Friday, May 27, 2011

Is "Now Hiring" the new "We do our part" sign of the Depression?

Why are there "Now Hiring" signs in front of so many businesses these days when so many people are complaining about not finding a job? Everywhere I go in Knoxville, there are generic "Now Hiring" signs from the hotels to the car dealerships to the stores at the mall.

Is it just a slogan to make people feel better about the business? Are they truly hiring? Or are they just waiting for the perfect person to show up and taking applications from the rest? I find it puzzling because if businesses were really that desperate to hire, so much so that they are all putting up signs, why are so many people saying they are having trouble finding work?

During the Depression, businesses showed their compliance with New Deal programs by putting up the "Blue Eagle," with the motto "We do our part." "The eagle, which had been modeled on an Indian thunderbird, was displayed in windows and stamped on products to show a business's compliance." Consumers were encouraged to only shop at the businesses that displayed the blue Eagle logo. It seems that I remember also reading something about this in Amity Shlae's terrific book The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression


Blogger HMT said...

Or are "now hiring" signs being put up because that person who was making 80K+ as a "professional" would rather be unemployed instead of dishing ice cream or cleaning toilets?

I know plenty of people like that. Unemployed and "looking". For a year+. I don't get it. How can you go that long and not find SOMETHING to do that makes $$, even a little.

One of my neighbors is different. HR manager, laid off. Got a job after unemployment ran out; putting produce out at the local grocery store. Within 3 months he was "produce manager", whatever that means, but he was making more than he was when he started. He got an HR job a year later but he didn't spend that time sitting around.

When I'm looking at someones resume and see they're qualified and been out of work for 1 year + and another resume shows and equally qualified person but they gutted it out and found a job, I know who I want working on my team.

2:50 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger JustJohn said...

As someone who has been active in the job market for the past 3 months, my experience is that they can be selective and wait for the perfect employee who will also work for less than competetive wages.

2:53 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger The Chico Grouch. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:55 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

JustJohn, keep trying, I hope you find something soon.

I wonder how much more you have to pay some people to work than they can get sitting at home with "disability" or other kinds of government subsidies? I was driving the kids to school today and noticed a long line of mothers in stay at home clothes.

My wife had already left for work, and I wonder how all those ladies, over 10, could be making it as stay at home moms. I think they are getting paid by the government to stay at home, and it is my money that my wife and I earn by going to work that is used to pay for them to stay home.

If that is what is going on, that is bullshit.


3:00 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Zorro said...

I work at one of the manufacturing plants of a VERY well known computer firm. They have had, for two years now, a very active hiring effort for silicon wafer production, and yet they can't fill all the jobs.

Well over 40% of the applicants for the position are so sub-standard they are literally not takable, and regardless of the economy, the number of people who insist on "the perfect position" (judging from the remarks of the younger crowd there) keep the rest from merely applying.

One out of six new-hires walks out on their lunch break during he first week because they can't stand the job requirements.

3:35 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Suzanne Lucas said...


Wow. Conspiracy theory much? I'm willing to bet that many of the women who stay home with their children have husbands who earn the same or less than you do.

No one is subsidizing them. It's about making a choice.

3:35 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

What does "hiring" mean? When they say they are hiring does that mean a 40 hour/week job with an hourly pay, or a commission-only paid-on-1099 employment structure? Or is this 6 part-time hours a week on a 12AM-6PM Monday shift?

Need more information.

3:58 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I had lunch earlier this week at a newly-opened restaurant in downtown LA. What I'm wondering is why, with unemployment at 12%, they can't find wait-staff who speak English. They got the order wrong. It took another 20-plus minutes to receive what I had originally ordered. It didn't taste good. I won't be back, but have to wonder about employment vs.competence in our country.

4:01 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger mkfreeberg said...

No one is subsidizing them.

Uh...Suzanne, you took a poll?

We're constantly seeing liberal politicians crusade for "balancing the budget" by "raising taxes on the rich." And then we hear "Uncle Sam will pay for you to go back to school."

Trey is dead-on. And nobody is getting fleeced worse than the working-woman who would prefer to, or has no other choice but to, put in the time, pick up a paycheck and try to make it all work.

4:03 PM, May 27, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No one is subsidizing them."


The husband is subsidizing them - and will even be forced to long after the relationship is over (alimony) if wifee sat on her little bottom for years and things go south.

4:17 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Rich E said...

My wife is a "stay at home mom" if you mean that she stays at home and educates our daughter because we home school. I work extra so she can stay at home and do that. She was a high paid manager of a hospital department and we made that decision for the benefit of the child. Now she could have kept the job and we would have a very nice income but it was not and is not worth it.
So do not condemn until you know more.

5:13 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Eric Jablow said...

Emily Shlaes' book, not Amity Shlae's.

5:25 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger LissaKay said...

I was a stay at home mom. Both by choice and by the fact that day care expenses for three little ones far exceeded any salary I could have hoped to have made. My husband barely made a living wage, but with prudent and efficient methods, we still got by. However, we did not apply for nor accept any subsidies - no food stamps, no welfare, no housing. Our families helped us out when times got tough, and we did accept scholarships from the church-based nursery school. My children had a full-time mom for their early years, they were not raised by strangers in a day care.

When the marriage ended, I did not get alimony. Not in the usual sense. See, since I had no job skills from my years at home, my job prospects were limited, so we decided the children would stay with dad so they could have a stable home and not have to live in poverty. So I paid child support, but at a lowered rate for the first year - in lieu of alimony, and only because he agreed to it.

So much for assumptions and stereotypes. And would I go back and change anything I did in regards to spending those precious years with my children? Not on your life. There is no job worth missing out on that, for me or my kids. I gave them my best and didn't farm them out to germ-filled daycare.

My step-daughters are also choosing to stay home with their little ones. Other than WIC vouchers, no welfare going on there. Just hard-working, dedicated and loving fathers and mothers taking care of their families. I could not be more proud of them.

Stay at home moms are not necessarily leeches on society, they are the back-bone upon which we build strong families.

5:54 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Magson said...

I was unemployed last year from the 2nd week of January up through October. I applied for every position in my field that I saw that paid more than unemployment did (which, sadly, was only about 10% of the jobs posted).

I had at least 2 interviews a week, and often 3 a day, and I still got rejected time after time after time, even for jobs making half what I had been.

In the end it worked out, and I got hired making more than I ever have before in my life, but it was still intensely frustrating. But now I'm making enough that my wife has quit her job and is staying home with our little one. Budget's tight, but manageable.

6:01 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Carol_Herman said...

If you got to the mall, then it means you could afford gas for your car. And, that for some reason you were there. Either to eat. Since the large malls provide food courts.

That owners of stores put out signs? Well, how long to their employees stay? (So, I'd vote that it is a way to find new people to replace those you see.)

What happens when you walk in? Are you just asked to fill out a form? How much time will you spare to do this?

After a period of time will you walk by stores that don't interest you, no matter what signs are in their windows?

IS TRAFFIC LESS? (It's like the housing market.) But here you judge "traffic" by how hard it is to find a spot to park your car.)

And, what are the "age limitations?" Are these signs just beaconing to teenagers?

Maybe, those signs are the new "photoshops?"

6:04 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I suspect many of the signs are for low paying part-time jobs with no benefits. If I was receiving unemployment, I'd be slow to take a job that offered less than what I already have plus no real future.

An co-worker who was layed off about a year and a half ago tried to find employment in his field without luck. As his wife earned considerably more than he did, they decided he would be a stay at home dad for the time being. After the cost of daycare, gas, and other expenses related to being employed, they figured they were only losing about $100 week.

6:05 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Byron said...

"Emily Shlaes' book, not Amity Shlae's."

Actually, it is Amity.

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression - Amity Shlaes

7:12 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger F. said...


What company do you work for? I'm looking to apply. I have a j.o.b. but looking to advance!

I have an idea you work for an intel-ligent place. Is this correct? Which production facility?

Thank you in advance

9:10 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger Synova said...

My employer had a "Now Hiring" sign out and did hire three (I believe) more people. One of my co-workers also decided she's had enough BS for scant hours and minimum wage, so she walked. But I think she's still living at home.

The Papa Murphey's had a "Now Hiring" sign out. Probably hired one person. My son didn't get a call back.

The local hardware store had "Hiring" on their marquee for weeks, and I know they were hiring a single person, hoping for someone who knew electronics, was willing to work cashier, and take minimum wage part time.

There's turn over so there is real hiring going on, but the competition for an unskilled minimum wage job means they aren't going to hire you.

My boss (discount retail) can't be open without a minumum number of people in the store... four I think. And making payroll for four is hard. So if someone leaves they have to hire another... but it's still four.

9:49 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

I just did some checking. Turns out the apartments are listed as "low income housing" or "based on income housing." So I am not feeling very paranoid ir particularly conspiratorial. I am subsidizing the housing as well as the staying home.

I dug a little more, turns out is is a high crime area as well. Wonderful.

See, my wife DID stay at home until our triplets went to school. We scrimped and saved and used up our savings because we agreed it was best for the kids. Now, my wife and I work to subsidize the women in their robes abd gowns that see their school age children off to school. I probably pay for their breakfast too.

Like I said, what is their incentive to work? Ben Franklin said that a country who cares for the poor will make them uncomfortable in their poverty. He further said that any country that heavily subsidizes their poor will have more of them.

Wise man that Franklin.


11:54 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

So Suzanne, you lost the bet. What do I win?


11:55 PM, May 27, 2011  
Blogger MarkD said...

Anecdotes prove nothing, but my wife also stayed home with our kids, not entering the work force until they were in school.

Whatever we missed out on was repaid a hundred-fold by having them be who they are now.

No public assistance was involved.

12:06 AM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger Tom DesJardins said...

My wife was stay at home until the kids grew up a bit and can stay at home alone for short periods. She now works par time.

I see things a little differently. Most of the stay at home moms that I see at school volunteer fairly heavily. Many of the stay at home moms at my kids' school are homeroom mothers, helping teachers in the classrooms, the volunteer for non-profits, PTA, etc.

I feel quite the opposite of Trey. Most of the working parent's do not volunteer for things. They suck off the ones that do volunteer (unpaid) at schools, Boy/Girl Scouts, churches, school events, and the list can go on. They get free or low cost services from unpaid volunteers and are too busy working and raising their kids because they want to live in a big box of a house, have two shiny cars, go out to eat, and wear nice clothes.

My wife and I have a small older home, and two used cars. My wife, a stay at home mom, volunteers for two kid development non-profits and works untold hours which she could not do if she were not a stay at home. I work full time and volunteer for another kid development program that has weekly sessions in the evenings. I would not have volunteered if it were not for the fact that my wife has time available during the day to help me prep (pick up things, call people, etc.) for the weekly sessions.

I can attest that stay at home moms are one of the most underpaid, highly motivated and dedicated backbones of our community.

8:07 AM, May 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Tom, people who are working are contributing to society.

I understand a woman staying home with small children. But if there are no small children at home, or there are no children at all, it starts heading towards Parasite-Ville.

Women who have an aspiration in life - and who achieve something in life - although they may stay home for a few years when the kids are small - can be looked up to by the kids. The kids can be proud of mom and not "learn" from their family that women are simply useless sponges off men.

And I have no idea why men support women to sit at home watching TV if there are no children involved. Maybe they think she'll fuck around if she gets half the chance, so they keep her locked up. And maybe she will.

And as for volunteering: It just gets you out of the house. It's easy because you are not held accountable for anything. You just do dopey stuff for an hour or two so you can talk to others. Otherwise, sit-at-homes would be taking on PAID WORK - which involves responsibility - in an area where they can also help society if that's what they want to do.

And take a look at career housewives (meaning they PLAN ON never working a day in their lives because stupid is going to pay for it all): They constitute some of the most greedy, petty, bossy, immature people I have ever seen. Because they don't HAVE TO do anything or get along with anybody. Their days are filled with TV and bragging about material possessions that they never earned. Take a close look yourself.

And sorry for the directness, but I just can't take this false praise of a group that doesn't deserve it. And I've heard men who have said for years, "she has the hardest job in the world," drastically change their tone when there is a divorce. Then she is a lazy, greedy bitch. I suspect that deep, deep, deep down they also knew it during the marriage.

9:05 AM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger brother-john said...

I am the manager of a small business situated on a major highway with direct pull-in access. We pay more than minimun wage.
When we put out a help wanted sign, hundreds if not thousands of people see it each week. With ads in the local papers and on our website we still only get 3-4 applicants a month. Often less.
There may be plenty of people out of work, but there aren't nearly that many looking for work.

9:40 AM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Most of the working parent's do not volunteer for things. They suck off the ones that do volunteer (unpaid) at schools, Boy/Girl Scouts, churches, school events, and the list can go on.

Most parents don't volunteer, period.

In my experience, working parents and the spouses of a working parent volunteer most. In the Boy Scout troop I volunteered with for 6 years up until a year ago, 100% of the volunteer parents worked full-time. Often we took vacation time to be able to help the Scouts.

In my kids small school system (1 elementary, one intermediate, one middle and one high school), they release figures for the school years that showed having volunteers equivalent to 25 full-time employees.

Of the volunteers that work in the programs I'm familiar with, the overwhelming majority are employed full-time with a few stay at home mothers/fathers involved. I can't think of a single person from subsidized housing or welfare recipient who volunteers. (In a small town, it quite easy to ascertain these things.)

The company I work for, and its employees, sponsors a public school in Cincinnati. We spend thousands of dollars a year for equipment, supplies, etc for the school. (I say "we" because it is a 100% employee owned company - everything we spend comes out of everybody's pocket.) We also spend hundreds of hours of volunteer time. Yet, little of this is visible to the public, including parents of the students.

You conveniently forget that the working people earn the money to pay the taxes that support the schools and many other volunteer programs. I find your attitude disgusting.

11:05 AM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger Mal said...

@TMink didth proclaim:
"Ben Franklin said that a country who cares for the poor will make them uncomfortable in their poverty. He further said that any country that heavily subsidizes their poor will have more of them.

Wise man that Franklin."

Old Ben sure knew how to slap down that liberal bleeding-heart Commie Jesus. Go Ben!

21 Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."

Wise man, that Franklin.

2:57 PM, May 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:15 PM, May 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen people a lot worse than you with religious arguments, Mal.

One guy on the old CNN message boards told me that I was going to rot in hell while he will be laughing, laughing, laughing at me along with God when we die. He and God against me - how could I wind the argument.

You just point out that Jesus is your gunner, not Ben Franklin.

You've always got the good 'ol God Warrior on your side, though:

Watch the whole series of Changing Spouses or whatever it's called on YouTube with this woman. And watch Religulosity by Bill Mahr.

Hint: Deriving power in arguments by thinking that God or Jesus is going to "get" your opponent - or even that your God is superior to someone else's God (whether religious or secular) - is probably not the correct application of religion.

3:16 PM, May 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, by the way, Mel, I really want a TRUTHFUL answer to this question:

Have YOU given away all of your possessions to the "poor" (you can detect them in the USA because they are way overfed and they have a big flat-screen TV before the people with jobs)?

No, really, have you?

3:19 PM, May 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really, truly get so sick of this shit.

3:19 PM, May 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:19 PM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger Karen said...

I've seen a number of Now Hiring signs lately as well--at Office Depot, Maaco, a car wash, and at Sonic Burgers. So basically, minimum wage jobs.

I stayed home with my three children because my husband and I made that decision together. We sacrificed having computers and flat screen tv's and going on vacation other than to visit family out of state. It wasn't always easy or fun, but it was REAL LIFE, and besides, there has to be someone who is willing to raise our children because they cannot raise themselves. I have three awesome children, by the way! We never took help from anyone, we simply lived within our means which was unheard of when my kids were growing up. The good thing about the way we approached life is that we never accrued debt. If we didnt have the money, we did not buy it. And surprisingly, life went on without the much needed thing we couldn't afford...

I think a real sign of the times is going grocery shopping and noticing that I'm in a minority when I actually pay for my own food because I see more and more people with the WIC cards. I understand the need for assistance but it can be marginally annoying seeing people use their food stamp cards for all their staples such as milk, bread, cereal etc., but then whip out their debit cards to buy nice wine and expensive meats that I don't buy BECAUSE I'M BUYING THEIR STAPLES ALONG WITH MY OWN!!!!!!!

5:38 PM, May 28, 2011  
Blogger Mal said...

Wow, JG, take some deep breaths. Didn't mean to get you all riled up, cause you see--I'm not even religious. So I guess the jokes on me for popping off on something I know nothing about. But I had to, because a) I'm a smarta$$ and couldn't resist it, and b)all that Ayn Rand sounding crap was really starting to get to me. I'm a huge Bill Mahr fan, and being strong on science, generally agree with your views on religion. But I don't think you have to give up the ethics and morality of the New Testament just because you don't believe in an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud judging you. So, screw Ayn Rand, Ben Franklin, and all right wing crazies everywhere. Here endeth the first lesson.

7:25 AM, May 29, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

MarkD, I totally agree with almost everything you said. Except that part where you say that anecdotes prove nothing, then wrote an anecdote. I think stay at home moms who take care of small children enhance the lives of their children and the people who interact with those children. Well, stay at home parents do, there is no research that shows that moms are better at it than dads.

But unlike you, or just like you, I can't quite decide which, I think anecdotes are useful.

Take care.


8:41 AM, May 29, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Tom, perhaps I was not clear. I have nothing against stay at home moms. I am quite angry that my tax dollars are subsidizing stay at home moms. Apparently in droves. And as our government subsidizes people to not work, more people do not work. 1 in 6 people in America get some sort of tax payer assistance. I think that is way to high and is detrimental to our entire society. Stay at home moms whose familys pay their own way are wonderful in my book. That is why my wife stayed home.


8:45 AM, May 29, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Mal, that is a wonderful story. The way it goes is, a rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asks what he can do to go to heaven. Jesus, being divine, spots a phoney. He asks the rich guy why he is asking Him, and then tells him to keep the commandments. To not steal, not lie, to honor his parents, and love your neighbor as yourself. The guy says he has kept all these.

That was a lie. Jesus had just revealed a radical re-interpretation of the commandments, focusing on our hearts instead of our behaviors. He said that men who LOOKED on women with lust in their hearts were guilty of adultry. He said that people who called someone else a fool were guilty of murder! The point was, and is, that all of us are sinful and unacceptable to God. So this young ruler was fooling himself or lying or both.

The story continues and the ruler says he has kept the commandments. Jesus, knowing his heart, tells this guy to sell all he has and give it to the poor. But this guy could not do that, because he was very rich and loved money more than people. It is about this guy. You and I are commanded to work and share a tenth of our income.

Jesus and the New Testament are very big on giving money to the orphans and widows, people would had no way of supporting themselves in that society. Scripture is also very clear about people who do not work. Read Proverbs, good advice for everyone, for lots of wisdom about how not working leads to poverty. Duh. In second Thessalonians Paul wrote "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

The word "will" is very important as a person who won't work is very different from a person who cannot work. A person who cannot work is in need of charity, and Christians are commanded to help them out through personal charity.

That is a little taste of what scripture actually proclaims. But read it for yourself, it will do you a world of good.

Take care.


9:05 AM, May 29, 2011  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

I work at one of the manufacturing plants of a VERY well known computer firm. They have had, for two years now, a very active hiring effort for silicon wafer production, and yet they can't fill all the jobs. ...

One out of six new-hires walks out on their lunch break during the first week because they can't stand the job requirements.
-Zorro Primo

The attrition rate for new hires with no previous experience of semiconductor wafer fab clean room work has always been high. From my decades of experience in such work beginning in the late 1970s I can say the work environment is strange, unnatural and in close proximity to one or more of the following hazards: chemical, radiation, high voltage, extreme temperatures both high and low, high-speed machinery, high vacuum, and high pressure gases.*

The work requires great attention to detail and demands careful obedience to written procedures. Working rotating shifts and days is a common requirement.** Plus, some people find wearing the clean room garb to be uncomfortable, confining, and even claustrophobic. All these difficulties are especially true of equipment operator jobs.*** Not everyone is cut out for that.

* You bet in the first week a newcomer soon hears from co-workers at least several true-life stories of frighteningly exotic ways to be gruesomely and painfully maimed or killed.

** I've heard of studies that indicate only 1 in 10 people have a physical make-up compatible with such shift work. For the majority of us, shift work of that sort diminishes both physical and mental capabilities.

*** I can't begin to count the number of times I've overheard a manufacturing engineer claim, "I could teach a monkey to do that job." Equipment operators are often treated with disrespect by supervisors, engineers, and even technicians. Yet if the job was so simple-minded, it would already have been automated. (Duh.) Odd that so many college-schooled big brains in wafer fabs never do figure that out. (Maybe someone will supply the Bible wisdom regarding how we treat the least among us... Trey? Mal?)

3:44 PM, May 29, 2011  
Blogger Mal said...

Agree with that completely.

5:07 PM, May 29, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Helen - Hope your surgery went/goes well. Happy Memorial Day.

11:43 AM, May 30, 2011  
Blogger tacomaster said...

I'm an Army vet and that means diddly squat when trying to find a job. I'm in DFW and have applied for 30-40 jobs in the last 3 months and have had no luck whatsoever. I keep hearing that I'm "overqualified" and that I have "too much education". I've applied at Target, hotels, valet, etc. I'm a very hard worker and it irritates me when I go into these places I've applied to and I see these new hires with their idiot piercings, terrible customer service and lack of work ethic.

8:51 PM, May 31, 2011  

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