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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press In Connecticut, If Businesses Are Upset By Rising Wages, It Doesn't Matter What the Facts Are

In Connecticut, If Businesses Are Upset By Rising Wages, It Doesn't Matter What the Facts Are

Sunday, 10 August 2014 08:26

That's pretty much what David Treadwell, the spokesperson for the state's Department of Economic and Community Development told an AP reporter. The article reports on a subsidized loan from the state to a German company to finance a training center for its workers. The piece then cites the views of several economists that there is no evidence that Connecticut has a shortage of trained workers. Among other things, a shortage would generally be associated with rapidly rising wages, which the state is not seeing.

It then concludes with a quote from Mr. Treadwell:

"She's hearing from the businesses and they're saying it is a problem, ...  It doesn't necessarily matter what the economists are saying."

There you have it.


Comments (10)Add Comment
Connecticut needs training center for politicians
written by Squeezed Turnip, August 10, 2014 9:31
Maybe the commissioner would consider legislating the value of Pi as being 3 (as Ohio once did)? Or perhaps she would care to repeal the laws of physics, since it's obvious from a business perspective that the sun revolves around the earth and that government revolves around corporations too corrupt to live by the law "survival of the fittest"?

Hey, Commissioner, can you spell "corruption"?
written by watermelonpunch, August 10, 2014 9:43
Osterman said companies that once trained workers are now shifting the work to government. If particular firms are complaining they have too few workers, those companies may be to blame, he said.

"It's easy for firms to say they can't find anyone when they don't raise wages or pay for training," he said.

So we give taxpayer money welfare to global foreign companies to add 30 American jobs???

TMOZ got a $700,000 loan from the government & will be eligible to have half of it forgiven if they add 30 jobs to their operation??


Last week, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced a 10-year $711,533 loan at 2 percent interest to help TOMZ Corp., a Berlin machining company, expand and build a training center. Principal and interest will be deferred for two years, and TOMZ will be eligible to be forgiven for $350,000 of the loan if it meets job targets.

As part of the $2.3 million project, TOMZ will increase its production to meet growing demand and add 30 jobs to its workforce of 123 employees. The company manufactures parts for medical devices and health care, laboratory diagnostic and aerospace companies.

30 jobs is a skills shortage? Really?

And what is this? They're asking for a training program from the government in order to be able to quickly meet their quota so they can have a portion of their loan forgiven?
Shortage of Sock Puppet Skills Remains Despite Huge Pay Increases
written by Last Mover, August 10, 2014 10:15
"We will not have enough able-bodied people to take these jobs," she said.

The industry faces two big problems: not enough workers or not the right kind of workers, Resnick said.

Well that covers all the bases for defining a shortage doesn't it.

Not enough able bodied? Just lure a few muscular robots off the couch and back into the labor force to take care of the manual labor intensive jobs and de-program them to fix the structural unemployment part of this prolem.

Not enough workers? Not to worry, Americans are so desperate for more workers they've opened the floodgates even to children by the thousands for future training, even welcoming them at the boarder crossings with RVs and American flags. Haven't you heard about those who can't find good help anymore? They feel your pain for the shortages.

Right kind of workers? Despite the millions of unemployed milling around desperate to take anything, there are millions more already employed with the skills in question. Rather than freeload off government to train more just for your company, why not consider the radical unheard of proposition under free market capitalism to offer them more to work for you?

Speaking of skills, the sock puppets pushing this drivel need to take a refresher course in Public Relations Propaganda 101. Otherwise their propaganda won't pass the laugh test and many will become structurally unemployed despite being overpaid already.
written by skeptonomist, August 10, 2014 10:48
It's a good sign when business owners complain about the quality of labor. The NFIB survey of small business owners (Small Business Economic Trends)


question about the "most important problem" clearly shows that concern about the quality of labor increases whenever the economy is improving. There is no long-term trend in this, and the response now is about where it was in 2004, but not nearly as high as in 2000. I doubt if either business owners or economists would contend that the quality of labor was actually much worse in 2000 than now.
Simple Choice!?
written by John Parks, August 10, 2014 11:50
If you need 30 million for TOMZ, and the likes of United Technologies, Boeing, and Airbus, it can be created from thin air for the asking. It is not important whether or not the need has been established.
At the same time, the Guvna' can remove 6 million from an already legislatively approved educational budget for 55 school districts because he doesn't think it is needed.

Apparently the voters in Connecticut can handle cognitive dissonance very well.

It's a shame that the K-12 students can't vote.

The Upshot and trucking
written by Peter K., August 10, 2014 11:56

The Trucking Industry Needs More Drivers. Maybe It Needs to Pay More. by Neil Irwin
written by JDM, August 10, 2014 2:29
I used to work for the Ferrari distributor in Connecticutt when you could buy a 275 GTB for 8 grand. Now they're around a million. I want to buy one for 8 grand. If I states that it was a problem that I can't buy one for 8 grand, would Mr. Treadwell sympathize?
written by skeptonomist, August 10, 2014 2:31
The textbooks may say that low unemployment should cause a rise in wages, but this appears to be false in the real world. Here are the weekly earnings for all production and non-supervisory employees (from BLS Table B-8) with unemployment rate:

There is some correspondence in the 70's and early 80's, but this is actually mostly a result of inflation - nominal wages almost always increased through this entire time interval. After about 1985 there is very little (anti) correlation and not really any at all after 2000.

Although employers complain when the job market tightens up, apparently they have not actually found it necessary to raise wages to get the employees they need.

Anybody who wants to understand the real world should realize that it very frequently doesn't work the way economics textbooks - and many other kinds of economic dogma - say it does.
No leadership
written by Dave, August 11, 2014 9:00
I've yet to see a leader willing to say something they don't hear directly from business. Obama does it, so why can't every other politician? Obama set the standard when he asked Immelt to help him create jobs. Obama set a model whereby politicians should listen to business leaders first and everyone else last. 9 out of 10 workers could tell you what was wrong with that picture, but Obama did it anyway. Corruption starts from the top as a model of bad behavior. Whether Obama was naive, corrupt, ignorant, etc... doesn't matter. When you set the model, others will follow.

Where's a leader willing to say workers think this unemployment level is a problem? No leadership. None.
re: trucking
written by watermelonpunch, August 11, 2014 9:30
Thanks Peter K. - I hadn't seen that yet.

In my region it's trucking and machinists... Can't find good help... Not paying enough to find good help. *roll eyes*

All through the past few years, the job ads for my area have been mostly for CDL, LPN, CNA, CNC.
All require less than a 4yr degree, but do require some type of schooling which can cost $$ & time investment of varying degrees. ALL are jobs which have some type of uncomfortable work environments, stress, physicality, a fairly high level of responsibilities, unsociable work hours... and the same, barely more, or even less pay, than other jobs with more sociable hours &/or more pay &/or less stress &/or less physical exertion &/or a more comfortable work environment.

I don't know much about these "technical skill required" manufacturing jobs in CT... But something tells me they probably have some of the above pitfalls like unsociable hours or strenuous labor or uncomfortable work environments... and don't pay what it takes to make all that worth it.

Why on earth would someone smart enough & ambitious enough for learning technical skills be so stupid as to train for a shitty job?

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.