I feel like every corner I pass I see Help Wanted signs. Fast food chains are starting at 18 dollars an hour. When I was 16, (15 years ago now) I worked for 5 dollars and 15 cents an hour at my first job which was in food service. I had adults working above me who were making the same amount or just slightly above. These people also worked 2nd jobs to pay bills and try to earn a livable wage. I think the pandemic has changed this mindset entirely, and rightfully so.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Businesses are getting desperate for employees. Our neighborhood diner had to shut down two days out of the week and close up early during the others on account of no one wanting to work. I’ve seen company sign on bonuses at minimum wage establishments from $500 to over $1000 dollars.

During the pandemic and government shut down, the unemployment rate in the US reached the highest level since the Great Depression, 14.8%. As of June 2021 it sat at 5.9% and while this number much better than 14.8%, it is still far more than pre pandemic levels. If the unemployment is high and still jobs go unfilled, who is to blame?

I don’t think there is any one answer. People want to feel valued at their job for starters. Making a livable wage is one way to accomplish that but during the pandemic, the federal government was paying more in benefits from unemployment than these employees were making at their former jobs.

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There are many different job sectors that will provide a living wage, benefits, retirement and a good work/life balance. Some of the fastest growing job sectors in the US are in the clean energy sector. So not only would you have a great job, you would also be contributing to green energy and saving the earth!

The automobile industry is also on the forefront of new clean technology. The smart cars of today are just a glimpse at what the future holds for car manufacturers across the globe. The automobile industry has a direct impact on the economy and global markets. The national US average of hourly wage for someone in the auto industry was $22.97 in 2019.

This spiral graph by the team at Alans Carports shows just how many people are employed by the auto industry and which car brands have the most employees. In the US Ford, GM and Tesla make the list of top 35. Germany houses the car industry with the most employees, Volkswagen, with an astonishing 662,575 employees. That payroll must be a nightmare!