In a Recession, a Bad Job Is Still a Bad Job

Slate's Daniel Gross has an easy explanation for the Wall Street Journal's front-page story about employers who can't fill jobs even with broad unemployment at 16%: your jobs stink!

Even in an age of historic underutilization of the labor force, the laws of supply and demand apply. Hiring is a negotiation between employers and employees over the terms at which they'll agree to come to work--wages, benefits, working conditions, length of commute, relocation requirements. Maybe some of these employers just aren't offering terms that are good enough.

At "Mechanical Devices, which supplies parts for earthmovers and other heavy equipment to manufacturers such as Caterpillar Inc., part owner Mark Sperry says he has been looking for $13-an-hour machinists since early last year," the Journal reports. Thirteen dollars an hour, 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year--that comes to an annual salary of $26,000.

Read the full story at Slate.