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  • The two reasons it really is harder to get a job than it used to be

    The Washington Post - 10/28/2016

    There are two ways to interpret this trend. Economists Alicia Sasser Modestino, Daniel Shoag and Joshua Ballance believe that employers became choosy during the Great Recession in order to take advantage of the abundance of people looking for work and to screen out low-achievers. They call the process “opportunistic upskilling,” and they have shown that it happens whenever there’s a glut of labor.

    In a recent paper, they find that the troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, which periodically brought waves of veterans back to the United States, caused employers to raise job requirements in industries such as logistics, where veterans are disproportionately likely to look for work.

    The same phenomenon seems to have occurred nationwide during the recession. It makes basic economic sense, Modestino said. With so many job-seekers, employers could afford to raise the bar. “I’ve sat in a room where people were writing these job postings expecting Jesus to walk through the door,” she said. “Recruiters saw the recession as a great time to acquire new talent.”

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