Friday, May 9, 2008

$20 per hour jobs? Yeah, sure ... there's lots of em ..

The high gas prices -- and high everything-else prices because of the high-gas prices -- have a lot folks reconsidering their careers right now.

Should I find a job closer to home to save on gas? Should I stop feeding my 401K so that I have more in my paycheck? Should I get aggressive and find a new job that pays more so I can reclaim my budget?

MSN recently posted an article about 20 jobs that pay $20 per hour or more and are expecting job growth in the coming years; the same article quotes the Dept. of Labor as saying the median household income is $48,201, which for a 40-hour work week means a job paying $27 per hour.

It's an interesting list in that some of those careers -- casino gaming supervisor and subway car operator -- would require moving out of Akron and possibly to an area where the cost of living is higher ... so what would you really gain?

Quite a few of the jobs are in the health industry, which is expected to grow in Ohio as the state's population gets older (and the younger folks follow jobs and better weather out of state).

Zoologists and wildlife biologists make $26.98 per hour; not bad if you can handle the great outdoors and the animal waste that needs cleaned up. Still, might not be enough gorillas and sea otters here in Akron to keep folks gainfully employed.

My favorite is the encouragement for folks to become a special effects animator. $27.90 per hour to create action sequences for big-time movies sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship for many men. I'm just not sure that there's that enough folks who could focus on making "Indiana Jones and the search for 23-cent pizza" instead of just sitting and watching it.

All kidding aside, we need local jobs that allow people to do whatever skill they do best and pay a salary that lets them pay their bills .. and $20 per hour ain't what it used to be.


rootvg said...

Eric, what needs to happen first is that NE Ohio needs to get away from its blue collar obsession with hourly wages and unions and change its Great Depression era entitlement business culture.

This HAS to happen. Unskilled blue collar labor jobs with cradle-to-grave medical care and pensions are GONE. They're not coming back...and what's there will require an Associates degree at least, more likely a four year degree plus further training afterward. My wife and I work in technology, and we'll be in school off and on for the rest of our working lives. We know it. We accept it.

My wife and I left the Akron area right after college, and we took off like a couple of F-16s flying in formation. We're nobody special: attended Ohio public colleges and universities, grew up in working class suburbs (she grew up poor in Wayne county), etc. We wanted to make it and were not going to be denied.

The people who run NE Ohio don't want change, and the reason they don't want change is because they don't want to end up paying for someone else's kids to have opportunities they didn't have. That's why public education funding in Ohio never seems to get fixed. That's why tuition at Ohio public colleges and universities keeps skyrocketing. That's why most of the local infrastructure is so bad. That's why companies aren't sticking around...and that's why you're losing so many young professionals to Raleigh and Charlotte and Atlanta and Dallas every year.

Bottom line? The region (you included) is being literally strangled by its legions of low skill blue collar elderly. If I hear another semi-literate old man with a union card in his pocket stand up at a town hall meeting and say "we don't need that", I'm gonna scream...but it's not me who should be screaming, my friend. It's YOU!

You live there. It's your problem. YOU need to fix it.

The fastest fix is to march everyone over seventy years of age off the East Ninth Street pier. That's an awful thing to say but it sure drives the point home.

The problem is demographic. PERIOD.

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