Patricia Ramsey: What does a recession look like?

A hiring sign is displayed on May 2 at a restaurant in Glenview, Ill.

A hiring sign is displayed on May 2 at a restaurant in Glenview, Ill. AP

Published: 06-17-2024 6:04 PM

Modified: 06-17-2024 7:45 PM

According to polls, the majority of Americans believe we are in a deep recession. Huh? What are they seeing?

Do they personally know many people actively seeking employment and coming up empty? Do they see long lines at hiring events? Are they looking at the day-to-day lives of their family, friends, and neighbors? Or are they relying on sensational and biased “news” reports?

As I look around my community and others that I have visited recently, I see huge “Hiring Now” signs on many establishments, from McDonald’s to hospitals. This is not what a recession looks like. A recession brings long lines at unemployment offices and any place that is hiring. Instead, we see restaurants, universities, nursing homes, farmers, and construction companies begging for workers.

I know a young man who was recently released from jail, and, within a week, had three job offers (all starting at $17-plus an hour). And who would have thought that you could get a signing bonus if you stayed for six months at a college dining services job? Of course, not everyone is getting their “dream job” or the pay that they want and need. But jobs are out there and provide opportunities for people to get a foothold on employment and move on from there.

What we are experiencing is not a recession; it is a robust economy with a record low rate of unemployment (4%). In fact, in many sectors there is a labor shortage that unfortunately contributes to the insufficient services and high prices that plague our lives and the current economy. Has anyone tried to hire and pay for a plumber or electrician recently?

One way to address the labor shortage is to streamline the process to get recent immigrants vetted and approved for work permits so they can fill these jobs. In contrast, Trump’s plan to deport 15 million immigrants would exacerbate our worker shortage. How will restaurants, nursing homes, and meat processing plants that are already short-staffed survive if they lose large numbers of their workers? Think about it … and don’t fall for the “news” that we are in a deep recession.

Patricia Ramsey


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