In the wake of yet another miserable jobs report comes news that Ohio school gets 700 applicants for janitorial job.

MASSILON, Ohio – Evidence of the slumping economy is stacking up at an Ohio school which has nearly 700 applications for one open janitorial job.

Officials at Perry Local Schools near Canton in northeast Ohio say they’ve extended the deadline until Monday to accommodate the overwhelming response to the week-old posting.

The full-time position at Edison Junior High School pays $15 to $16 an hour plus benefits. Superintendent John Richard says many applicants are laid-off workers with heart-wrenching stories about the tough economic times.

Perhaps they should reduce the pay to $7 an hour and put two people to work. I am quite certain there will still be 700 applicants. The odds of getting lucky become 1:350 instead of 1:700. Of course applications are still flowing in. The odds will change by Monday.

800 Apply for Water Meter Reader Job

In Tacoma, More than 800 show up for one Water Meter Reader Job.

More than 800 people showed up to take a test for a job as a Tacoma, Wash., water meter reader. One job.

Tacoma Public Utilities spokeswoman Sonja Hall says 1,400 applications were received when the position was advertised. Typically the utility receives about 300 to 400 applications for such a job. About 1,300 of the hopefuls were invited to take an 88-question test.

On Wednesday, some 807 showed up. The job pays $17.76 to $23.56 per hour.

Reading meters is a job that requires essentially no skills yet pays up to $23.56 per hour. People would be lining up to take it for $8.00 per hour.

1,200 Apply For 40 Jobs

In Rhode Island 1,200 apply for 40 jobs to clear unemployment backlog.

More than 1,200 people have applied to fill 40 new jobs at the state Department of Labor and Training to help process claims for unemployment benefits, Sandra M. Powell, the department director, said yesterday.

There are so many candidates for the $19-an-hour jobs, the agency will need help from another state department just to sort through the applications and begin hiring.

Meanwhile, legislators grilled Powell at a State House hearing yesterday, expressing frustration that the agency is not working quickly enough on a backlog of calls and e-mails from people who have lost their jobs — and are still looking for their first payment of unemployment benefits.

Rep. Steven M. Costantino, chairman of the House Finance Committee, said, “We have a crisis here. … People are waiting weeks and weeks and weeks” to obtain their benefits.

Rhode Island has a 10 percent unemployment rate, the highest level in more than 30 years — and one of the highest in the nation.

Good Lord. These are the last kind of jobs I would hope we would be creating. Moreover, such jobs do not require a lot of skills. They could hire twice as many applicants for $8.00 per hour and serve the public far better for cheaper.

20,000 Apply For ‘Best Job In World’

In Australia 20,000 Apply For ‘Best Job In World’, Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

“20,000 people from over 180 countries have so far applied for the role of Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef in what has become arguably the most talked-about job vacancy in the world”.

The promotion gained worldwide attention when it launched in January, offering a six-month gig in which the successful applicant will live in a luxury Hamilton Island villa, explore the reef, its islands and wildlife, swim, snorkel and blog about it.

Just two days after the launch of the campaign the site was flooded by hundreds of thousands of hits, sending it into meltdown.

Applicants’ 60-second video clips uploaded to the competition’s website show eager job hunters from Mongolia, Romania, Turkey, Brazil, Canada and the Vatican bragging, begging and singing for the job.

Sorry folks, applications are closed. The winner will be announced on May 6th.

Place Your Bets

Meanwhile back in the US, CNN Living says Unemployed place their bets on casino jobs.

Sometimes the best way to roll with the punches is to roll the dice. That’s Jerry Goldsmith’s attitude. The Colorado man lost his engineering job of 29 years — and the six-figure salary that went with it — and is now applying for a casino job dealing craps, blackjack, roulette and poker.

“I was angry. I think everyone gets angry,” says Goldsmith, 60, recalling his New Year’s Day firing. “It’s ‘Why me?’ But after a while I just learned: One door closed, but many more just opened.

Goldsmith was one of 750 people who showed up Wednesday to apply for casino dealer jobs near Denver. Another 550 applied on Thursday. The applicants were going after 90 spots in dealer school.

In a November referendum, Colorado voters approved a measure to expand betting limits at casinos in Colorado from $5 to $100 and to add the games of roulette and craps. The new rules will also allow the casinos to stay open 24 hours a day. They currently close at 2 a.m. and open at 8 a.m.

The state hopes to benefit from the increased tax dollars, a portion of which will help fund community colleges, but before the first new tax dollar goes into state coffers, the casinos need to staff up.

“Twenty-four-hour gaming adds a whole extra shift every day, seven days a week. You’re adding an extra shift in every department of the casino,” says Jef Bauer, who runs three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado, for Golden Gaming: the Golden Mardi Gras, Golden Gates and Golden Gulch.

Before the hiring event even started, more than 100 people were lined up, waiting for an interview outside of a bar in Golden, Colorado. The would-be croupiers filed in, filled out applications and were assigned a number. They were photographed and then sat down for a 3-minute job interview.

No experience was necessary for the casino jobs. The jobs pay between $40,000 and $80,000 a year, depending on tips.

Quite A Deal

$40,000 to $80,000 a year for jobs that require no experience and a mere 3-minute interview is quite a good deal. Of course I do not see how our economy can improve by shrinking manufacturing jobs and adding a 2:00AM to 8:00AM shift at casinos.

Let’s review Jobs Contract 14th Straight Month; Unemployment Rate Soars to 8.1%).


  • 651,00 jobs were lost in total
  • 104,000 construction jobs were lost
  • 168,000 manufacturing jobs were lost
  • 375,000 service providing jobs were lost
  • 40,000 retail trade jobs were lost
  • 180,000 professional and business services jobs were lost
  • 26,000 education and health services jobs were added
  • 33,000 leisure and hospitality jobs were lost
  • 9,000 government jobs were added

A total of 276,000 goods producing jobs were lost (higher paying jobs), and the service sector was clobbered once again as well. Government, the last place one wants to see jobs, added 9,000 jobs. The number government jobs has declining sharply, a welcome event, but I expect this to change in the months ahead along with various stimulus programs.

Note: some of the above categories overlap as shown in the preceding chart, so do not attempt to total them up.

Obama Calls For Sacrifices

Flashback January 10, 2009 Obama Calls For Sacrifices, Scales Back Campaign Promises, Ups Jobs Program To 4M

“I want to be realistic here, not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace we had hoped,” Obama said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program, scheduled to air tomorrow. ABC posted excerpts of the interview, Obama’s first since returning to Washington as president-elect, today on its Web site.

All Americans will have to sacrifice to put the economy back on track, Obama said. “Everybody’s going to have to give, Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game.”

“Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game.”

Where is the skin in the game or the sacrifice for Congress, state legislatures, or judges? Where is the skin in the game for corporations being bailed out? 99% of the skin is public expense to bailout banks, insurance companies, and automakers while not creating one job.

Bear in mind the Government cannot really “create” any jobs per se. It can raise taxes and shift private sector jobs creation to government jobs creation (typically a malinvestment), and it can bring production and consumption forward for those jobs that are genuinely needed (filling potholes), but once the potholes are filled, one has to ask the question, “What will we do for an encore?”

For those jobs that are shifted forward, they ought to be at the lowest possible cost rather than the highest possible cost.

I Urge Congress To Scrap Davis Bacon

When it comes to jobs creation, we need to get the most done for the cheapest amount and the way to do that is scrap the Davis-Bacon act. Please see Thoughts on the Davis Bacon Act for details.

Inquiring minds may also read Greg Mankiw’s post Passing the Buck for his thoughts on Davis Bacon.

More public projects would pass a cost-benefit test if we repealed the Davis-Bacon Act. This law requires contractors on these public projects to pay “prevailing wages,” which are typically union wages well in excess of what would occur in a free market. If the government paid market-determined wages for infrastructure projects, we could have both more infrastructure and less government debt. Without doubt, that legacy would benefit future generations.

I do not agree with much of Mankiw’s monetarist leanings, but he is bang on about Davis Bacon. And when it comes to “creating those jobs” I would rather see 5 people employed at $8 per hour than 1 person for $45 per hour or 2 people at $22 per hour.

In the meantime bear in mind that the dice have between 700 and 20,000 sides. The odds of your number coming up are not very good, yet the odds you have some “skin in the game” are nearly 100%.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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