Where Are All The Jobs?
Yesterday I played golf at Fossil Trace with a man and his son. He said he’d been trying to get on the course for eight weeks on his one day off. Every week, his boss called the night before to ask if he could work on his day off. Because of the economy he didn’t want to refuse…so after eight weeks he just refused to answer his phone so that he could play golf with his son.
Today I was in line at Wendy’s with a tall, athletic young man. He said he was sure happy it was Friday, but his only day off is Sunday, but he’d been working straight through for the last 30 days. He even has a second job. “In this economy,” he said, “you have to fend for yourself.”
Workers are afraid for their jobs, so they work whatever hours and days they are needed. Managers know it’s less hasstle to keep a skilled employee working extra hours than to hire and train a new person. From a Lean perspective, employees are a form of inventory, and in this economy no one wants excess inventory. And nobody wants to have to fire anyone, especially someone they’ve just hired and trained if the economy slows again.
The economy is growing, but companies aren’t hiring because employees are picking up the slack. It may be awhile before the existing employees are exhausted and companies have to hire.