Raskin starts at 3:30

Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin:

I became interested in this question of quality somewhat by accident. I did something atypical one day. I decided on my way into work I would stop at a jobs fair. There was a jobs fair at a local community college close to my home and I thought, I’m going to, you know, instead of pounding through all this heavy data that we typically look at at the board of governors, let me just go into this job fair. It turned out to be a really interesting morning, I have to say.

I should preface this by saying – purely anecdotal here, this is not something that is going to count as hard science or pass much muster in terms of statistical significant. But it was really interesting to me.

I went in and I have to say the kinds of jobs that were being offered surprised me. There were a number of restaurant jobs, some jobs from the military. There was one job from a community bank. Then there were a slew of jobs from, of all places, swimming pool companies. I thought that was kind of interesting. When I inquired about what these jobs were, they were lifeguard jobs, which I thought also was quite telling because back in the day to be a lifeguard I didn’t think quite required an advanced degree. These were the kinds of jobs we got in high school summers, I thought.

I was about to leave when I did see a sign that actually said IT jobs. So I thought, ‘here we go, here is going to be something pretty significant.’

So I went up to the person behind the both and they said, ‘we’ve got two kinds of IT jobs here: we’ve got armed security jobs, and we’ve got cyber security.’

So I thought, well, I’m probably not the armed security type, so tell me about the cyber security jobs.

This is how you go about getting it. You take your resume and you put it into a database. And this firm essentially collects resumes and then they kind of troll for government contracts. And when they find a government contract that might use your resume then they call you. Then you might actually get a job.

‘So what I need to do is put in my resume and then I’ll be able to get this job?’ And she said ‘yes.’

And I said: ‘while I’m waiting can I go to some other firms and throw my resume into their databases as well?’

And she said ‘oh no, you can’t do that, because you’re going to sign a letter of intent.’ And that letter of intent is basically an exclusivity agreement that says that by putting your resume in here you agree to not put your resume anywhere else.

I said ‘well, gosh, that’s going to be kind of rough. But tell me: what are the percentage chances that I’ll get a job?’

‘You know, we’re doing pretty well. Maybe a 25 percent chance.’

‘How do these jobs pay?’

‘They pay by the hour.’

‘Do they pay benefits?’

‘No benefits, it’s a straight hourly job. And it’s temporary so it’s going to be until the government contract is completed.’

This was really eye-opening for me.

Hat tip Reuters

Category: Employment, Video

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13 Responses to “Job Fair Shocks Fed Governor Raskin”

  1. beaufou says:

    This made me think of Wendell Potter and his trip to a healthcare camp thingy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzaxEt4L9II

    Are people in the corporate World so out of touch or uninformed about reality?
    This was supposed to be age of information.

    This made my day, don’t look at reality.
    http://www.theworld.org/2013/05/northern-ireland-town-fakes-prosperity-for-g8-summit/

  2. heisenberg991 says:

    The cyber job sounded like some scam.

  3. theexpertisin says:

    Two very interesting videos brought to my attention by “beaufou”.

    There is no question that health care is spotty in many areas of the country. I wonder if the mandated health care insurance as per The Affordable Care Act reckons the profits of “non profit” medical institutions and their kinfolk running the medical device and drug pipeline cabals? Why is it that primary care doctors and nurses are getting the Big Squeeze put on them to provide more for less while the fat cats who don’t have to explore patient maladies directly enjoy seasonal vacations to Palm Beach and Monaco….on their yachts?

  4. Frilton Miedman says:

    “…. instead of pounding through all this heavy data that we typically look at at the board of governors, let me just go into this job fair …”

    That one line sums a large part of the problem with policy makers and the corporate lobby that owns them.

    They look at everything on paper and conclude that’s how it really is, never factoring their own selection bias.

  5. Alex says:

    This reminds me of G.H.W. Bush first experiencing a barcode scanner at a checkout line in the supermarket. Or for that matter, Mitt Romney being utterly shocked when he lost – absolutely no idea.

    I’m sure there are examples of prominent Democrats as well, those just jumped into my mind.

  6. rd says:

    Apparently a long-term trend of declining real median income hasn’t registered on them regarding cause or effect.

  7. sellstop says:

    This is what I keep saying. Do you wonder why there is no demand for products, and prices don’t rise. It is because the people that do the work, the people at the bottom don’t get paid very much. And they don’t have any security, so they don’t spend. It is because we have killed the unions. That was the counterbalance in the economy to the corporate interests.

    If there were strong unions when Bill Clinton was considering NAFTA, how do you think he would have went? I bet the outcome would have been different..

    Same with China and MFN status….

    We have shot ourselves in the foot!

    gh

    • JimRino says:

      True, The German government doesn’t have think tanks about how to save jobs, and create the strongest economy in the EU, they have UNION Members on their Company Boards, protecting those jobs.

      • It has nothing to do with Unions, and everything to do with government policies.

        Buying Itself Out of a Recession: Countries Ask How Germany Avoided Mass Unemployment

      • Frilton Miedman says:

        In the broader sense, I think Jim is correct.

        The influence labor would have over corporate decisions in the larger scale would definitely reflect employment rates.

        I distinctly recall in 2009, CNBC reporting that while other EU nations languished, Germany had taken measures such as cutting F/T worker to P/T instead of firing them so they wouldn’t have to retrain new employee’s later.

        Thousands of small decisions like this throughout an entire economy would make a huge difference, all the result of allowing labor a say in corporate operations.

        I also think this is Ford CEO Mullaly’s forte, he works with unions & optimizes their organizational power instead of whining about them.

  8. Jojo says:

    More government people should go undercover at job fairs! See what reality is. If they have gray hair and a bit of a paunch, all the better.

    • rd says:

      Here’s a way to balance the Federal deficit!

      TV shows pay the government to have government officials, Senators, and Representatives to go “Undercover Worker” for a month where they have to work up a (fake) resume, get hired, and then perform a job without getting fired in the first two weeks. They won’t be allowed to simply assign the task to their interns or staffers.

      After that series we could do “Undocumented Workers” where the same officials and politicans get to go through life for a month without a drivers license or credit card.

      Those are shows I would watch as they should be comedy on the highest level.

  9. constantnormal says:

    It is not merely liberal Federal Reserve governors (if there can be said to be such things) that would be shocked by the reality of our employment markets … pretty much everyone, from all economic strata, that have held jobs for a decade or more will find this completely unbelievable, because they are comfortably ensconced in the bubbles of their own world views, based on their experiences of long ago.

    Meanwhile, the Bananamerican economy continues to devolve into something like the Haitian economy.

    I have no clue as to what might reasonably alter this trajectory. There are a lot of reasons why, from globalization of the labor markets to economic class wars, to automation reducing the demand for human labor, or the demographics of the retiring/non-retiring boomers, but none of these things are likely to be altered (and most of them probably should not be).

    It is our out-of-touch social structure than needs to change. Things like the size of the work week, equable taxation policies (based on more things than taxable income after a filter of loopholes and deductions), and distributing the fruits of our technological society in more directions than the top of the economic food chain. Wages as a means of distributing those benefits no longer work. And pensions and benefits died out years ago.

    One would have thought that by this time, the resultant social stresses would have spurred policy makers to at least recognize the problem, but people are a lot more resigned to their fates than I expected them to be (I envisioned riots and burning cities as a likely outcome, and could not have been more wrong), and politicians are more devoted to doing nothing than I would have believed would have been tolerated by the voters. Yet they remain in office.

    Welcome to Bananamerica, the largest banana republic on the planet.