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Unemployment question
Posted by: wurm
Date: May 10, 2021 12:07PM
We had a recent discussion about stores and restaurants re-opening but finding it very difficult to find help. Just curious as to how you all counter the argument I heard that boils down to: "Why should they (I) go back to work when they (I) can get more on unemployment? "

A couple of the participants in the discussion knew of people first-hand who were in that situation. Granted, we're talking minimum wage jobs usually, but still.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: May 10, 2021 12:13PM
The best argument is that they will 1) have income when the benefits run out & 2) have seniority on every one else.

Of course the restaurants could get past this by paying a living wage.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: May 10, 2021 12:14PM
Raise the minimum wage.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 10, 2021 12:14PM
the argument I heard that boils down to: "Why should they (I) go back to work when they (I) can get more on unemployment? "

That's what the business owners and republicans are saying. They're saying it loudly and often enough to grab headlines.

What the workers are saying is "Provide a safe workplace and a living wage and I will gladly work there."

But the workers don't have a lot of lobbyists and PR firms in their employ.



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 10, 2021 12:34PM
People in wage-minus-tips states don't make enough in base wages to qualify for unemployment, so maybe include that in the conversation. It depends on the city/region, but Federal minimum wage is just above the poverty guideline and usually qualifies for food-stamps/SNAP and possibly several other assistance programs (especially if it is for a household of 2 or more). Why is minimum wage so little that people living on that need government assistance? Isn't that socialism?



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 10, 2021 12:55PM
Hard to know who said what to whom. If businesses are finding it hard to hire low wage employees it’s because either that pay isn’t great or because prospective applicants do not yet feel safe.

There’s no version of this where unemployment payments are more attractive. Many people don’t qualify, and of those that do the payments are a percentage of their last rate AND there’s a time limit.

But here’s the real challenge, and it’s why you can’t simply state “a reason” for why people spouting the myth are wrong: They have convinced themselves “some people” do not WANT to work. Remember Reagan’s “welfare queen” statement? This myth has been going on a long time. All they need is one example of how bad a job market is in order for someone to confidently state how much better an unemployment check is, for it to be “true” across the board.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: neophyte
Date: May 10, 2021 01:07PM
Quote
deckeda
...There’s no version of this where unemployment payments are more attractive. ...

Interesting. I posted this in the thread below about South Carolina.

I received this graphic in an email to my business from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), pointing out that a person makes more collecting unemployment than working for the measly SC minimum wage. So the governor (R) responds by rejecting Federal Aid starting next month. Truly, a man for the "people" /sarc. Maybe this is part of the reason why the above business can't find workers.

I have one, part-time, employee, and I pay her $15.00 an hour. It borders on immoral to pay anyone less.

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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 10, 2021 01:18PM
That’s a great graphic. It shows that Republicans are concerned that the lowest-wage earners are ripping everyone off. That’s the fear, and it’s astonishing to think that’s what worries them.

Democrats should call their bluff some day and craft a bill that denies benefits to anyone who can show they belong to a loving family or church, two things conservatives love to say should be providing for the poor.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 10, 2021 01:19PM
.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2021 01:21PM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: May 10, 2021 01:21PM
South Carolina is one of 5 states with no minimum wage law. Others are TN, LA, AL, and Miss. I believe.

So employers in those states subject to fair wage laws must pay the federal minimum.

[www.dol.gov]

I believe the hospitality business model is abusive to labor and must be drastically changed. Charge people what those services actually cost and pay a living wage.

Americans could benefit from a little less cheap pizza and burgers anyway. We don't need all the these food places.

Choose work that is more beneficial to society.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2021 01:22PM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 10, 2021 02:15PM
The money that people are subsisting on without working will stop soon. That will create different pressures. Rental assistance is coming but eventually, landlords will evict boatloads of people within a short span of time.

In L.A., only 7% of LAUSD student show up for school. They're used to not going. Eventually, they'll have to go or be expelled. Teachers are certainly going to want much more money to teach the ones that show up AND the ones watching online.

This is all going to get tighter.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2021 02:17PM by vision63.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: May 10, 2021 02:39PM
Quote
vision63
Rental assistance is coming but eventually, landlords will evict boatloads of people within a short span of time.

This will be a real test of America when tens of thousands are left homeless. Hopefully their cries will be answered with support across the land
(BTW-look for Jared Kushner to be among the high-volume homeless-makers.)
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Acer
Date: May 10, 2021 02:50PM
What is also forgotten is that these same businesses were already hurting for labor before the pandemic.. All up and down our local fast-food/strip-mall row there have been desperate now-hiring banners for years, not to mention landscapers and CDL outfits.

Tell you what else has cut into the minimum wage market, starting well before the pandemic but especially now, is the delivery and ride-share. Anyone with a car is finding picking your hours as you need, comfortably ensconced in your car beats being flipping burgers. That leaves the high school students, who can't work weekdays and are busy doing high school things other times and only want a few hours.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 10, 2021 04:13PM
If only there was someplace where we could find people willing to work hard for low wages. If only...

Yes, even before COVID45 the US Chamber of Commerce wanted to loosen the regulation of undocumented workers. Undocumented workers do one thing to our economy: Lower wages, at least over the short-term until they become documented workers. So if you want to fill those low wage jobs, let undocumented workers freely enter the country. Except that goes against what the right wing haters hate the most: The Other.



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: wurm
Date: May 10, 2021 04:28PM
Thank you all for the comments. I believe this came more to the forefront with the expanded and "extra" unemployment monies being offered to help with COVID-related layoffs. I know regular unemployment is a relative pittance, but the extra is what made it more palatable.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Ted King
Date: May 10, 2021 06:23PM
I think in particular places and types of employment there is a small, but significant, percent of people who are choosing not to actively look for a job because unemployment insurance gives them more money. The problem is that there are a larger percent of people who, even with expanded unemployment, would work but they can't find work that pays enough to meet their bills. I can't think of a fair way to separate out the two groups, but it's important to keep the latter group in mind when bemoaning the choices of the former.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: DinerDave
Date: May 10, 2021 07:13PM
Quote
Ombligo

Of course the restaurants could get past this by paying a living wage.

Only true to a certain extent, IMO. Any server who does a decent plus job will get more of an hourly wage than management. Currently the waitstaff wage in Mass is $5.55. If you have 4 parties average per hour as currently max time limit is 90 minutes, so you work a 6 hour shift for + or - 24 parties, say each chec is $50, and tip is 20% =$10. Times the 24 parties = $240. Divide that by 6 hours or even 8 hours with side work, that is still $30 an hour plus the $5.55 per. Of course not every table will be utilized constantly, so yes, that's an optimum amount. But still, that $35.55 lowered to $25 per hour is STILL higher that I received as management. So, the wait staff isn't and wasn't ever THAT low paid.

Dave



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 10, 2021 07:34PM
Quote
Ted King
I think in particular places and types of employment there is a small, but significant, percent of people who are choosing not to actively look for a job because unemployment insurance gives them more money. The problem is that there are a larger percent of people who, even with expanded unemployment, would work but they can't find work that pays enough to meet their bills. I can't think of a fair way to separate out the two groups, but it's important to keep the latter group in mind when bemoaning the choices of the former.

Sure. There will always be outliers who take advantage of a situation like this but Republicans (and business owners) saying the problem is due to no one wanting to work because they're making too much on unemployment is disingenuous.

Quote
DinerDave
Quote
Ombligo

Of course the restaurants could get past this by paying a living wage.

Only true to a certain extent, IMO. Any server who does a decent plus job will get more of an hourly wage than management. Currently the waitstaff wage in Mass is $5.55. If you have 4 parties average per hour as currently max time limit is 90 minutes, so you work a 6 hour shift for + or - 24 parties, say each chec is $50, and tip is 20% =$10. Times the 24 parties = $240. Divide that by 6 hours or even 8 hours with side work, that is still $30 an hour plus the $5.55 per. Of course not every table will be utilized constantly, so yes, that's an optimum amount. But still, that $35.55 lowered to $25 per hour is STILL higher that I received as management. So, the wait staff isn't and wasn't ever THAT low paid.

Dave

The servers make more but what about the line cooks and dishwashers who don't get tips? I'm sure their hourly wage is higher than servers but is it enough?

Then there's the fast food joints. I have recently had a problem getting served at the drive-through (no dine-in) at a local Arby's. They keep closing early, apparently due to staff shortages. The one time I actually got food there, they put an insert into the bag about how they were hiring. It said the "starting wage is up to $11.50/hour."

I know the other fast food places pay more so it's no mystery why Arby's is having trouble finding workers.



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: Acer
Date: May 10, 2021 08:02PM
Another thing about UE is that you're supposed to continue to look for work and not decline a viable offer, or the benefit will be withdrawn. I'm guessing that's not aggressively enforced with the sheer number of people in the system now. But, in my brief foray into unemployment in 2020 they were asking those questions every two weeks, via online questionnaire.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2021 08:04PM by Acer.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 10, 2021 08:33PM
Quote
Acer
Another thing about UE is that you're supposed to continue to look for work and not decline a viable offer, or the benefit will be withdrawn. I'm guessing that's not aggressively enforced with the sheer number of people in the system now. But, in my brief foray into unemployment in 2020 they were asking those questions every two weeks, via online questionnaire.

I'm sure it's different in every state but in my state, they suspended the work-search requirement because of the pandemic conditions. Now that requirement is about to go back into effect.



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: graylocks
Date: May 11, 2021 01:44AM
Quote
AllGold
Quote
Acer
Another thing about UE is that you're supposed to continue to look for work and not decline a viable offer, or the benefit will be withdrawn. I'm guessing that's not aggressively enforced with the sheer number of people in the system now. But, in my brief foray into unemployment in 2020 they were asking those questions every two weeks, via online questionnaire.

I'm sure it's different in every state but in my state, they suspended the work-search requirement because of the pandemic conditions. Now that requirement is about to go back into effect.

Georgia suspended the job search requirement also.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: RgrF
Date: May 11, 2021 02:58AM
Georgia is on the verge of suspending UI payments as well, it' all becoming part of and encompassing the GQP playbook.
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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 11, 2021 03:06PM
Quote
Sarcany
the argument I heard that boils down to: "Why should they (I) go back to work when they (I) can get more on unemployment? "

That's what the business owners and republicans are saying. They're saying it loudly and often enough to grab headlines.

What the workers are saying is "Provide a safe workplace and a living wage and I will gladly work there."

But the workers don't have a lot of lobbyists and PR firms in their employ.

Very well put.



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Re: Unemployment question
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 11, 2021 05:11PM
Quote
DinerDave
Quote
Ombligo

Of course the restaurants could get past this by paying a living wage.

Only true to a certain extent, IMO. Any server who does a decent plus job will get more of an hourly wage than management. Currently the waitstaff wage in Mass is $5.55. If you have 4 parties average per hour as currently max time limit is 90 minutes, so you work a 6 hour shift for + or - 24 parties, say each chec is $50, and tip is 20% =$10. Times the 24 parties = $240. Divide that by 6 hours or even 8 hours with side work, that is still $30 an hour plus the $5.55 per. Of course not every table will be utilized constantly, so yes, that's an optimum amount. But still, that $35.55 lowered to $25 per hour is STILL higher that I received as management. So, the wait staff isn't and wasn't ever THAT low paid.

Dave

And your figures are only good to a certain extent. Rarely does a server get that many parties over the entire course of a shift. For example, say that 6 hour shift runs from 4 to 10 PM for dinner. The first hour or two many are not going to be there for dinner, the rush in many places I have gone to starts around 6. Then the number tapers off between 8 and 9.

I have known a number of servers who ended up working 10 hours a day several days a week to make an amount close to what you are calculating, in a good week they might tae home $4-500 in tips. Managers at least have the advantage of usually being paid for 40 hours.
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