View from the labor market trenches

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Some job seekers are taking their time...

"There were endless amounts of roles. I could be extremely picky."

Ashley Taylor, who works in software sales.

  • Taylor left her last job in January and within two days had an offer to join another startup. She waited six months and ended up getting an even higher offer from the same company.

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While others are struggling...

"I haven’t even been able to get the jobs that I don’t want. And that's with five years of college."

Gaeble King, an attendant at a county park in Washington who's looking to advance in his field and work as an environmental geologist.

  • Parks have gained popularity during the pandemic, and there's an abundance of open roles, but "they want to hire people that they don't necessarily have to train," says King. And getting that training himself would require going back to school and accruing more debt.

And employers are getting desperate...

"We have people that will flat out tell you they don't want a job. They say their unemployment has not run out, and they don’t want to go back to work until that does run out."

Kim Whitworth, who runs an Express Employment staffing agency that connects workers to employers in Decatur, Alabama.

  • Whitworth's agency has around 170 open jobs in manufacturing, warehousing, IT and other industries. In normal times, a firm her size has about 30 roles to fill, she says.

  • The average pay for the open roles in $15 an hour, and they come with benefits. "But yesterday we sent out 600 texts for positions, and we got four responses," she noted.

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