By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Looking for workers

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Stop making folks pee in a jar, and you'll get more applicants.


Maybe we shouldn't have it so incentivized to not work, no extra pay. When I was unemployed I hated what I had to work with but I made it work. Maybe putting people back to working for their unemployment or cutting the extra will get them to actually working. Everyone like free money, stop making it free.


One of the few good things occasioned by the pandemic is the opportunity it afforded workers to put their jobs in perspective. Many workers cannot return to work because of the lingering effects of COVID 19, but many have also reasonably concluded that it does not make sense for them to work a dirty, stressful, erratic, low status job for less than a living wage. Many workers now understand what many American businesses have forgotten over the last 50 years: that they have value, that there is dignity in work, and that they are entitled to respect and a life outside of work. Workers are no less rational than professionals and executives: if you offer fair compensation, tolerable work conditions, and a consistent schedule they can plan their life around, they will work. If a business can’t afford to operate without offering these terms, maybe it deserves to fail.

Express Employment Pros

I can appreciate all 3 of your comments. We have hundreds of jobs that don't require drug screens, 60 different options that don't require background checks, jobs on bus routes, temp jobs, career jobs and all the above. The average Express Employee averages $17.92, and that factors in part time students and retirees that are not in career positions, plus entry level jobs. I think local employers are doing an excellent job at offering competitive wages and benefits. We are not talking about huge corporations. The companies hurting by the employment market are companies started in a garage or a small office. These are dreams made true companies with 5-30 employees. Their current employees have been working extended hours for too many months while the rest sit on the sidelines. It's very difficult for a company in Oregon to pay somebody more than $20/hr for an entry level position when they are competing with companies in Texas, Utah or South Carolina paying $7.25-9.00 for the same position. It puts our local employers in an unlevel playing field.

This is the time to look for work. If you have the willing attitude, you can get your foot into any industry. Aesquire is correct. If someone is looking for a change in career. THIS IS THE TIME. Once the extra benefits end, and there's a rush to the market to find a job, it's going to be tougher to negotiate higher wages, additional perks or on the job training.

It's a vicious cycle. All of the struggles to find employees are driving up costs, which in turn drives up wage demand to keep up with day to day purchases. It's going to take years to balance out.

On the positive note. I've never had as many calls from 15-17 years old applicants than I have this year. It's wild. Usually we hear from 1 or 2 a month. We've probably taken 50 calls in the past 3 weeks. They are chomping at the chance to get out of the house and start their careers. It's really exciting to speak with these kids!

Don Dix

Some politicians and so-called experts say the 'extra benefits' are not the cause of the drop in those seeking work -- seriously? There are unfilled positions across the employment board and free money has nothing to do with that? Right!

When the 'extra benefits' end in Sept. (if they do), job applications will rise in accordance -- like magic -- or reality!


The extra unemployment benefits are only one part of the problem...There are many that are still fearful of Covid....and there are many that have no child care.....on the bright side for employees ...Wages ( and benefits) for workers will need to rise if a company really wants workers.....I heard recently that trained bus drivers can expect a $6500 signing bonus......

Don Dix

tagup -- every excuse has been made to avoid pointing to the extra bennies as the major decision not returning to work -- and it's all BS. Recipients never want to look greedy or lazy, so they will tell anything but the truth when asked. Government doesn't want to admit their plan has backfired.

When the extras end in Sept., many of those who have been riding the gravy train will suddenly be whole again and ready to return to work -- just a matter of time (and money).


I doubt all unemployment recipients are lazy, liars or cheats....
Without the financial support from the plan that “ backfired”....where do you think our economy would be today?

Don Dix

tagup wrote -- 'I doubt all unemployment recipients are lazy, liars or cheats..'

I didn't write 'all', but you know they are there.

How 'bout this -- if those jobs that were affected are now available and some workers refuse to return, immediately stop the relief payments. There's a great chance attitudes would change and those job vacancies would be filled again.


Perhaps we'll all be lucky and another global economic disruption of this magnitude will never happen ever again. Doubtful. But I guess we can all hope.

But the struggle to recover in the employment markets is entirely to be expected in a complex, post-industrial economy. While many of these jobs may appear superficially to be "entry level" not all of them are. And even those that may be nominally so are more complex than in past decades.

A modern, post-industrial employment market is a complex machine with millions of moving parts all interconnected in dizzying ways. Workers are not all-purpose widgets. They can not easily be shelved like spare parts and then randomly reassembled on a moment's notice. All of us benefit by this complexity. We enjoy access to a broader more diverse array of products and services from across the globe at significantly lower prices because of it.

But the complexity of that machine means that when we shut down a huge portion of it and mothball it for a year, the job of rebuilding it is more difficult, expensive, and time consuming. The higher costs and the extended lag time between employment demand and successful recruitment was, and is entirely predictable. Employers, their bankers, and government had a year to plan for this.


Don- the average weekly unemployment payment in Oregon is $360. The additional $300/ week makes it $660/ week...or $34,320/yr. that breaks out to $16.50/ hour. Not exactly the “gravy train” you mentioned....
Do you really believe that people that are unvaccinated or have kids without available childcare should have benefits cut off and forced to take a minimum wage job without benefits?...... would you do that?

Don Dix

tagup -- the average minimum wage is less than $16.50 as well. The choice is 'working' for a lower bottom line against 'not working at all' for a larger income.

Vaccinations are free, and in most cases, that's a personal choice. That's not a valid reason to deny returning to work.

Unless there is a newborn, child care is the same responsibility as it was 15 months ago -- how did it work out previously?

If my job reopened, I would return. Being active and productive creates a sense if accomplishment and pride. What would you do?

Attempting to explain this situation away without considering 'the elephant in the room' (free money) creates an incomplete and insufficient assessment.


Don- I’m not “explaining the situation away” I stated in my post above, the additional $300/ week is only one part of the might remember that even before the pandemic, there was a significant shortage of workers. Attributing the shortage solely on the enhancement of the unemployment benefits is also incomplete and insufficient....