I recently went on my annual pilgrimage of fly-fishing in North Carolina. I drove this time in spite of the recent gas scare where the pipeline was allegedly sabotaged. Nonetheless, I traveled through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and of course, Florida. Along the way, in all of these states I saw signs clearly stating, “Hiring!” I primarily saw them at gas stations, fast food restaurants, laundromats, supermarkets, drug stores, even bait shops. I was also told by the locals there were numerous big companies in the area hiring as well.
After fishing early in the morning, a buddy of mine and I stopped in Spruce Pine, NC at a KFC/Taco Bell for lunch. Their sign out front invited job seekers to come in on Fridays for their Interview party. “Party?” I asked myself and began wondering if hats and horns were included. It was then I started noticing a change going on. When we ordered our food, the manager was a white woman, but everyone working in the back were all of Mexican heritage. I don’t have a problem with this off-hand except if I have a problem with an order, which I did that day, I couldn’t remember enough high school Spanish to let them know what was wrong. Oy!
I am now hearing more and more stories of companies trying “hiring parties” and other gimmicks to encourage people to come in and go through the hiring process, such as a signing bonus to work at a fast food restaurant. Down here in the Tampa Bay area, a local McDonalds’s made the news when they offered $50 for people to come in and be interviewed for a job. Despite the incentive, very few people applied. One of the managers claimed people didn’t even come in to scam them. The company stopped the experiment after two weeks.
The point is, as the Covid-19 panic dissipates, and companies want to return to normal, they face a brick wall in terms of employment. To illustrate, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest unemployment report states, “Both the unemployment rate, at 6.1 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 9.8 million, were little changed in April. These measures are down considerably from their recent highs in April 2020 but remain well above their levels prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in February 2020).”
So what’s going on; why don’t people want to work? Quite frankly, why should they if the government is going to pay them not to work? To find out more, I checked with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity who claims, as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 for eligible claimants, has been extended to September 6, 2021. This includes former employees, and now, courtesy of the CARES Act, independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits. Translation: just about everyone who asks for it can get it.
Keep in mind, the $300 is a supplement, not the main source of unemployment income. This means a lot of people can be collecting a substantial sum through September 6th. Consider this, if you are the second person in the household responsible for producing income, there is little incentive for you to return to work. Hence, the need for “Hiring!” signs.
To minorities, this is a golden opportunity to advance and obtain job security if they act and prove themselves accordingly. So much so, anyone staying at home to claim the unemployment money may find it difficult to secure a job when the gravy-train has ended.
The point is, while companies are begging for workers, and people are staying home to live off the government’s teat, now is the time to get a good job.
Keep the Faith!
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