The lazy American labor shortage

Ella de Jong— Staff Writer

Americans are lazy. Who is willing to work at a job for 40 hours a week? I think the answer is sadly less and less people.

When hearing about an increase in unemployment, one would assume there is a labor shortage. But there are plenty of jobs available. You’ve probably seen the “Help Wanted” signs posted in the restaurant windows of your hometown and in Sioux Center. Yet, those who are unemployed refuse to take these jobs. And the reason why is simple‒ federal unemployment benefits from COVID-19. 

The government has been mailing checks to households across America. Now, Americans would rather take their unemployment benefits than work a job. According to a poll done by the Society for Human Resource Management, nine percent of the unemployed are receiving more money from their unemployment benefits than they would receive from working. The tax money from the working class is being handed to these lazy Americans who refuse to work. 

I have seen the need for workers all around my hometown of 100,000 in Idaho. Prior to COVID-19, fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s and Taco Bell paid their workers minimum wage ($7.25). Now, as I drive through town, hiring signs are at every window where these fast-food businesses are paying $14 to $18 per hour. One day this summer, Red Robin was closed for a full day due to having no waitresses that could work. Just this past weekend, my family was in Moscow, Idaho and stopped at a pizza joint that normally would close at 10 p.m., but they were closing at 7 p.m. due to being short-staffed. 

Sioux Center is experiencing job shortages as well. Kylie de Jong, a freshman at Dordt, says there has been a shortage of waitresses at Sioux County Livestock Co. and that her employer has been looking for more workers all year. 

She says that being short-staffed can make her job stressful and that current waitresses want to quit. 

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the recent increase in unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, September saw the unemployment rate go from 0.04 percent to 4.8 percent. Many people were laid off from their jobs with businesses having to cut down or close altogether. I am not saying that every person that is unemployed is lazy. Many of those who were laid off have been searching for new jobs that they are unable to find. 

Americans are also not wanting to go back to work due to health concerns. COVID-19 is easily spread at restaurants and fast-food joints where most of these job openings are seen. But hasn’t this fear of the virus already ruined America’s economy enough? The virus is serious and deadly to the vulnerable, but it does not mean that a person is validated to use it as an excuse to never go back to work.

These unemployment benefits are scheduled to expire in September. I believe that these job shortages will decrease greatly as many people will go back into the labor force. The Christian perspective is that God has equipped people to work. More people in the labor force after September will show that our tax dollars were going to people who could have been working. America is not just helping those who are looking for jobs or unable to work. We have created lazy Americans. 

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