Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Disadvantaged groups in the labour market and US presidency

Being a labour market researcher (yes, I've said it, I've revealed my identity yet again) I tend to use the approach or view that I use in my normal labour market analysis in other things as well. I ask people about their jobs and tenure, to examine their employability and how they fare accordingly etc. Well true, not all the time, but many times, more than others would do.

Anyhow, it struck me recently that the US president candidate race that is going on these days is quite remarkable when examined in this sense.
Of course I know I am not the first person who has thought of this, but let's look at our main candidates. (and believe you me, I am not the most enthusiast in following this race as well.. so my knowledge of it is actually quite remote)

The republican party candidate, and hasn't he won already, Mr. John McCain. He is the representative of the older worker's group. which is one of the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market. being 71, his chances of employment in the labour market should be actually down to the 1 digit levels!(In the Netherlands only 5% of older workers of over 55 who were searching for jobs actually found a stable job the following year)

The second candidate, Hilary Clinton, is also from the weak groups of the labour market in two accounts. She, being a woman, is naturally a weak group in the labour market, and on top of that she is also 60 years old which means her chances in employment as an older + female worker are in the normal labour market studies very very low.

Lastly, Barack Obama. Okay he isn't a older worker, he is a male, in his prime, normally considered the most productive age and probably has the highest employability chances. However, due to his ethnicity he can be included in the migrant workers group, even if his mother is indeed white American.(I always wonder about that if black+white=black, is it that stronger colours always trump the lighter ones? such as asian+white=asian?) Also his name which is a of an arabic/muslim origin, regardless of the fact that he is in fact Christian, as many studies conducted in Europe can show you, his name alone will decrease his chances of getting a job, even if every other criteria is the same.

So there you have it folks the three major groups that are most disadvantageous in the labour market fighting for the top spot of the labour market, US presidency. Of course they only have 30% chance of getting the spot--- just statistically thinking it was a race between the three of them. Ofcourse it can be said that McCain has 50% while as Clinton and Obama has 25% since they have to win the democratic contest.. but then again.. this is all numbers.

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