Topic: job market
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November 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM
American workers lead to a bright American future
All of the conservative, Republican, tea party people feel that poor people, who might need some help getting their lives together, just want to bury their snouts in the trough of free benefits forever.
I don’t believe that for a moment. Yes, there are times when people, through no fault of their own, get laid off from their jobs and are destined to lose everything without some “temporary” government aid. I feel the vast majority of Americans want to have a decent job that they can work hard at and be able to support themselves and their families. It’s a matter of pride and necessity.
In America, having a job is about the most important thing a person can have outside of family. It’s a matter of great pride to be seen as someone contributing to the greater good. Sure, there is a small minority of people who have little trouble accepting government aid for as long as they can. These people are few in numbers. Decent jobs in America for those who want them and the concept that when everybody is doing better mean we have a good American future.
Richard B. Ellenberger, Normandy Park
October 18, 2013 at 7:36 PM
Too many lawyers leads to more competitive job market
The San Jose Mercury News article “Too many lawyers, too few jobs,” (Business, Oct. 9) certainly prompts one to think about the point the article is trying to make. If I understand correctly, Katy Murphy is trying to say that the country has more lawyers than it needs (many considered unqualified) and law school admissions are down.
The solution is to make law school more accessible (in part by shortening the course of study), to increase the number of graduates.
To this non-economist, the conditions described would appear to be self-correcting Why would anyone, faced with a glut of lawyers in the market, even consider becoming a lawyer? Unless, of course, that person had a real passion for the law and the unique combination of empathy, intellect and determination to make it through all three years of school — characteristics really needed in the profession.
Joel Derby, Mill Creek
September 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM
How low can you go?
I was struck by the presentation of the “no” position in the minimum-wage debate. [“Should fast-food chains pay a ‘living wage’?”, Opinion, Sept. 21.]
It makes sense that entry-level positions are just that: for people entering the job market, learning to be reliable and able to follow directions. But this sensible idea was then twisted to say that the wage for such positions was low in order to inspire these people to get out of such positions.
This is an argument for lowering the wage, thus making the incentive all the stronger. Companies with unpaid interns love this argument.
For a rational approach to this problem, it would help if those in favor of the “no” position would come up with a minimum-wage amount that they would be in favor of.
Were they in favor of the present $7.25 federal minimum wage when it was being installed years ago? Is there a fair wage for entry-level positions?
Dan Geels, Bothell
May 13, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Invest more in workforce programs
Each year, workforce programs in our state help thousands of laid-off workers and others who are unemployed get better-paying jobs and, in the process, stimulate our economy at a rate that far exceeds the state’s public investment [“Workforce development is not a cure for unemployment,” Opinion, May 6].
So imagine our grave disappointment with the guest column attacking our state and local workforce-development programs. The article’s unsubstantiated claims run counter to the facts.
Participants in workforce programs have higher employment rates and greater earnings than people from similar backgrounds who do not participate. Statewide, the net benefit for the almost 100,000 workforce-training participants in 2012 will exceed $7 billion in the form of higher salaries, reduced social-service costs and more taxes paid.
In the Seattle area, the employment rate for adult workforce program participants was around 78 percent and the cost per participant ranges from $1,500 to $6,500 (nowhere near the $29,000 stated in the article).
Given the proven success rate of these programs and the demand from employers, we should be investing more, not less, in workforce programs.
Tom Peterson, vice-chair, Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, Seattle; Cindy Zehnder, chair, Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board, Olympia
Increase worker demand while protecting environment
I think some readers may have missed the point of Soojin Kim’s guest column on workforce development [“Workforce development is not a cure for unemployment,” Opinion, May 6].
The issue is not whether workforce-development programs are necessary; it is whether workforce development can effectively address the state’s unemployment problem.
Kim rightly observes that we need to increase the demand for workers, first and foremost. That is what will really bring the unemployment rate down and prevent wage stagnation. But how can we increase demand while better protecting our environment?
For one, we could lower payroll taxes (to make it easier for businesses to hire more workers), while gradually increasing pollution taxes (incentivizing businesses to cut their emissions).
Second, we could increase federal and state spending on mass-transit infrastructure, a win-win strategy that would boost employment and lessen a host of environmental problems.
David Kershner, Lummi Island
May 10, 2013 at 6:02 AM
Competition, not citizenship, drives tech industries
It is tough to pinpoint whether companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google bring in people with H-1B visas with the intention of getting the same quality of work for cheaper wages as they would get from a US. college graduate [“Do visas for skilled foreigners shut out U.S. tech workers?” page one, May 5].
Shouldn’t the most qualified person for the job get it? I do think this industry specifically requires its workers to be highly adaptable because technology is always changing and the brightest individuals who will bring new innovations to a company are the most valuable.
While many U.S. graduates are having a tough time finding a career in this industry with degrees that fulfill the qualifications, I do not think the issue of foreign workers shutting out U.S. graduates is accurate.
These major companies know what they are looking for in new hires regardless of citizenship. Competition is what drives this industry forward, and if the jobs are just handed to an individual based on citizenship, there would be no room for growth or new ideas.
Kyle Andrew Stricker, Renton
March 27, 2013 at 4:03 PM
Seattle is successful economically and culturally
Scott Santos believes that if only Seattle had lower taxes and was more Red State-like we’d do even better economically [“Upturn in spite of liberal politics,” Northwest Voices, March 27].
Well, Mr. Santos, beliefs are not facts, no matter how tightly you hold to them. The facts do say that for a large city, Seattle not only does well on the jobs front, but has among the highest literacy rates, best arts scenes and lowest crimes rates and in general is one of the most livable cities in the country.
I think I’ll stick with paying a bit more in taxes and living in a more liberal-thinking community, thank you.
–Paul Gutowski, Seattle
March 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM
City would benefit from less taxation, bureaucracy, waste
The notion that Seattle’s economic upturn is a result of its heavy taxation and liberal political climate is ludicrous. Danny Westneat’s premise is that because Seattle’s economy is improving, the fiscal ideology and political leadership must be good [“Seattle’s an inconvenient truth to GOP,” NWSunday, March 24].
The proper question that should be asked is this: How much better could Seattle’s economic fortune be with less taxation, bureaucracy and waste?
I would suggest that Seattle’s good fortune is in spite of these things, not because of them.
–Scott Santos, Issaquah
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