The Nahployment 'Crisis'

I heard a radio ad for Amazon here in Little Rock today offering up to a $3,000 hiring bonus along with up to $22 an hour for jobs at the fulfillment center. But then I just went to their website to search for the job in my area and now it’s telling me the job pays up to $15.80 per hour with an additional $2-3 dollars for evening shift and the bonus can only go up to $2,000. So what I thought might be a job making around $46,000 annually is not only a $33,000 job. I know they use weasel words like “up to,” but, man, I’d be so disappointed if I were actually looking for a job, heard their ad, and then went to apply.

And I’d be pretty dubious that any company that was trying to pull that one would treat me right about anything else, either.

I suppose this odd time in our employment situation has many roots. I wonder it a part of it is the graying of the population. Companies (like McDonald’s) used to hire a lot of high school students and young graduates. Now there are fewer of those people.

Paul Krugman thinks Boomers taking early retirement has something to do with this, calling it the Great Resignation:


This article suggest that the Trump Administration immigration policies are largely responsible for the worker shortage - not just deportations, but people that were dissuaded from immigrating.

And then there are workers that were killed or incapacitated by Covid.

Compared to pre-COVID? They’re a greater proportion of the population now than before.

This might explain a decades long trend but not one that began less than 2 years ago.

Compared to the 1970s. My wife and I had our first jobs at McDonald’s in those years. The whole crew seemed to be high school kids.

For other reasons, I put together a table of minimum wage from 1955-2021, and adjusted it for inflation. Then I realized it would probably be useful for this thread: