Vox does an about-face on jobs as unemployment expires
September 2, 2021
Suddenly, after telling their readers that the best way to advance in life was to quit that poor-paying job and find another poor-paying job that you can do from home, Vox is concerned that maybe there aren’t that many jobs left.
The volte-face by Vox on jobs has been spurned by the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits that happens- – ironically or not — on Labor Day.
“Nearly 650,000 workers in the sector quit their jobs in April,” the highest number in 20 years, Vox reported in June, under the theory that pandemic will aid workers to go on a general strike for higher wages in a drive called the Great Resignation.
“Driven by a combination of low wages, Covid-19 risks, and harassment from customers, many are leaving their retail jobs behind in search of something different. ‘My life isn’t worth a dead-end job,’ Aislinn Potts, a former aquatic specialist at a pet store, told the Post,” as reported by Vox.
Four million people quit their jobs in April alone, according to Vox, in “a realignment of priorities” made possible by generous and multitudinous federal financial aid.
“I think it’s changed everything, and I think it’s changed everything fundamentally,” James Livingston, a history professor at Rutgers University, told Vox about the pandemic and the aid that it spawned.
At least someone thinks COVID has a nice upside.
Livingston is the author of No More Work: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea, a book in which an out-of-touch tenured professor argues that work sucks and that we should just stop working to peruse more noble aspirations like, presumably, taking history classes at Rutgers paid for by fully-guaranteed federal loans that we can’t repay.
(Incidentally, Livingstone also argued separately that white people suck, even though he is both a white person and an employed person).
That’s why it’s shocking that Vox is now commiserating with workers who might actually have to look for a job when their unemployment benefits expire.
“Sean thought he’d be back to work by now,” Vox wrote this week. “Over the summer, the cafe where he worked before the pandemic reached out, saying he could have his old job back by early September. The cafe was located on a tech company’s campus in California and his former boss wanted to staff up as office employees started coming in.”
But then reality set in.
“Due to the delta surge, the campus was completely closed again with no solid date for starting the process again,” Sean wrote. “There’s a chance I get contacted in the fall, but my gut tells me it’s a done deal until next year.”
Sean, of course, was hoping that unemployment benefits would be extended, but alas, no.
Now he’s going to be what most people have to do: Look for a job.
In part, unemployment benefits are expiring because there are nearly ten million jobs waiting for some lucky person to fill, almost 1 million more jobs than there are people.
It makes about as much sense to pay people not to work right now as it does to pay farmers not to plant.
And while employers have resorted to gimmicks to fill jobs — like hefty signing bonuses and enhanced benefits such as pet insurance — with the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits, Vox is finding out the very best reason people get hired: They need a job, just like Sean does.