Part Time Employment Does Not Have To Be Your Destiny

September 4, 2013

Part Time Employment in a low paying field does not have to be your destiny. Mortgaging your future to enormous student loan debt that may or may not assure you a job capable of paying off the loans does not have to be your destiny either. Getting skills at a local community college can help you by pass the low paying part time underemployment that most Americans face today.

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Last week we wrote about the growing spectre of part time employment displacing full time positions.

Today, University of Maryland Professor Peter Morici says “These days, new college graduates often work at unpaid internships while taking part-time jobs at places like Starbucks to meet minimal living expenses.”

Since January, 936,000 additional Americans report working part-time, while only 27,000 more say they have obtained full time positions. The shift to part-time workers, partially a reaction to Obama Care health insurance mandates, puts downward pressure on wages and benefits in low paying industries, like retailing and restaurants, and widens income inequality.”

Morici’s point is that this is not a temporary problem- Expectations of permanently slower growth are hardening disturbing changes in the structure of the labor market and social conditions.

Manufacturing provides a respite from these problems for people with skills.

Our PMPA Business Trends Report shows half of our member company respondents scheduling overtime.

Regularly scheduled overtime is a far cry from part time underemployment.

The Economics and Statistics Division of the Department of Commerce just published a report  Earnings of New Hires In Manufacturing.

  • New hires in manufacturing enjoy an earnings premium relative to other new hires. This premium peaked during the recession but has returned to near its pre-recession average. At the end of 2011, the manufacturing earnings premium for new hires stood at about 38 percent.
  • At the end of 2011, the ratio of new hire earnings to incumbent earnings was about 8 percentage points higher in manufacturing than in other industries.
  • Over time, the earnings of new hires relative to incumbents have been consistently higher in manufacturing. From 2000 to 2011, the earnings of new hires were about 70 percent of incumbents’ earnings in manufacturing, compared to an average of 60 percent in other industries.
  • Since the recession began, real average earnings for new hires in manufacturing grew 3.5 percent, while earnings of incumbents in manufacturing grew about 2.4 percent. Over the same time, real earnings for hires in other industries were flat, and earnings for incumbents in other industries declined.

Part Time Employment in a low paying field does not have to be your destiny. Mortgaging your future to enormous student loan debt that may or may not assure you a job capable of paying off the loans does not have to be your destiny either.

Getting skills at a local community college can help you find a fulltime position in advanced manufacturing where you can grow a career and get employer assistance with tuition and continue your education.

Who wants one size fits  thinking all when it results in  debt and underemployment for most?

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Manufacturing Jobs Available Right Now!

March 7, 2013

There are immediate jobs for people with skills in manufacturing today.

You can get the skills in just a couple of semesters at your local community college.

PMPA has created a career database to help you find the skilled training program in your area.

We visited Cuyahoga Community College, where they have plenty of job openings posted from local employers as you can see in our video.


Actually Skills Do Pay The Bills

November 30, 2012

The New York Times gets it wrong on  the skills gap, confusing cause and effect, ignoring facts, and making a false analogy.

We’ll give you the link to their misleading article at the end of this post. It made a couple of erroneous points:

  1. Supply and demand dictate that wages should rise if their is a shortage of machinists;
  2. Wages for McDonald’s managers are better than those for skilled machinists;
  3. Demand for skills isn’t real.

In this post we’ll deal with the supply and demand wages  issue.

Supply and demand dictate that wages should rise if there is a shortage of machinists

In the NYTimes piece, economist Mark Price argues that “It’s basic economics…If there’s a skill shortage, there has to be a rise in wages.”

If only economics were so basic, Mark. Actually supply and demand is the wrong issue; the issue is actually the Elasticity of Labor Supply to an Occupation.

In “basic economics” terms this means Where jobs require specific skills and lengthy periods of training, the labor supply will be inelastic. Inelastic means that  it is not possible to expand that specific labor force in the short term; ‘raising the wages won’t just create them out of thin air…’

The NYTimes and economist Price have confused cause and effect.

You need skills, not just high pay, to properly hitch the cart to the horse.

You need skills, not just high pay, to properly hitch the cart to the horse.

Higher wages are a consequence of having skills that add value by increasing the value and or quality of the employee’s work. Raising wages does not of itself add any tangible benefit or skill to the employee’s work product. It does however raise cost. Why the wages “don’t has to rise”  is because, unlike the inelastic  supply for skilled labor in an occupation, the supply for manufacturing work  is elastic.

China and other low wage economies around the world provide lower cost often government subsidized alternatives to  U.S. manufacturing that becomes more expensive but not more productive if the wages just increased because Mr. Price thinks they should.

Precision machining is an occupation with inelastic labor supply. It requires specialized skills, ability to do math, and training and experience to safely perform the work to zero defects (Zero PPM) standards. The anti-lock brake, airbag, and aircraft parts our machinists make need to work.

Bottom line:  Skills are what is demanded, and are in short supply. Higher wages are determined by the value add of the skills obtained, and held in check by low cost competitors across the globe.

NYTimes Skills Don’t Pay the Bills

Cart before the horse

Next post, we’ll look at the false analogy of a Mc Donald’s Manager somehow being comparable work to that of an entry level precision machinist.


Darlene Miller at Clinton Global Initiative- Getting Skilled Workers

June 19, 2012

Darlene Miller was interviewed by President Bill Clinton at Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago recently.

Darlene Miller, President and CEO of Permac Industries,  Vice President of PMPA, gave an employer’s perspective of Right Skills Now during a panel discussion about developing talent to continue economic recovery that has been led by manufacturing.

Darlene ‘s segment begins at 9:00 in the below video.

Clinton asks  “Why is manufacturing recovering  and growing  again, and what are the constraints to finding workers, and what have you done about it?”

Miller answers “US manufactures as much as Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. We need skilled people- to fill over 600,000 openings we have. But we don’t need just labor, we need skilled people. We started Right Skills Now to help people get the skills they need for a career in Advanced Manufacturing.”

Video: Jumpstart America Clinton Global Initiative. (Advance to 9:00 to hear Mr. Clinton’s and Ms. Miller’s exchange.)

Right Skills Now

PMPA provides staff support to Ms. Miller and her work on the President’s Job Council and Right Skills Now. Our precision machining companies are looking for people with skills and talent to get a great career in advanced manufacturing.