As high unemployment rates continue to dominate the national discussion, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) has come up with a new explanation for the fact that millions of workers remain jobless — but this one blames the American people rather than the economy.
Joyce claims that there are a plethora of open positions that cannot be filled because they require employees who do not drink or do drugs — and too many people live a lifestyle that includes mind-altering substances.
In a speech to the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, Joyce said "There's 3 million jobs every month in this country that go unfilled … And the trouble is, it's because they either can't find people to come to work sober, daily, drug-free and want to learn the necessary skills going forward to be able to do those jobs."
While it is true that millions of jobs go unfilled each year, Joyce has no research-based evidence to support the assertion that lack of sobriety is to blame.
Christyn Keyes, a spokesperson for Joyce, noted that his opinion stemmed from conversations with business owners. Said Keyes, “3.9 million jobs go unfilled in this country each month. Rep. Joyce sees that as an enormous problem and to fix a problem, you must accurately diagnose it. Rep. Joyce has made it a top priority to meet with small business owners and job creators and a concern that comes up time and time again is substance abuse among the workforce and adequate workforce training."
Labor Department reports last week revealed 3.8 unfilled positions in April, but experts do not attribute these openings to a shortage of viable candidates. Before the recession, an average of 4.5 million jobs went unfilled each month — because job openings are a sign of a strong economy.
Plus, according to research by Peter Capelli, a management professor at the Wharton School, hiring-personnel typically cite lack of work experience, not failure to stay sober, as a primary reason for rejecting job applicants. In addition, employers have grown pickier with more candidates to choose from, and often don’t hire people due to failure to negotiate a desirable salary.