Help Wanted: Why Jobs Are Hard to Fill

September 9, 1988

Report Outline
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Employers now face a double dilemma: There are fewer young people entering the labor force each year, and many of them lack the skills needed for even entry-level jobs. So businesses must find new ways to recruit and keep qualified workers.

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The baby bust has hit the labor market. Children born after the postwar baby boom are beginning to look for jobs, and they are finding a sellers' market. They are coming of age at a fortuitous time. The economy is expanding and generating entry-level jobs. And because there are fewer young people to fill these positions, the “busters” are able to pick and choose in ways their older brothers and sisters could not only a few years ago.

Employers are actively competing for the shrinking pool of young job-seekers. Newspaper advertisements for entry-level jobs highlights benefits once reserved for higher-level positions: more pay, extensive training, flexible working hours, health insurance, paid vacations, etc. “Young folks can name their price,” says Doug Wesley, principal consultant of the Hall-Wesley Group, a management consulting firm in Lakeland, Fla.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mar. 06, 2020  Universal Basic Income
Mar. 18, 2016  The Gig Economy
Mar. 06, 2012  Youth Unemployment
Jul. 31, 2009  Straining the Safety Net
Apr. 10, 2009  Business Bankruptcy
Mar. 13, 2009  Vanishing Jobs
Apr. 25, 2003  Unemployment Benefits
Jan. 21, 1994  Worker Retraining
Sep. 09, 1988  Help Wanted: Why Jobs Are Hard to Fill
Mar. 18, 1983  The Youth Unemployment Puzzle
Dec. 24, 1982  Federal Jobs Programs
May 28, 1982  America's Employment Outlook
Jun. 27, 1980  Unemployment Compensation
Oct. 14, 1977  Youth Unemployment
Jul. 11, 1975  Underemployment in America
Dec. 16, 1970  Unemployment in Recessions
Mar. 05, 1965  Unemployment Benefits in Times of Prosperity
Apr. 03, 1964  Overtime Pay Rates and Unemployment
Feb. 01, 1961  Unemployment and New Jobs
Jan. 07, 1959  Lag in Employment
Apr. 16, 1958  Emergency Jobless Aid
May 16, 1956  Lay-Off Pay Plans
Nov. 12, 1953  Jobless Compensation in Boom and Recession
Feb. 25, 1949  Defenses Against Unemployment
Jul. 30, 1945  Full Employment
Nov. 25, 1940  Unemployment Compensation
Jul. 10, 1939  Problem of the Migrant Unemployed
May 19, 1936  Unemployment and Recovery
Sep. 02, 1931  Public Employment Exchanges
Aug. 19, 1929  The Stabilization of Employment
Feb. 21, 1928  The Employment Situation in the United States
Jan. 23, 1926  Unemployment Insurance in the United States
Unemployment and Employment Programs
Women in the Workplace