Thomas Friedman Tells Readers How to Get a High Paying Job Writing About Your Daughter's College Roommate

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013 04:23

Okay, that's not exactly what he did, but he did devote a NYT column to tell readers about the business started by his daughter's college roommate. He claimed that this business shows how the labor market is changing. He produced literally no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.

The article tells readers:

"Underneath the huge drop in demand that drove unemployment up to 9 percent during the recession, there’s been an important shift in the education-to-work model in America. Anyone who’s been looking for a job knows what I mean. It is best summed up by the mantra from the Harvard education expert Tony Wagner that the world doesn’t care anymore what you know; all it cares 'is what you can do with what you know.'"

And we know about the big changes in the labor market because of the start-up started by the roommate of Thomas Friedman's daughter that is designed to test workers to match them for jobs. According to Friedman, the company has about 50,000 registered job-seekers. He also tells us that they receive an average of 500 applications for every job opening. If we assume that job-seekers submit an average of 100 to 200 applications then this start-up would have between 10,000 and 20,000 job listings.

According to the Labor Department there are over 4.2 million hires every month or roughly 50 million over the course of a year. That means that this start-up's listing account for somewhere between 0.02 percent and 0.04 percent of job openings. Perhaps we should wait a little while before declaring that the shape of the labor has changed.