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The Employment Gap: Who's to Blame?

"Help Wanted," our May 11 Cover Story, noted that the U.S. has 3 million jobs going begging in this recession—a sign of a growing mismatch between workers and employers. Evenhanded as we tried to be about that mismatch, many readers (especially the unemployed) argued we weren't tough enough on the businesses holding out for the perfect candidate without spending on training. Others felt we were too soft on an already "entitled" labor force. —Peter Coy

I feel like a mouse on a carousel, running harder and harder to keep up with the IT industry's changes. Every day there are 15 more acronyms I have to know about just to get a job. Training would help.

Screen name: Chammond

The article mentioned labor immobility created by a bad housing market. But state governments create their own barriers to mobility by having unnecessary [state-specific] professional examinations, credentials, and licensing.

Screen name: Harold Cline

The U.S. labor market might be flexible compared with a country like France, but as a foreigner who employed Americans, I can tell you U.S. workers aren't. They have a sense of entitlement that's incredible. They want an hourly rate well in excess of what they deserve, and they won't learn new skills.

Screen name: Russell May

Concerning those "Labor Market Lessons from Germany" (sidebar): Pennsylvania has two of the programs described. Self-Employment Assistance [a voluntary program adopted by Pennsylvania and six other states] allows anyone who has recently signed up for unemployment benefits to start a small business and still collect a weekly unemployment allowance. And On the Job Training pays companies half of their new hires' salaries to help with training. Workers qualify if they have recently been collecting jobless benefits.

Tom Sedor

LEHIGH VALLEY, PA.

When will CEOs understand you can't have a consumption-based economy when you want to pay the rank and file only $12 an hour, even those with college degrees?

Christopher van Lone

ALBUQUERQUE

G-Men Getting Under the Hood at GM

Regarding "Inside GM, With the G-Men in Charge" (News, May 11): I am happy the government is involving itself in the auto business and any other business it "lends" money to. The "G-Men" are now asking the questions the "GM Men" should have been asking themselves all along.

Joe Vetrano

VERNON HILLS, ILL.

Tomorrow's CEO: Don't Ignore Talented Latinos

I wasn't disappointed by the high caliber of the 19 individuals BusinessWeek chose to focus on in "CEOs of Tomorrow" (In Depth, May 11). They are dynamic, diverse, and shoulder tremendous responsibilities at major corporations.

But there wasn't a single Latino professional who might be a CEO of tomorrow—when Latinos will make up at least a third of the U.S. population?

Esther Cepeda

HAINESVILLE, ILL.

'Elegance' in a Soda Can? Really?

Pepsi (PEP) is my favorite cola. Yet until I read "Blowing Up Pepsi" (In Depth, Apr. 27), I didn't notice the new logo, designed to position Pepsi as an "elegant product [like an iPod] people like to be seen with." I own two iPods, and the logo doesn't remotely remind me of them.

While I'm aware of the importance of branding, I also know that brand consultants assume too much about consumers. Get away from the mumbo-jumbo and just give us a great product at a fair price.

David Amster

ANTIOCH, TENN.


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