The media, politicians and business leaders all ignore “The Hidden Unemployed” – millions of highly educated middle aged and older Americans 45-plus who cannot find a job or are significantly underemployed. I’m not talking about a position with Wells Fargo where people who should go to prison make tens of millions, or even $250, 000 jobs. I’m talking about attorneys, engineers and MBAs who cannot find a decent $50,000-$100,000 job. There are no statistics on this because people are embarrassed to discuss this with their family and friends let alone the media. I know because I am one of them.
One must email resumes to human resources with no name or clue as to whether you are even being considered. HR tries to find an exact fit for some of the most simple and insignificant positions without considering experienced applicants who may contribute better ideas. Age discrimination is a major factor. You are required to include the years you worked and received your degrees.
Look at one of the biggest job sites CareerBuilder. Many ads include the number of respondents, years of experience and education. A specific position that had been posted three days earlier had 117 applicants, average of 20+ years experience, all with degrees. This demographic was not applying because they were looking for a promotion. Many of these positions go unfilled for weeks or months. This is time consuming, frustrating, humiliating and many give up.
You can’t walk into an office anymore looking for work (I’ve been thrown out). You are contacted by recruiters many posting phony or misleading ads to increase their respective databases of applicants, and there are many commissioned positions promising “unlimited income”.
We need to change this! This must be a bipartisan priority and journalists should be addressing this too. This doesn’t have the dramatic visual effect of closed factories and therefore there is no voice, no coverage. Imagine talk radio making jobs their mission rather than criticizing our president. If this problem isn’t addressed many of these people who may live 40-50 more years will require public aid funded by taxpayers for decades.
Also many of these jobs, and I’m not referring to positions that require specific technical skills, go unfilled while people like me who are experienced and resourceful enough to sell widgets or work as a CEO’s chief of staff, are “idle’ or underemployed. We need local job fairs where CEOs / Owners / Executives meet directly with middle aged and older college graduates. Many people would be happy to work part time or as a consultant. They need challenging work, self respect, and dignity.
Imagine politicians and the press addressing something that can help millions of people.
“Attention CEOs, private equity groups, small business owners, and all Americans! There are millions of Americans that you are missing by relying on HR to find creative talent that can increase revenues, reduce costs, and thereby create even more jobs. Go out in the community and meet men and women directly who want to work for you. Americans and American industry can and will make America great again!”
I want and need to contribute to America. I will travel to every state and city and meet with business owners to make this happen. We need local job fairs focused on this particular market where individuals can meet with someone who can hire them then and there. We don’t need to include the usual commissioned job companies as they are currently represented in large job fairs, people are contacted by them regularly, and if interested would already be doing that.
Politicians need to recognize this and take it seriously. Many would be in the same boat if not for comfortable nest eggs. I have contacted national and local politicians as well as the media. I went to my State Senator, Julie Morrison’s office. I discussed my plan with her chief of staff, Joe Piasecki, who sent an email that he was very interested and needed to discuss with his boss. Several days later he emailed again that the senator was very busy and sent me career resources. I went there a second time and was told there were more pressing issues.
Senator, “I already have those resources, I know how often you are in session, and we have seen governors and senators campaign for an entire year neglecting their constituents so I know how busy politicians are.” I have contacted Mayor Emanuel, Governor Rauner, former Congressman Dold, and Representative Scott Drury. I spoke with Mr. Drury’s District Manager, Ethan Woodward, and sent my plan to him and his boss.
I sent my plan to the local Chamber of Commerce, as well as the mayor and village manager of Deerfield. After several calls and emails I was able to make an appointment and meet with Congressman Brad Schneider. We live in one of the most highly educated districts in the country where tens of thousands are affected, but to date there has been no response or action.
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