BLS

"Structural" Unemployment Debunked

Michael Collins

“The last unemployment report said that for the first time in my lifetime, and I’m not young…we are coming out of a recession but job openings are going up twice as fast as new hires. And yet we can all cite cases that we know about where somebody opened a job and 400 people showed up. How could this be? Because people don’t have the job skills for the jobs that are open.” President Bill Clinton, September 2010

Former president Clinton took the lead in selling the notion of "structural unemployment" - a gap between employer job requirements and inadequate skills on the part of workers. Clinton's sales skills are considerable. The thoroughly unsupported notion stuck in the minds of the corporate media and some business leaders.

Blame the workers, those who lost jobs since the start of the recession. Clinton and the other representatives for the financial elite asked that we believe in just two short years of the recession, job skill requirements changed so much, workers couldn't be hired back. That was nonsense then and is nonsense now.