Boots & Sabers

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2205, 11 Jun 18

More Jobs than Jobless

Interesting things happening in our economy.

The jobs market has reached what should be some kind of inflection point: there are now more openings than there are workers.

April marked the second month in a row this historic event has occurred, and the gap is growing.

According to the monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Surveyreleased Tuesday, there were just shy of 6.7 million open positions in April, the most recent month for which data are available. That represented an increase of 65,000 from March and is a record.

The number of vacancies is pulling well ahead of the number the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts as unemployed. This year is the first time the level of the unemployed exceeded the jobs available since the BLS started tracking JOLTS numbers in 2000.

As of April, the total workers looking and eligible for jobs fell to 6.35 million, a decrease from 6.58 million the previous month. The number fell further in May to 6.06 million, though there is no comparable JOLTS data for that month.

There are only a few things that could cause this. First, employers may not be paying enough to lure workers off of the unemployment line. Then again, perhaps our benefits for people who are able to work, but choose not to, are too generous. Second, too many of the people who are out of work may not be able to get a job because they can’t pass the drug test. Third, the people looking for work don’t have the skills for the jobs available, in which case, employers should be investing in job training programs.

It is certainly a combination of all of the factors, but something will have to give pretty soon.


2205, 11 June 2018


  1. dad29

    in which case, employers should be investing in job training programs.

    FWIW, there are a lot of jobs for which the requirements are absolutely LUDICROUS.  Does one really need a 4-year degree for clerical, customer service, sales, or most production positions (even those in management)?

    How about Gummint jobs?  Really?  A degree??

    The drug thing is a big problem, however.  Business general liability policies will not cover problems caused by someone who uses marihuana.  So anyone driving a vehicle for their employer MUST be clean.  ANY vehicle.  NO DRUGS.

    That makes the pool of availables a lot smaller….

  2. Owen

    Good point on the ridiculous standards. You’re right… you don’t need a Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience to be a clerk somewhere.

  3. Le Roi du Nord

    The big question……   If this is true, then why are WI taxpayers subsidizing Foxconn to the tune of $BILLIONS$ when there will be nobody to work there?

  4. Mark Hoefert

    @ Nord: If this is true, then why are WI taxpayers subsidizing Foxconn to the tune of $BILLIONS$ when there will be nobody to work there?

    Because those will be the kind of well-paying fulltime benefited jobs that people leave lower paying positions for.  Retail & fast-food to be hardest hit.

    In support of Owen’s point:  employers may not be paying enough to lure workers off of the unemployment line

    You may not understand the concept, but the people working part-time, sporadic jobs with a reliance on public benefits will migrate to jobs that will have stable hours, benefits, and pay that allows them to support themselves.  Foxconn will turn those people into tax payers instead of tax consumers.



  5. Mark Hoefert

    @ Owen:  perhaps our benefits for people who are able to work, but choose not to, are too generous

    In some cases there could be disincentive to earn money.  This study of the Illinois welfare system is intriguing – especially the chart:

    Under these assumptions, a working single parent in Chicago would be foolish to take a pay raise to $18 an hour from $12 an hour. They’d fall from the top of the welfare cliff and see a drastic net reduction in benefits, leaving them with as much as one-third less in household resources. This loss would only be made up again by finding a job paying $38 an hour.


  6. Owen

    We do need to reform our welfare system to reduce or eliminate the various cliffs. We shouldn’t be creating those disincentives for work. Also, you have to consider that some people are willing to take less money for doing than nothing than work a little to make more. The ROI on doing nothing is pretty good. We have to fix that.

  7. NHolland

    There’s only one real sulotion to filling all those jobs. I apologize in advance for the use of this word, especially in this bastion of conservative values… Ready here it is… Immigration! Yes that’s right, immigration. So, open the flood gates, tear down that wall, oh wait… So, open the flood gates and start inviting those who qualify into our country. This is a two birds with one stone solution. Fill jobs and encourage those who might want to sneak in to do it legally. Funny how none of you even mentioned it… Hmmm!

  8. Major Booris

    Anecdotes are not data, of course, but in my experience, people who are truly getting paid to do nothing managed it through some type of disability, insurance, or litigation-related method.

    Able-bodied people on unemployment/food stamps/TANF/etc. always seem to have some kind of off-the-books side hustle going on, from fixing cars to flipping discarded furniture on craigslist to running an unlicensed daycare center out of their basement. All other things being equal, I can’t say that I wouldn’t prefer being my own boss in the grey market to being a part-time, unbenefitted, no set schedule-having Wal-Mart drone.

  9. Owen


    I think everyone here is all for legal immigration with an eye to approving people who are bringing skills to the table.

  10. NHolland

    Of course I was speaking of legal immigration but not necessarily with an eye on “skilled” labor. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of jobs are unskilled. You hear it all the time… Americans aren’t going to pick crops. Or hump shingles up a ladder, mow lawns or clean houses. And I disagree with dad29, degrees aren’t just for matching a job to a specialty. Many employers are willing to hire outside of a specialty if you have shown the commitment it takes to complete a degree. Degrees, as I’m sure you all know, take a lot of hard work. I would love for dad29 to provide real examples of clerical, customer service, sales or production positions that actually require a 4-year degree. I looked at some want ads today and didn’t see resembling dad29s. One more note about dad29s rant… The use of “Gummint” jobs is without a doubt a racial jab. Disgusting, shameful and of no class! This type of guarded racism is also present in your, Owens, latest column… I don’t think it’s appropriate or necessary. My father used to always say ” Say what you mean and mean what you say”. If the issue is blacks from Milwaukee bringing crime across the county line then just say that. I know it a lot easier to deny any racist undertones by saying it the way you did but it is beyond obvious what you meant. Disgusting, shameful and of no class! Back on topic… Wasn’t that long ago people on this site were boasting about Walkers welfare reforms. What happened? Now you, Owen, are calling for “We do need to reform our welfare system”. Able-bodied people on unemployment/food stamps/TANF/etc… Aren’t immune to losing a job, having a business close or being forced out (as is happening to so many teachers). Over the years I have known many who have ended up in the unemployment line, hell it happens to many of my skilled Union member friends every winter, but few ever had a side hustle. The “always seem” and the “absolutely LUDICROUS” are just that… They seem to be ludicrous but are simply more rhetoric throw on a already massive pile of lies. Facts gentleman, facts are what have they most power when trying to sway opinion or change policy. Leaving out the hints of racial slander might also help!

  11. dad29



  12. Owen

    Indeed, Dad29.

    But, for the record NHolland, in my column that mentions Milwaukee criminals, the same report I reference says that the jail population is 70%+ish white, so my assumption is that same ratio carries for Milwaukee crooks, even though the report doesn’t break it out. Any “racial overtones” are in your head.

  13. dad29

    These days, “degrees” (with few exceptions) are merely expensive remedial high-school classwork interspersed with heavy drinking.  Sometimes that heavy drinking accompanies writing senseless papers lacking punctuation or paragraph-differentiation.  (That is, basic English language skills.)  We can see evidence of that in this very thread!!

    Gummint work, by and large, is drone-work.  It may require the ability to follow a single double-spaced page of directions, and it may not.  Occasionally one should know which statute or ordinance is germane.


  14. NHolland

    As predicted the denial of any racist undertones or overtones are now in MY head. You guys are a joke. Clearly, Owen, and as has been reported for decades, jail populations are disproportionately black. The jail population may be 70%+ish white but break that down per capita and you will see the disproportion even in Washington County. Nice try but it’s clear what “raiders” you refer to.
    dad29s attempt at spelling a long drawn out RACIST falls short by a T. Kind of like his argument. Can’t wait until he needs heart bypass surgery or his grandchild has a reading issue. I bet those degrees matter then.
    What I see in this very thread and for the record are a group of individuals to scared to say what they really think. A group of individuals that continue to use baited language (similar to Trump) to send a message to other RAAAAAAACISSSSSSSSTS. Yes, you are racists! I’ve been reading this blog for years and the baited language has always been there. NO, it’s not in my head its in YOUR writing. How often do you have a black family in your home for dinner?… If ever!
    I grew up with a guy, one of my best friends from high school, he was black but had been adopted at an early age by a white family. We had many conversation about race. He openly admitted to being racist against other blacks. Believe it or not, it had more to do with the way he was raised and the community he was raised in. He was the only black kid in our community. However, he was not my only black friend. I grew up out East. I also have a friend that’s married to a black woman and has mixed children (not the only interracial couple I know either). He also openly admits to being racist. Have had some of the most informed discussions with those two. See, they don’t hide behind words. They have honest open debate focusing on the issue. Never is it about the semantics… the “basic English language skills”. Focusing on the semantics shows you have nothing intelligent to add to the conversation and would rather show dominance by discrediting. So, again, I don’t find it surprising immigration wasn’t mentioned as an option considering how slanted views tend to be on B&S.

  15. Owen

    My, you’ve set up the perfect “I’m always right” scenario in your head. We’re all racists and if we deny it, that’s proof that we’re racists.


  16. Le Roi du Nord

    “Gummint work, by and large, is drone-work”

    Absolute, utter, and complete BS.

  17. Major Booris

    FWIW, my comment was prompted by annoyance at the use of the term ‘tax consumers’ in reference to people working multiple low-wage, low-stability jobs.

    Used to be that someone working two or three jobs to put food on the table was respected for their gumption, rather than scorned for being unable to find a ‘real’ position. Call me an optimist, but I believe the great majority of people show some level of initiative to get by and do right by their families, whether it’s through legit employment, side hustles, government benefits, or, as is often the case, a combination of the three.

  18. NHolland

    I wish I had hours of free time to quote all the baited sentiment that’s been put out by B&S. However, B&S doesn’t save comments… I wonder why? Of course Owen, you are right! Of course your denials are to be believed. And of course you would never try to enlist all your supporters by saying “We’re all racists”. Your little tricks don’t go unnoticed. You’re a much better manipulator then you are a writer. However, notice how no one is defending you on this topic. I’m surprised you didn’t use the term Canadians when referring to your Milwaukee “raiders”. I love when you get defensive. Even snarky! Its your tell… Ya know, like in poker.
    Again back on topic- I think Major has it right. The last sentence of his comment says it all. And I would add that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are also trying to do right by their families. Imagine if we gave them some options. The majority of those vacant jobs would be filled.

  19. Owen

    Being more shrill doesn’t enhance your argument.

  20. NHolland

    And what have you brought to the debate? Denials…

  21. Owen

    What’s the argument? You say I’m a racist. I say I’m not. I can’t prove a negative and you can’t prove what’s in my head. So you’ll believe me or you won’t. I’m not responsible if you believe stupid stuff.

  22. NHolland

    And of course now you will explain how this is your blog, you write what you want, tell me to leave if I don’t like it or if it continues you will ban me. As I said I’ve been around for years. It’s the same ole, same ole crap! No accountability… Just the endless rants of bitter old men.

  23. NHolland

    That’s my whole point… You’ve been using that same baited language for years. It’s not just in your head or mine. You write it. It’s in print. But hey, that’s on you. I guess I will have to dig through the archives being keep at UWM of your blog… Contributor comments and all. I don’t actually care if you are a racist. I don’t care that you use the baited language. I care that you deny it.

  24. dad29

    bitter old men.

    First off, junior, the term is “crochety.”

    Secondly, Owen is not “old.”  And he’s rather jovial in person.

    VERY tolerant, too.

  25. NHolland

    Thanks dad29! You can call me junior any time.
    Speaking of tolerance… Juneteenth is coming up. I challenge you, Owen, Kevin and the rest of the regular contributors on B&S to attend the celebration in Milwaukee. It’s on June 19, on Martin Luther King Drive. Yep, I know you will all say you have to work, walk the dog or wash the car. I be there. I will be wearing a bright yellow shirt that says NHolland on the front and back as well as a bright yellow baseball cap that also says NHolland. I will be there in an effort to raise money for the United Negro College Fund. So, bring your check books!

  26. dad29

    I’ll do better than that.  I’ll pray for the UNCF and for America.

  27. dad29

    Absolute, utter, and complete BS.

    Nordski pukes up the expected.  After all, his fat pension depends on drowning the taxpayers in foo-foo dust like that.

    But (with FEW exceptions) he can NOT name a Gummint job which absolutely requires a college degree of ANY sort.  Go ahead, drone.  Show us otherwise…

  28. Le Roi du Nord

    VA doctor

    Structural/civil/hydraulic/chemical, etc. engineer

    Educators at all levels



    etc., etc., etc.



  29. Paul

    Filed under Dad29’s “few exceptions.”

  30. Le Roi du Nord

    BS. etc., etc., etc………..

  31. Paul

    Clearly meter maid and dog catcher don’t require degrees. That’s the only way WT like you can be employed.

  32. dad29

    Gee, Nordski, that’s clearly “FEW”–except to Gummint employees to whom “a few” spent taxpayer dollars actually comes in at “millions and millions and millions and millions……”

    And by the way, “educators” do not NEED degrees to teach.  That’s a self-serving myth of the first water.  Need common sense, solid understanding of the subject matter (NOT a degree in same) and the ability to feed the morsels to the skulls-full-of-mush.

    There are tens of thousands of very successful teachers who can brag about hundreds of thousands of very successful students.  Those teachers are called “nuns” and they did a helluva good job in this country and others from 1800’s through mid-1900’s (or later in a lot of cases.)

    Back to Square One, Nordski.

  33. Major Booris

    Those goalposts couldn’t have moved any faster if they’d had wheels.

  34. NHolland

    Absolute BS…
    Is dad29 actually implying nuns have no formal education/degrees? I think he better check his sources. I will give him the opportunity to rethink or possibly do some research. He better check his sources about becoming a teacher too.Teachers, here in WI need to be licensed and part of that is having successfully completed a bachelor of education. To teach k-6 a bachelor is required, 1-8 a bachelor with a minor, 9-12 a double major. Also, pass the edtpa, the Praxis 1&2 and the Fort. Sorry, dad29… Maybe this forum is just to much for someone of your crotchety (spelled correctly) demeanor.
    Drone, WT(white trash), jackwad etc, etc… And these douche bags want “us” ban. As I said, GFY’s!

  35. Paul

    Those teachers are called “nuns” and they did a helluva good job in this country and others from 1800’s through mid-1900’s (or later in a lot of cases.)

  36. Paul

    Nobody cares.

  37. NHolland

    …Yet you keep commenting. You really are a miserable piece of work. When the facts fail, rely on insults and lies! Text book troll!

  38. Paul

    You were caught trying to misrepresent Dad29’s comment.


    Take the L, troll.

  39. dad29

    Here’s something for Nordski to chew on:


    As to the twit who doesn’t know anything about nuns, how many of them were in his family?  How many of them were his grade-school teachers?

    And the fact that the State of Wisconsin “requires” this/that/the other thing from teachers does NOT mean that teachers MUST HAVE degrees, although for simple-minded folks this might be confusing.   Especially those who did not learn how to use paragraphs.

  40. NHolland

    Oh and by the way… Nord gave you a couple more then a few examples by every definition of “few” I could find. All I will say is West Point, The Naval Academy, The Air Force Acedemy, The Merchant Marine Academy and the Coast Guard Academy. Officer candidates must have a bachelors and is a prerequisite to becoming a commissioned officer. With that says let me expand on Nords few and keep in mind I’m only mentioning jobs within the military that require degrees… Dentists, psychiatrist, psychologist, surgeons, pharmacists, PAs, Optometrists, nurses, biological scientist, atmospheric scientist, physical scientist, meteorologist, combat specialty officers, executive officers, administrative officers, managerial officers, human resource officers, media officers, public affairs officers, logistics officers and transportation officers to name a ‘few”. Should I step outside the military realm? You can argue all you want about what’s needed to do the job but I’m going to stay in the reality of what is and what is required for all these jobs is a degree.

  41. Paul

    Get lost, troll. NEXT

  42. NHolland

    Listen sphincter flapper… My Aunt, who grew up in Fall River, MA graduated number one in her high school class and number one in her college class. All girls Catholic schools. She retired last year at the age of seventy five. Every day of her post academic life as a nun. Did her discernment while in college. I spent k- 8 in Catholic schools. So, yes grade school and middle school. Technically one in the same back them. Next sphincter, there are temporary licenses offered by the state but they are limited in time and scope. As for the use of paragraphs… When you learn to fucking spell will be the day I think about considering your advice. If I really want any help with my English writing skills my wife is beyond capable… One of her degrees is a PhD in English lit. Thanks for your concern, now GFY!

  43. Paul

    Fall River. The capital of meth and heroin trash.


  44. NHolland

    Yeah “Paul” because that’s what it was like sixty years ago. You really are reaching… When the facts fail, rely on insults and lies!
    Oh and by the way… My Aunt Rita continued her education and had a masters degree in nursing and a masters in education. More, I am quite sure, then any of you blow yards ever will accomplish.
    dad29, before you embarrass yourself anymore you really should consider looking at the education nuns received from 1800’s through the mid-1900’s (or much earlier in a lot of cases).

  45. NHolland

    *blow hards

  46. dad29

    Buh Bye.  Since you cannot discern the difference between “needs” and artificial “requirements” which pretend to be “needs,” it’s clear that your Ph.D. wife hasn’t imparted much knowledge to you.  But she could start with “how to organize remarks WITH paragraphs” for starters.

    Did you ask your nun-teachers whether each of them held a degree?

    I didn’t think so.

  47. NHolland

    No, I didn’t specifically ask any of them about their degrees but I do recall diplomas hanging on a couple of classroom walls and I do remember a couple taking pride in their alma maters. I fondly remember one always asking us to wear purple on Fridays. As for what I discern, I looked on USAJOBS, sixteen out of the twenty one jobs available to the public in the Milwaukee area required, that is a requirement for the job, not a need, required a bachelors degree. Nothing artificial except for all the bullshit in your comments. As for my wife… Be real careful how you talk about her. Your identity is no secret to me. Funny, how you keep threatening to stop responding but you just can’t help yourself. Must have that same spectrum thing as Scheunemann.

  48. Paul

    Nobody cares about that trollop with a diploma mill degree.

  49. dad29

    You know who I am, eh?  Oooooooooohh.  Fright…….!!!


  50. Jason

    > Funny, how you keep threatening to stop responding but you just can’t help yourself. Must have that same spectrum thing as Scheunemann.

    Ironic in the utmost, coming from the guy who admits to leaving and coming back and leaving and coming back.   Fucking tool.

  51. NHolland

    Wow!… Jackwad, Fucking tool, trollop… You geniuses could only display your sexual frustration better if you posted pictures of the toothless herpes infested whores you call wives. Someone needs to look up the definition of ironic. Contributors?… Not! Owen must be so proud of his loyal followers, his team of rabid attack dogs. For the record, my trollop earned three degrees. Her English lit degree complements her law degree when writing legal briefs for the DOJ. Enjoy the misery in which you stew!

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