young people are coming out with and what the market needs. We probably need to provide incentives of some kind to get more people to major in technical subjects where there are a lot of job opportunities.

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

I would say that the answer to high unemployment rates....lines between the comments of Mick52 and 81 Wolverine. True, some job opportunities require a specialized set (i.e.-The Medical Field) that in today's society, only can be obtained by higher education. In the flip aspect, other retail management at nearly at level, can be done well without a Business Management degree (Associates, Bachelors or MBA). Instead, its' about the individuals MOTIVATION to succeed and learn on-the-job. As a society, we need to recognize that every job opportunity that might be available doesn't require adding on student loan debt, to perform the job. Yes, more chances on potential employees SHOULD BE done by employers. Many employers need better interviewing skills to weed out candidates who don't or won't fit their needs. Also, the rate of work (i.e.-the old standard of Barney Rubble punching a time-clock) has changed. The internet has opened up opportunities to have telecommute employees that shouldn't be required to come into a office setting (once trained) for tasks they can perform from their home computer. Increasing salaries and decreasing work hours...(40 hours a week is a standard from what...the 1930's) to 32 hours a week standard, would allow for happier employees who perform on a high-quality level work for their employers. Either way, importing immigrants from China isn't going to solve Michigan's Job Crisis. Decreasing business taxes to zero isn't the magic pill to repair what's broken in Michigan job market. We're going to need a combination of INNOVATIVE ideas and a mix of employment situations to someday...return our beloved state back to a 5.0% or below jobless rate.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

I reject this idea. We have had &quot;retraining&quot; programs in place but we still have too much unemployment. I would prefer &quot;on the job training&quot; programs. Hire and train. That will provide both. I went to school and I cannot find a job. Starting to think about moving, though I do not want to.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

In our household, my wife has been out of work for 10 years while our young children have grown. Now, trying to get back into the work force has been almost impossible for her. With a single income, it is impossible for us to pay for her to go back to school. In her search of jobs, lorie is correct, head hunters/staffing agencies are double posting jobs. I think many people out their want to work (my wife included), but it gets tough after a while when things never seem to move forward.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

You're paying a high price for doing the right thing: having a parent home while the children are growing up. Not all parents have that luxury. I don't know what the answer is to the person being out of the workforce for 10 years, but count your blessings knowing your children have been brought up under your guidance.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

If your wife needs some encouragement and practical support, The Women's Center of Southeastern Michigan helps women figure out how to get back into the job market after time off for parenting or for investing in a spouse's career/well-being. The program serves men, too, but the focus is on women. See <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Washtenaw Community College also has a Women's Center, and U of M's Center for the Education of Women is another good resource. Jewish Vocational Services in Southfield, open to all, has a full complement of career exploration aids.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

In other words, it's not Rick's fault unemployment is high. A couple of suggestions: 1) It's time for Michigan to put together technical training education tracks for students who are advanced. For example, turn Community High into a STEM school for students who qualify, and make that school exempt from MEAP and other &quot;teach to the test&quot; curriculums. Identify students early on and find a way to get them a head start on higher math and science. Advertise to parents in other states whose kids are advanced that if they really want a great STEM education, they should move to Michigan. Kids occasionally move to other cities and states to be on sports teams, why not academics? 2) Put aside money for college loans (to Michigan schools) that don't have to be paid back if the student works and lives in Michigan after graduation. That would solve the issue of people getting a UM engineering degree and instantly leaving the state.

Monica R-W

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

No, its never Gov. Snyder fault (dipping sarcasm here). But, according to Nathan, there are 76K job openings....over 400K Michiganders unemployed and/or underemployed....and NONE of those individuals are &quot;qualified&quot; enough to fill these &quot;openings&quot;. Instead...we need to import more immigrants from China and elsewhere to the East offshore. And folks get paid to write articles like this. Amazing....


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

deres - The original community request for Skyline was to make it an Academic High School, with no athletic program and make STEM the core focus. In all 3 community meeting I attended, that was the summary of the tables in the room. When it was reported to the school board the meeting outcomes were &quot;comprehesive high school with some magnet programs&quot;. Something was lost in the translation, but then again Skyline was only supposed to add 19 positions to the total staff of the school system too.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

Decent idea in theory but drop the &quot;turn Community into&quot; part. Community is one successful school and changing it into something else would do NO ONE any favors. Now create a subset in one of the larger schools...that could be a plan.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

So much for the policies of &quot;tricky rickonomics&quot; which implies that tax cuts to the wealthy and increases to those in need will improve the economy and provide the jobs we need. Add the cuts to education and the meager make up increases and we will soon see the state in the same state as the nation during the early 1990's under &quot;Reagonomics.&quot;


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : noon

and then there is the question of access to the internet and which job seekers have access to that database and and and...76000 is a poorly contrived number from a database that doesn't verify openings. further, one might post an opening that might be legit but how serious are they looking for someone - is it a &quot;it would be nice if&quot; opening is it &quot;stuff isn't getting done because we need x opening&quot;. Its not just simple number. again, mis-characterizing what number really means kind of blows holes in the basis for this PR piece.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

how many MiTalent openings are repeats from headhunting/staffing agencies that are trying to make a buck off the original opening? Figure me that. I've seen the database - there are a ton or repeats!

Mike D.

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

In an ironic twist for, this editorial fails to reach a logical subjective conclusion: Tax breaks aren't the long-term solution to attracting businesses to Michigan; more education funding and a better educated workforce would increase Michigan employment over the long haul. I find it nearly impossible to find qualified employees, never mind qualified and experienced. It's a chicken and egg thing; the few qualified people leave the state because their prospects here are slim, and businesses won't move here because of the lack of talent, especially in technology fields. A few bucks saved in taxes won't make it any more likely that I can continue to do business in Michigan. Reaching a critical mass of education and technology employment will do that, and it takes investment, not cuts, to get there.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

In states where there are jobs more education is not a factor. The common factor is they are right to work states. That is where business is going. The educated are leaving Michigan for other states to get jobs.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

Mike D - See my post below.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

Hire an employee and train them. Send them to a community college to refine their skill. Its not brain surgery. We six CNC machines and that how we did it. Its not impossible.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:23 a.m.

No kidding. We really are deficient in this state and these numbers don't surprise me. If anybody has been to the mall recently and observed a sampling of our populace you will understand why we don't have enough qualified people to work.