While much rhetoric today tends to portray job creation as a panacea or the silver bullet that will remedy unemployment, far too little attention has been placed on the other side of the employment equation—the supply side. If you refer back to The Employment Model that Amelioration Incorporated first introduced in the fall of 2011, you will notice that there are other necessary ingredients that comprise the employment mix. In fact, if the other elements are lacking in the appropriate degree, unemployment will not decrease at all simply as the result of the additional jobs being created through entrepreneurism and existing business growth. Instead, the employment landscape will shift from an employer’s market to an employee’s market, but the unemployment rate will not decrease.
The Employment Model describes a compelling relationship between existing jobs, motivation, and individual capability that must be compatible in order to actually affect the unemployment rate. In order to achieve and maintain this appropriate relationship, the key factors that drive motivation and individual capability (the other side of the employment equation) must be in place as well. If you doubt the significance of my point here, let’s take the fact that larger companies already feed the economy with a large volume of available opportunities, but yet the overall unemployment rate remains high. In fact, General Electric, for example, literally creates or updates roughly 400 new job opportunities every single business day on their careers website and the company still struggles to find suitable talent to fill these new roles. Can you see how the issue of unemployment encompasses a great deal more than just the creation of jobs?
So the question is: How much of the unemployment issue can be attributed to a shortage of jobs versus the other elements of the equation? While I certainly do not profess to be omniscient regarding the subject of unemployment, I can certainly offer up some hypotheses that are based upon my personal observations—hypotheses that The Entrepreneurial Revolution will gather data on and test statistically within the context of Project Amelioration to either validate or dispel them.
Sadly enough, one of my longest-held hypotheses has been that the unemployment rate is high because people are looking for jobs—jobs that they view as commodities that exist only to provide them with revenue. Jobs, however, are not commodities; they, instead, comprise the mechanism by which every commodity is produced and they could actually be termed anti-commodities (see my February 21, 2012 blog post entitled, Jobs: the Anti-commodity). A job description, simply put, is a company’s description of a need that the company has. Most rational companies will fill that job with the most cost-effective solution that can satisfactorily meet the company’s need. The irony of the situation, however, is compelling: at a time when the needs within the economy are nearly at an all-time high, unemployment is also at its highest level. Might this indicate that the situation begs for a fresh perspective? How about the perspective in which no one is “entitled” to a job and everyone (at least, to some extent) is an entrepreneur and needs to have a value proposition (see my February 16, 2012 blog post entitled, We are all Entrepreneurs—Whether We Know It Or Not.)?
While any economic society certainly needs jobs in order to maintain a low unemployment rate, let’s be careful to avoid putting all of our focus on the creation of jobs and none on individual motivation and capability. Currently, larger corporations create hundreds of new jobs each day, but they still struggle to identify suitable candidates to fill these positions. In order to address the issue of unemployment, we will need to look critically at the entire equation and gather data and test hypotheses that deal with individual motivation and capability as well as the creation of new jobs.