Readers Write

Signs reading “Now Hiring” are up everywhere right now. “Help Wanted” posts have flooded social media recently. Jobs are available. Businesses are looking for employees. Yet, from the way people are gossiping in town and from the back-and-forth in the comments on Facebook, you’d think that nobody wants to work. “People are getting paid to stay home so why would they want to go back to work?” “They’re making more being on unemployment than they did working.”

These statements ARE correct about one thing… No one wants to work. I mean, isn’t that the American Dream? To NOT have to work? It’s one thing if it’s a work of passion, but anything other than that is just survival and working a job you hate just to survive is depressingly miserable and no one wants to do that.

Alabama was lucky that COVID-19 didn’t hit as hard as in other states. It just doesn’t like the humidity or something. And the March unemployment rate for Alabama was 3.8 percent which is one of the lowest in the country. So why with only 30,000 people receiving unemployment benefits do SO many businesses have jobs available? So why are SO many under the impression that people don’t want to go to work because they are receiving unemployment?

Well, I think it’s important to know who’s making these claims. Scrolling social media posts you start to see a pattern. Generally, it’s older people saying these things. Older people who haven’t worked in years, eating off Social Security, overwhelmingly, have a negative opinion about those on unemployment. Ironic…

If you are a business owner with positions available, maybe you should consider raising wages for your employees because if unemployment pays out more to an individual than they would make working for you then it is YOU that is the problem, not unemployment. There have been polls recently that say that politics has created a hostile work environment for many people. Young people tend to be more liberal and Alabama is a Deep Red state, so if you want more people to work for you then maybe keep your QAnon conspiracy theories to yourself while on the clock.

But the 3.8 percent unemployment rate doesn’t lie. Alabama is working. The only jobs available are the ones that are physically demanding and/ or pay the least. People ARE working. They just don’t want to work crap jobs for crap pay. Treat your employees better.

Robert Sweatman III, Cleveland