NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Full Employment - Even For Less Qualified

July 22, 1997

Consumers are increasingly dissatisfied with the level of service they are getting now that just about everybody -- with or without the necessary attitudes and skills -- has a job. A customer survey this year by Yankelovich Partners found that 64 percent say the service representatives they deal with don't care about their needs.

Full employment seems to be creating its own set of problems for various industries.

  • Insurance companies that specialize in workers' compensation are expecting the number of at-work injuries to expand as tired employees put in more overtime hours and younger, less experienced workers are hired -- those between 20 and 24 sustaining 30 percent more injuries than the workforce as a whole.
  • Aviation experts see a safety crisis looming in less than a decade as youthful pilots are moved swiftly from flying regional planes into the big-time world of commercial jets.
  • Companies are beginning to delay for months the firing of known drug users and dealers while they frantically search for replacements.
  • Small companies report they are increasingly vulnerable to such scams as phony invoices and bogus ads because they are understaffed and the employees they do have are sometimes less alert -- the number of such complaints rising 49 percent from 1990 to 1996, according to the Better Business Bureau.

In a report released last month by the Society for Human Resource Management, 60 percent of human resource professionals representing 1,700 companies and organizations said today's applicants fall short of job demands.

Sources: Del Jones, "Full Employment's Downside," and "Buyers Get No Satisfaction," both in USA Today, July 22, 1997.


Browse more articles on Economic Issues