Author Topic: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?  (Read 8953 times)

MudPuppy

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2021, 10:46:33 AM »
I think Loweís has always employed felons with nonviolent and non-theft convictions.

nereo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2021, 12:46:22 PM »

May I say that I'm actually loving the fact that for the first time in many years the entry-level worker appears to have some leverage with companies? 
As a baby boomer I remember getting my first job in fast food at $2/hour, and the manager's attitudes were Hey, don't like it here, there's the door, I have a file full of applications from people who could replace you tomorrow.

For context, what year was this?  Iím always interested in seeing how things compare in real dollars.

Examples:
$2 in 1956 is equivalent  to $20 today
$2 in 1965 is equivalent to $17.25 today
« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 04:54:28 PM by nereo »

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2021, 12:58:30 PM »
I've noticed is a number businesses I've visited in the last week have had signs on their doors advising they've reduced their evening/night hours. My guess is that this is a more mild version of the pattern @RunningintoFI reports of franchises rotating their remaining crew across multiple locations because they don't have enough people to run all of their locations at the same time.

LaineyAZ, my employer recently hired someone into a financial support position who'd been convicted of accounting/tax issues a number of years ago. In a normal year I don't think this person would have gotten a second look, but at the moment they leapt at getting applicant with previous accounting experience. So anecdotally, yes it seems substantially easier to get a second chance in a tight labor market.

kpd905

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2021, 01:09:30 PM »
Wisconsin has had universal Pre-K for four year olds since the 1970s. We could be like Wisconsin.

I am in Wisconsin with a soon to be 4 year old, but I don't know of any free pre-k for 4 year olds.  There is either full-time daycare or a half day program at the local elementary school for $4,000/year.

Morning Glory

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2021, 03:02:43 PM »
Wisconsin has had universal Pre-K for four year olds since the 1970s. We could be like Wisconsin.

I am in Wisconsin with a soon to be 4 year old, but I don't know of any free pre-k for 4 year olds.  There is either full-time daycare or a half day program at the local elementary school for $4,000/year.

https://www.wpr.org/report-wisconsin-stands-out-preschool-access

https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/early-learning/4k

Looks like they have to turn 4 by September 1st, and maybe not every district has it. I had thought it was statewide but maybe not. In Madison it's free, but it's only half days. I lived in Wisconsin during childhood, not currently, so I don't know all the details.

MayDay

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2021, 06:12:34 PM »
Re. Drug testing: this used to be pretty rigid in manufacturing (for obvious safety reasons) but I have heard things have gotten a lot more flexible for pot.

LaineyAZ

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2021, 06:18:09 PM »

May I say that I'm actually loving the fact that for the first time in many years the entry-level worker appears to have some leverage with companies? 
As a baby boomer I remember getting my first job in fast food at $2/hour, and the manager's attitudes were Hey, don't like it here, there's the door, I have a file full of applications from people who could replace you tomorrow.

For context, what year was this?  Iím always interested in seeing how things compare in real dollars.

Examples:
$2 in 1956 is equivalent  to $20 today
$2 in 1965 is equivalent to $17.25 today

This was 1974.  And I remember much wailing and gnashing of teeth of the managers who swore they would have to lay off a bunch of us when the federal minimum wage became $2/hour.  Of course, none of us were laid off and maybe the cost of the burgers increased by a few pennies. 

Morning Glory

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2021, 06:41:27 PM »
Re. Drug testing: this used to be pretty rigid in manufacturing (for obvious safety reasons) but I have heard things have gotten a lot more flexible for pot.

My husband used to work in manufacturing and when they had a slow time they would just announce a random drug test instead of laying people off. They never did drug tests during busy times unless someone got hurt. Never laid anyone off either.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 07:08:19 PM by Morning Glory »

LaineyAZ

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2021, 06:49:18 PM »
Today I also saw a major grocery chain offering tuition reimbursement for up to $21,000.  Don't know the details, but it occurred to me that offering new hires benefits like this might make the difference.

I feel sorry for the mom-and-pop stores and restaurants that could potentially compete in hourly wages, but could not offer these types of benefits.
If I was looking for an entry-level job I know which one I'd pick. 

I wonder if we'll see a continuing loss of small employers for this reason.

Morning Glory

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #59 on: August 07, 2021, 07:09:45 PM »
Today I also saw a major grocery chain offering tuition reimbursement for up to $21,000.  Don't know the details, but it occurred to me that offering new hires benefits like this might make the difference.

I feel sorry for the mom-and-pop stores and restaurants that could potentially compete in hourly wages, but could not offer these types of benefits.
If I was looking for an entry-level job I know which one I'd pick. 

I wonder if we'll see a continuing loss of small employers for this reason.

Maybe the federal government could make tuition cheaper. Provide a national health insurance too. That would level the playing field between large and small employers

nereo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #60 on: August 08, 2021, 09:38:45 PM »
Wow,  thats one hell of a story. Glad it all worked out ok for you in the end. 

If i remember it when itís not super late Iíll recount my ďsnoopy with a pitch-forkĒ story. 

Zamboni

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #61 on: August 08, 2021, 10:11:07 PM »
Wow, yeah, nothing good ever happens at quickie marts after 10 pm (apologies if this all happened at like 8 pm . . . )

Since I don't share your location in an exceptionally low crime area, I try to avoid the quickie mart (and nearby neighborhood vape shop) at all hours. I've stopped at the one on the corner closest to my house exactly one time in the middle of the day . . . that was enough to realize I should just get everything I need for the week at the regular grocery store between 8 and 9 am.

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #62 on: August 08, 2021, 10:40:27 PM »
That's wild, Finances_With_Purpose. Glad you came through both the interactions with both the active criminal and the police concerned you might be the sex offender in question safely. And I say this only because you did come through the experience safely and okay, but it make me laugh that, the way you tell the story, the most personally troubling part of the whole experience was not getting to eat that 7/11 sandwich.

I'd just down the road to the brand new 7-11 and buy a sandwich.  And that's where it all went wrong... I selected a sandwich ... after I left, sans sandwich ... An hour after I left, I finally made it home again.  Still without a sandwich. ...Guns trump sandwiches, all else being equal, so I decided that it was time for me to cut my sandwich-shopping short.  ... I got searched, cuffed, detained, and questioned...about the sandwich that I didn't get to buy. 

I hope you have the chance to buy and eat a far better sandwich in days since these events transpired.

MudPuppy

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2021, 08:19:38 AM »
That is some Jerry Springer shit, @Finances_With_Purpose

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2021, 10:01:55 AM »
Saw this article in the Washington post as was actually surprised at how small the increases in average wages have been post-pandemic.



Looks like maybe a buck an hour above the pre-pandemic trend, and I would have guessed closer to 3x that. Then remembered this thread and how people in a lot of big cities reported jobs still paying in the ~$12 range so I guess it averages out.

Quote
As competition for workers heats up, large employers are taking notice and bumping up starting pay. CVS said it will increase starting pay from $11 to $15 by next summer, joining other large employers like Target, Best Buy, Costco and Disney. When major employers raise their wages, it pushes smaller competitors in the area to follow suit, Brandeis and Princeton researchers recently found. The overall effect has been one of the fastest periods of rising wages since the early 1980s for rank-and-file workers and a clear spike from pre-pandemic trends. This higher pay is likely to be permanent as wages rarely fall once they move up.

roomtempmayo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #65 on: August 09, 2021, 11:00:46 AM »

Looks like maybe a buck an hour above the pre-pandemic trend, and I would have guessed closer to 3x that. Then remembered this thread and how people in a lot of big cities reported jobs still paying in the ~$12 range so I guess it averages out.


It would be interesting to see how wage growth breaks down between states where enhanced unemployment is still happening and states that have cut it off.

I'm in a navy blue metro of a light blue state where we're still paying enhanced benefits.  The big national chains are the ones advertising high wages.  I get the feeling that some local businesses have decided to try and wait out the benefits rather than raise wages.  I suppose the bet is that being short staffed hurts for a few months, but higher wages will be sticky and hurt forever.

nereo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #66 on: August 09, 2021, 11:02:35 AM »

Looks like maybe a buck an hour above the pre-pandemic trend, and I would have guessed closer to 3x that. Then remembered this thread and how people in a lot of big cities reported jobs still paying in the ~$12 range so I guess it averages out.


It would be interesting to see how wage growth breaks down between states where enhanced unemployment is still happening and states that have cut it off.

I'm in a navy blue metro of a light blue state where we're still paying enhanced benefits.  The big national chains are the ones advertising high wages.  I get the feeling that some local businesses have decided to try and wait out the benefits rather than raise wages.  I suppose the bet is that being short staffed hurts for a few months, but higher wages will be sticky and hurt forever.

Indeed - we are in the midst of an unplanned financial experiment on the effects of higher unemployment benefits on unemployment rates and wages.

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #67 on: August 09, 2021, 12:56:37 PM »
I'm in a navy blue metro of a light blue state where we're still paying enhanced benefits.  The big national chains are the ones advertising high wages.  I get the feeling that some local businesses have decided to try and wait out the benefits rather than raise wages.  I suppose the bet is that being short staffed hurts for a few months, but higher wages will be sticky and hurt forever.

I suspect the hope to wait it out to avoid an extremely sticky wage increase could indeed by the dynamic that's playing out.

As someone in a pale blue metro of a beet red state where the benefits have lapsed, those benefits don't seem to have been what what was really driving the labor shortage around here, but I didn't notice a lot of the public advertising of $15-20 starting waged until after the benefits expired.

Zamboni

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #68 on: August 09, 2021, 05:53:32 PM »
I kind of wonder if the ability to "make more" on delivery gigs during the pandemic upped what everyone in these jobs is expecting. Lots more people than normal were having groceries delivered and getting Door Dash, for example, and lots of people picked this up as a side hustle. While I was quarantined I found that putting a much bigger tip on the grocery delivery made it more likely to get picked up and completed that day. Same thing is true for apps like GrubHub and DoorDash where drivers can pick up or decline deliveries. I didn't mind putting on a big tip.

Meanwhile, my teenager was able to sometimes gross >$100/hr Doordashing during peaks periods in our fairly restaurant and housing dense affluent local area. Of course it is way less money if you factor in the mileage cost, but the simple math in simple minds means a $10/hr job at the local fast food market or car wash suddenly isn't in play.

ChpBstrd

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #69 on: August 09, 2021, 07:42:46 PM »
I kind of wonder if the ability to "make more" on delivery gigs during the pandemic upped what everyone in these jobs is expecting. Lots more people than normal were having groceries delivered and getting Door Dash, for example, and lots of people picked this up as a side hustle. While I was quarantined I found that putting a much bigger tip on the grocery delivery made it more likely to get picked up and completed that day. Same thing is true for apps like GrubHub and DoorDash where drivers can pick up or decline deliveries. I didn't mind putting on a big tip.

Meanwhile, my teenager was able to sometimes gross >$100/hr Doordashing during peaks periods in our fairly restaurant and housing dense affluent local area. Of course it is way less money if you factor in the mileage cost, but the simple math in simple minds means a $10/hr job at the local fast food market or car wash suddenly isn't in play.

Yep. Why risk death waiting tables for mouth-breathers during a pandemic when you can make the same money doing gigs like DoorDash. I imagine lots of other low-wage couples are finding a way to live on one income until the pandemic subsides. No matter how poor you are, your health isn't worth a cashier job (with no health benefits).

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2021, 07:55:11 AM »
Another statistic in the same vein:

Quote
Quits as a percentage of total separations ó which includes layoffs, firings and retirements ó reached 69.3% in June. This measure, also known as the ďtake this job and shove itĒ indicator is at an all-time high.

https://www.axios.com/workers-quit-amid-demand-for-labor-912551e1-5dce-413e-9de6-f2331c42b54d.html

There are currently 10M unfilled job openings, more than any time in at least the last 14 years and only 9.5M people in the labor force without jobs. It's amazing how even small percentage imbalances can really change dynamics. I'm remembered of the school I went to college where, at the time, the student body was 53% male and the dating dynamics were radically different than my friends at schools with slightly more women than men.


Jenny Wren

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #71 on: August 13, 2021, 12:03:08 AM »


Why?  You can cash all of those benefit checks while taking in a nice income on your new side-gig/illegal gig, if you can work that out, and double-dip that way.  Millions of Americans gave it a shot.  Plus they realized another nice upshot: no taxes on it!


You do realize that gig work is not illegal income and that these gig companies report the income to the IRS via a 1099-misc, and that it is most definitely taxed.

Mr. Green

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #72 on: August 13, 2021, 12:47:00 AM »


Why?  You can cash all of those benefit checks while taking in a nice income on your new side-gig/illegal gig, if you can work that out, and double-dip that way.  Millions of Americans gave it a shot.  Plus they realized another nice upshot: no taxes on it!


You do realize that gig work is not illegal income and that these gig companies report the income to the IRS via a 1099-misc, and that it is most definitely taxed.
I think they may be referring to people getting paid under the table. Cash money, no records.

Jenny Wren

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #73 on: August 13, 2021, 07:40:24 AM »


Why?  You can cash all of those benefit checks while taking in a nice income on your new side-gig/illegal gig, if you can work that out, and double-dip that way.  Millions of Americans gave it a shot.  Plus they realized another nice upshot: no taxes on it!



You do realize that gig work is not illegal income and that these gig companies report the income to the IRS via a 1099-misc, and that it is most definitely taxed.
I think they may be referring to people getting paid under the table. Cash money, no records.


Perhaps, but it still makes no sense to me. Not sure why cash payments increased to a high enough level in the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic occurrences of such behavior to have an impact on wages. The traditional markets for under the table payments - restaurants and construction -- were all but shut down in many parts of the country for quite some time in the last year. Industries like restaurants are still struggling to make a come back and find employees, under the table or otherwise. Most people that did side gigs were doing things like Door Dash and Instacart, which classify workers as independent contractors. Even the tip amounts get reported. These aren't under the table gigs.

I'm an independent contractor and a lot of people within my circle seemed to think I could be taking advantage of the PUA funding for unemployment, even though my industry thrived during the pandemic. There was this belief that as long as I didn't report my income, somehow the IRS and unemployment department would never know. That's simply not the case, as 75% of my income is reported by those who are sending me payment (The other 25% comes from smaller clients that don't fall within reporting requirements).

youngwildandfree

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #74 on: August 13, 2021, 08:12:55 AM »
I have several family members who work under 1099. I've been shocked how many people learn about this and respond with some version of "oh that must be nice for taxes" or "I wish I could work under the table" or some such nonsense. No. They pay taxes. Often the people they are working for report the expenses, but also personal ethics...

Jenny Wren

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #75 on: August 13, 2021, 12:46:34 PM »


However, I've also seen some businesses that are less legit.  There are whole industries where it's hard to stay legal and stay in operation.  I would not underestimate the size and impact of the black-market economy in the U.S.  We're all honest folks--no need to cheat the system here--but for plenty of folks, there are all kinds of incentives to cut corners and cheat the system some, especially the tax man.  It's probably more common than not, unfortunately.  And that may well explain what's happening with the dichotomy in wages--there's only upwards pressure where you absolutely must hire lawful employees/contractors.

I'd like to see something to back up this position. Many of the industries that are known for off the books and under the table work, particularly for the working class, are the ones that either weren't open during the peak of the pandemic or are still struggling to get back workers (restaurants, agriculture, etc). Construction is back in full force, but I'd guess the under the table pay habits there are likely holding pretty steady. What industries are you specifically referring to that somehow had room to take in a glut of under the table workers mid-pandemic? I'm not saying you are wrong, just that I don't see how it could be in numbers that are making more of an impact in 2021 than they would have been making in 2019.

I predict that we will probably see some sort of exodus back into the labor market early next year. This is anecdotal, but I know of two people thus far that are being sued by the state because the income they thought was unreported was reported in 2020, so they are having to pay back their unemployment checks (to the tune of $13,000 in one case). These two people filed taxes back in April, but the IRS is just now processing the errors and sending out notifications to them and to the state. For those that are returning to work this year but still fraudulently took advantage of extended unemployment, they will get their reckoning next year.

As for government benefits, I agree. Many people that qualified for certain benefits for working families and individuals weren't aware they qualified until the income loss of the pandemic made them unashamed to look into different aid programs. That means some lower income working people may continue to take advantage of programs like SNAP/EBT, WIC, Extended Medicaid, and others now that the pandemic has made them aware that they could have always qualified. As someone that has benefited from these programs and who can thank these programs for giving my family a much needed hand up, I consider this a good thing that should have little bearing on wages but may affect taxes in the long run.

MayDay

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #76 on: August 13, 2021, 01:26:14 PM »
More anecdotes: suburbs of my metro had McDonalds at 11-15$, and right next door, Taco Bell starting at 15$.

This is a good 5$ an hour less than retail in the city.

Regarding unreported income- I bet a ton of the people who suddenly had to hire covid nannies and sitters paid cash.

JoJo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #77 on: August 15, 2021, 08:18:52 AM »
My sister in law is going to become a school bus driver... they're paying $2500 sign on bonus.   If I weren't planning to spend the winter somewhere warm, I'd consider coming out of retirement for this.

BlueMR2

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #78 on: August 15, 2021, 11:21:59 AM »
Still seeing a lot in the $9-10/hr range here for non manufacturing.  Manufacturing is up around $12.  FedEx though has really bumped up the pay though.  I believe it's $24/hr now?  That's even higher than Amazon has been offering (still in the mid-teens).

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #79 on: August 15, 2021, 11:44:05 AM »
Still seeing a lot in the $9-10/hr range here for non manufacturing.  Manufacturing is up around $12.  FedEx though has really bumped up the pay though.  I believe it's $24/hr now?  That's even higher than Amazon has been offering (still in the mid-teens).

Wow! Sounds very different but a lot more like what things were like where I am pre-COVID.

Without asking you to give away your location, are there any descriptors you would be comfortable sharing? Big city/suburb/small city/rural? HCOL/LCOL? That sort of thing. I am trying to get a sense of what parts of the country have the labor markets are much less supply constrained.

kanga1622

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #80 on: August 15, 2021, 07:22:07 PM »
Iím in a college town but not big city (think pop around 10,000). Walmart advertising pay of $14-$15.50 per hour depending on the shift and some sign-on bonuses. Iím also seeing more ads for waitstaff around town than I ever have in the past. I find it odd that my husband could walk away from a job with 13 years of experience and make equivalent pay at Walmart. It has never been that way in the past.

stoaX

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #81 on: August 16, 2021, 04:41:48 AM »
Iím in a college town but not big city (think pop around 10,000). Walmart advertising pay of $14-$15.50 per hour depending on the shift and some sign-on bonuses. Iím also seeing more ads for waitstaff around town than I ever have in the past. I find it odd that my husband could walk away from a job with 13 years of experience and make equivalent pay at Walmart. It has never been that way in the past.

To me, the sign-on bonuses that I have seen advertised are more surprising than the bump up in wages. It makes sense, I just didn't expect it.

Metalcat

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #82 on: August 16, 2021, 05:51:07 AM »
Iím in a college town but not big city (think pop around 10,000). Walmart advertising pay of $14-$15.50 per hour depending on the shift and some sign-on bonuses. Iím also seeing more ads for waitstaff around town than I ever have in the past. I find it odd that my husband could walk away from a job with 13 years of experience and make equivalent pay at Walmart. It has never been that way in the past.

To me, the sign-on bonuses that I have seen advertised are more surprising than the bump up in wages. It makes sense, I just didn't expect it.

Why not?

A signing bonus usually comes with a term agreement, so the person has to stick around. It's a great way to slow turnover.

Weisass

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #83 on: August 16, 2021, 06:18:39 AM »
More anecdotes: suburbs of my metro had McDonalds at 11-15$, and right next door, Taco Bell starting at 15$.

This is a good 5$ an hour less than retail in the city.

Regarding unreported income- I bet a ton of the people who suddenly had to hire covid nannies and sitters paid cash.

Iím sure there are, but most people I know (myself included) opted to report the income (I donít want to get caught and I donít want to stiff my nanny ss)

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #84 on: August 16, 2021, 06:54:22 AM »
Iím in a college town but not big city (think pop around 10,000). Walmart advertising pay of $14-$15.50 per hour depending on the shift and some sign-on bonuses. Iím also seeing more ads for waitstaff around town than I ever have in the past. I find it odd that my husband could walk away from a job with 13 years of experience and make equivalent pay at Walmart. It has never been that way in the past.

To me, the sign-on bonuses that I have seen advertised are more surprising than the bump up in wages. It makes sense, I just didn't expect it.

Why not?

A signing bonus usually comes with a term agreement, so the person has to stick around. It's a great way to slow turnover.

In addition, because higher wages are really sticky (i.e. it's very VERY hard to get people to accept a decrease in pay once they've earned higher pay at the same job), a signing bonus is one way for employers to try to compete for employees in a very competitive labor market that doesn't lock them in to higher pay indefinitely if balance between supply and demand for work ends up shifting back in their favor in the future.

In principle this is also the argument why employees in number of industries receive a non-trivial percentage of their annual compensation in the form of an annual "bonus." If the economy hits hard times the company can often cut the bonus and reduce its labor costs without the same level of pushback it'd get from cutting people's monthly/hourly pay rates.

nereo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #85 on: August 16, 2021, 07:05:01 AM »
Iím in a college town but not big city (think pop around 10,000). Walmart advertising pay of $14-$15.50 per hour depending on the shift and some sign-on bonuses. Iím also seeing more ads for waitstaff around town than I ever have in the past. I find it odd that my husband could walk away from a job with 13 years of experience and make equivalent pay at Walmart. It has never been that way in the past.

To me, the sign-on bonuses that I have seen advertised are more surprising than the bump up in wages. It makes sense, I just didn't expect it.

Why not?

A signing bonus usually comes with a term agreement, so the person has to stick around. It's a great way to slow turnover.

What's new where I am is bonus just for showing up tot he interview (typically $50)
On our local NPR station they were talking with two business owners who both said getting applicants to even show up for an interview is challenging, as many will be offered a job in the ~48 hours between when they can read the application and set up an interview.

roomtempmayo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #86 on: August 16, 2021, 10:30:15 AM »

I'll venture an armchair observation here myself, as an almost-economist at one point: the pandemic pushed an unprecedented number of Americans into the black market and especially into black-market labor. 

Why?  You can cash all of those benefit checks while taking in a nice income on your new side-gig/illegal gig, if you can work that out, and double-dip that way.  Millions of Americans gave it a shot.  Plus they realized another nice upshot: no taxes on it!


This ^ makes a ton of sense.

In normal times, and setting work eligibility aside, the financial incentive to work on the cash market is tax avoidance, which is fairly small for the service sector working class.

Expanded state unemployment eligibility plus a big federal top-up on the benefits raises that incentive enormously, perhaps even multiplying it 10x+ (say $5k in taxes normally versus $50k+ in the combo of benefits plus cash wages during the pandemic).

If the incentive to engage in a particular behavior multiplies by ten times or more, it's extremely likely that a good number of people are going to do it.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #87 on: August 18, 2021, 07:33:55 PM »
Iím in a college town but not big city (think pop around 10,000). Walmart advertising pay of $14-$15.50 per hour depending on the shift and some sign-on bonuses. Iím also seeing more ads for waitstaff around town than I ever have in the past. I find it odd that my husband could walk away from a job with 13 years of experience and make equivalent pay at Walmart. It has never been that way in the past.

To me, the sign-on bonuses that I have seen advertised are more surprising than the bump up in wages. It makes sense, I just didn't expect it.

Why not?

A signing bonus usually comes with a term agreement, so the person has to stick around. It's a great way to slow turnover.

In addition, because higher wages are really sticky (i.e. it's very VERY hard to get people to accept a decrease in pay once they've earned higher pay at the same job), a signing bonus is one way for employers to try to compete for employees in a very competitive labor market that doesn't lock them in to higher pay indefinitely if balance between supply and demand for work ends up shifting back in their favor in the future.

In principle this is also the argument why employees in number of industries receive a non-trivial percentage of their annual compensation in the form of an annual "bonus." If the economy hits hard times the company can often cut the bonus and reduce its labor costs without the same level of pushback it'd get from cutting people's monthly/hourly pay rates.

How sticky do you think these higher wages are? I'm seeing things $12+/hr in my LCOL area. It would be a paradigm shift if we had a defacto minimum wage increase to close to $15/hr.

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #88 on: August 18, 2021, 08:44:40 PM »
Pretty sticky, but I think you and I may be thinking about different kinds of stickiness.

Wages aren't sticky in the sense that once a company has hires some workers at a hire wage they cannot go back to hiring new people at a lower wage. But they are sticky in the sense that workers are extremely unlikely to accept a pay cut while staying in the same job (even if the new lower wage is higher than they'd be able to get from any other job they're likely to get if they leave the job rather than accept the reduction in pay).

The next time there is a big economic recession, watch how many stories there are about company X or Y laying off workers. Then watch for stories about company A or B cutting people's salaries instead of laying people off. You may see one or two, but it'll be quite rare even though, in principle, the employer has a lot more negotiating power and the employees have much worst "next best alternatives" in the middle of a recession than they did at the time their wagers were set.

Or more simply, think about whether you've ever heard of someone in your own life to agreed to do the same amount of work for the same employer for less pay. (So not losing one job and accepting another at lower pay, or being furloughed or negotiated to work fewer days in return for a pay cut.)

RainyDay

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #89 on: August 19, 2021, 07:00:10 AM »
I'm in a suburb of DC (med-high cost of living) and my DH's son is making $12/hr for a landscaping company. He's a high school student.  A while back he was working at one of those booth/kiosk things in a mall for $10/hr.  I've seen Amazon drivers for $16.50/hr. 
Virginia's minimum wage is $9.50/hr. 
I've heard of vet techs (which require a certification, I think) making $18/hr.

Seems low to me, compared to what I'm reading here. 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2021, 07:55:34 AM by RainyDay »

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #90 on: August 19, 2021, 07:19:52 AM »
RainyDay, yes that does seem somewhat lower than I would have expected. I recently had a HS student making $13.50/hour in my research group quit because I wasn't allowed to pay her as much as fast food is offering people.

PMG

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #91 on: August 19, 2021, 07:42:43 AM »

I'll venture an armchair observation here myself, as an almost-economist at one point: the pandemic pushed an unprecedented number of Americans into the black market and especially into black-market labor. 

Why?  You can cash all of those benefit checks while taking in a nice income on your new side-gig/illegal gig, if you can work that out, and double-dip that way.  Millions of Americans gave it a shot.  Plus they realized another nice upshot: no taxes on it!


This ^ makes a ton of sense.

In normal times, and setting work eligibility aside, the financial incentive to work on the cash market is tax avoidance, which is fairly small for the service sector working class.

Expanded state unemployment eligibility plus a big federal top-up on the benefits raises that incentive enormously, perhaps even multiplying it 10x+ (say $5k in taxes normally versus $50k+ in the combo of benefits plus cash wages during the pandemic).

If the incentive to engage in a particular behavior multiplies by ten times or more, it's extremely likely that a good number of people are going to do it.

I just want to add to this that while the tax advantages of cash work is small for those eligible to work in the US the misunderstanding around taxes is huge. Many people think they have an advantage accepting cash over W2 when it really costs them long term. Itís a bit heartbreaking.

Similarly, I recently met a woman who was very upset about how a previous employer treated her and underpaid her. Turns out she was a 1099, didnít understand it. Wasnít prepared for the tax bill and was putting all the blame on the employer. And really she was underpaid for her work, lower than federal minimum wage when taxes were considered, but she had agreed to it when she took the position, she just didnít understand what she was getting in to. Was she taken advantage of? Technically no, she agreed to the rate, but it still seems shitty.

Anyway, interesting conversation. I live very rurally in KY. Minimum wage is 7.25. Lots of places pay 7.25. Iím seeing starting wages at $10-12 and some bonuses. Weíre also having shops and restaurants reduce their hours.  Itís a-ok with me to have to work around that in order for conditions to get better for workers. We have been hit pretty hard by the pandemic and itís hastened the already significant exodus of workers to places with more opportunity while also increasing home sales for the first time in 10 years and bringing in remote working professionals.

Jenny Wren

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #92 on: August 20, 2021, 02:58:04 PM »


 I don't know how to help you see it better other than getting out in the working world--I see it everywhere. 

No need to insult me. I AM in the working world, and we also earn just below the poverty line and live in working poor neighborhoods and communities. When someone pays a nanny under the table, they are in no way paying more + benefits + bonus compared to what the legitimate jobs are offering right now. Perhaps they were paid more during the pandemic when well off and entitled parents realized they couldn't bear to be around their spawn all day if the kids weren't at school, and when most daycares were closed, but that didn't last. To think otherwise shows very little first hand experience with how off books workers are paid and treated. Both my spouse and I are in industries that novices often enter off book. They don't stay that way for long, as it gives the "bosses" a means to overwork them and then outright refuse to pay. My parents owned restaurants, and a lot of their workers came to them after a stint of under the table work -- usually relieved to finally get an above the table job where they would be protected, paid, and given some form of state benefits in the event they lost their job.

Working "illegally" is a lot more work and a lot less lucrative for most than taking a traditional above board job. Sure, there are exceptions, but likely not near enough to be a driver of wages. This is why most off books jobs are farmed out to undocumented immigrants and those with criminal histories -- in other words, those that don't have many above board employment options.

Your argument was that wages are being driven due to an increase in under the table employment due to the pandemic. A few nannies doesn't an increase make. Construction and restaurants have always hired off book to some extent, so no change there (except restaurants aren't hiring off books, they are struggling to hire anyone in many locations).

I think I actually get your position, whether you are being honest with yourself about it or not -- Government benefits are bad. Poor people will just cheat the system if given half a chance. Those people are lazy and will take the easy way out. It shows in this quote: "We're all honest folks--no need to cheat the system here--but for plenty of folks, there are all kinds of incentives to cut corners and cheat the system some, especially the tax man."  Well, as a poor working class human that has taken advantage of many government benefits over the years to improve my life and the future prospects of my family, I really have nothing else to say. I'll just take an uniformed opinion as gospel because you have top secret anecdotes, and all I have to offer is lived experience in the very industries and fiscal classes at question.

Jeez.


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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #93 on: August 21, 2021, 09:46:22 AM »
Back on topic:
My local McDonald's has signs that they "hire on the spot! on Mon, Tues, and Wed mornings at 10." Also, they are advertising a FREE MENU ITEM just for filling out an application. Lol, love it.

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #94 on: August 21, 2021, 09:48:27 AM »
Back on topic:
My local McDonald's has signs that they "hire on the spot! on Mon, Tues, and Wed mornings at 10." Also, they are advertising a FREE MENU ITEM just for filling out an application. Lol, love it.

That actually seems like a clever strategy.

$20 to show up to an interview is an abstract future concept.

A free cheeseburger right now for filling out a form at the place I travelled to because I was already in the mood for a cheeseburger is very much not-abstract.

nereo

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #95 on: August 21, 2021, 12:56:29 PM »
My job is located on an industrial street - on Friday I was struck by how absolutely every business along the street has peppered their lawn with ďnow hiringĒ signs. Getting temps has been particularly challenging as of late. The water parks have all had reduced hours because they have had staffing problems.

All the fast-food seems to be offering $15/hr or slightly more. The USPS has done a number of blitzes offering over $20 + benefits.

jim555

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #96 on: August 21, 2021, 01:16:32 PM »
My area, Long Island, NY the minimum wage is $14 and fast food minimum is $15.

BlueMR2

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #97 on: August 21, 2021, 01:30:47 PM »
Without asking you to give away your location, are there any descriptors you would be comfortable sharing? Big city/suburb/small city/rural? HCOL/LCOL? That sort of thing. I am trying to get a sense of what parts of the country have the labor markets are much less supply constrained.

Suburb of a big sized city in a LCOL area.  Labor supply is constrained, but only some businesses are raising pay rates, most are just complaining that nobody wants to work and denying that those better paying jobs exist.

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #98 on: August 21, 2021, 02:30:49 PM »
Quote
complaining that nobody wants to work and denying that those better paying jobs exist.

Them: ďItís supply and demand! The free market will decide the wages!Ē

Also them: ďno, not like that!Ē

maizefolk

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Re: What are entry level "unskilled" jobs paying where you live?
« Reply #99 on: August 21, 2021, 02:49:24 PM »
My area, Long Island, NY the minimum wage is $14 and fast food minimum is $15.

There is a separate legal minimum if you are a fast food restaurant vs other kinds of businesses? Or just that those are less desirable jobs so the minimum fast food seems to be able to pay is $15/hour?

Aside from the lower minimum wage for tipped workers (which has its own issue), I hadn't heard of places adopting different specific minimum wages for specific industries. What was the motivation?

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!