Rise in Vacancy Rates Due to Employers Being Choosy

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Wednesday, 06 March 2013 21:11

The NYT has a good piece on new research that finds employers are being far more selective in their hiring. The research finds that employers are willing to interview more people and take longer in the process now than in the past.

This research is very useful because it helps to explain a seeming anomaly in the data. There had been a clear rightward shift in the Beveridge Curve in recent years, showing that there were more job vacancies at the same level of unemployment. This would often be taken as a problem of structural unemployment. However, we don't see any of the other signs of structural unemployment, most importantly, major sectors of the economy with rapidly rising wages.

This research provides an alternative explanation. Because they are many qualified job applicants, firms can have the luxury of being selective. It is also likely that waiting will pay off, which is not likely the case in a period with low unemployment, where qualified applicants are few and far between.

This one also gives me some satisfaction since I had previously speculated that this could be the case.