Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Unemployment Crisis or Labor Shortage?
The Times had a story the other day entitled Factory Jobs Return, but Employers Find Skills Shortage whose title laid out one part of a current economic paradox. Another side of things is the reluctance of many workers to take certain types of jobs.
Our local propane supplier has been unsuccessfully searching for two years to find enough drivers for its propane delivery vehicles. The job requires a commercial driver’s licence, which the company will help you obtain, and it involves delivering propane to commercial and residential accounts. At each stop, the driver disembarks from the truck, drags a hose to a storage tank, and then fills the tank. Pay ranges from $15.50-$27.00/hour based on experience and years on the job (a more experienced driver can service more accounts). The workload is light in the summer months when propane consumption is down, but during the winter there is plenty of opportunity for overtime. Some new drivers make close to $50k/year; experienced drivers can pull in $70-80k.
In contrast, after running ads for office workers — customer service reps — in the Valley News and other local papers, this same company found itself with 110 resumés. In a CSR job, you sit in an office all day answering the phone in response to customer calls. Hourly pay: $10.25 with virtually no available overtime. Respondents to this ad were evenly divided between men and women.
What is going on here? Is there such a prejudice against work that involves a semblance of physical labor that people are willing to take a large pay cut for the pleasure of sitting in a cubicle answering the phone? And how many people are sufficiently comfortable receiving their newly extended unemployment benefits that they will not even apply for a propane delivery job that can pay an annual salary that will put them in the top quartile of all Americans?
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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