The Wall Street Journal serves an interesting pairing of articles this morning. The first explains that some firms are struggling to hire despite high unemployment. The second explains why some employers are choosing not to post jobs even though they'd benefit from the extra work. In short, we've got a skills-matching problem, and a surcharge problem.
The skills-matching problem is more complicated. After all, 25 million people are unemployed or underemployed. Why can't employers find one that they like? Author Mark Whitehouse is looking at the right menu of reasons -- structural unemployment, post-recession industry changes, people feeling tethered to their current address, poor technical education, even generous unemployment benefits -- but his excellent piece shows how difficult it is to provide an easy explanation for why some positions are going unfilled.
The more polemical, and problematic, piece explains why it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in an employee's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Author Michael Fleischer writes that by taking on another worker, "I would be increasing my company's vulnerability to government decisions to raise taxes, to policies that make health insurance more expensive."