You won’t work for what?

In today’s New York Times David Leonhardt argues there is no labor shortage.

When a company is struggling to find enough labor, it can solve the problem by offering to pay a higher price for that labor — also known as higher wages. More workers will then enter the labor market. Suddenly, the labor shortage will be no more.

New York Times May 20, 2021

My question is what is that labor doing now? Are workers simply not looking for work, refusing to work when they need income because they believe they deserve higher pay?

I remember many years ago wanting a job to make money as a kid, how much they paid was secondary, a job, any job was the goal. My first job paid me $5.00 a week for about eighteen hours work in a pet shop.

My next job was working in the city library for $0.75 an hour. The minimum wage at the time was $1.00. I was happy to get the job and remember trying to get more hours to work.

My first job out of high school was in a union job at $1.49 an hour. The minimum wage was $1.15.

In all, cases, I wanted to work because I wanted to work and have money. In the last example I had to work.

Dinosaurs think differently

I keeping thinking that if I was in need of a job today, my first priority would be getting a job. Then if another employer offered higher pay for my skills, I’d try and get that job.

But I can’t conceive of not taking any job because the starting pay was not to my liking. Is it a generational thing? Am I that out of touch with work ethic?


  1. The real problem with the usuals suspects is their logic is f…ed up…everything else is a symptom of that problem.


  2. This is the one area of life that I am an EXPERT. I have spend the last 30 years working directly with Human Resources and the last 23 of those years in the staffing business. I work closely with nearly 100 companies on a regular basis. The average entry level pay rate our clients are offering is $16.67 hr. Routinely, $100.00 weekly bonuses (to just show up each day) and $2.00 hr. seasonal pay raises are provided. We have $25.00 hr. positions in which 100’s go unfilled daily. We are not alone. It’s a daily scramble and fight to find entry level talent. Every company trying to hire and every staffing company knows what this New York Times writer is not yet able to understand. The Federal (and State) governments are the number one competitors for talent. And they are winning!


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