OUR OPINION: If you don’t have a job in Vicksburg, you don’t want one

Published 8:00 am Friday, September 3, 2021

Around every corner in Vicksburg, businesses have “Now Hiring” signs on display.

Especially in the service industry, businesses are short-staffed, and what little staff they do have is overworked to exhaustion. With the number of stimulus checks doled out by the federal government over the last year, and the increase in unemployment benefits thanks to COVID, it’s no surprise that many people feel like it pays more to stay home and depend on Uncle Sam.

However, these benefits won’t last forever, and when they do run out, you’ll be in a world of trouble.

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Many people use the excuse that service-industry jobs, such as working at a supermarket or at a fast-food restaurant, don’t pay a “livable wage.” However, that argument completely discounts the presence of benefits offered by employers.

Locally, McDonald’s has increased its minimum wage for employees. Walmart and Chick-fil-A are two of many national chains that have started paying for employees’ college tuition either in part or in full.

While the phrase “flipping burgers” is often used in a derogatory manner, a full-time employee at Burger King is eligible to enroll in a 401(k). Most businesses that are hiring now (local or national chains) even have sign-on bonuses.

The common misconception is that service-industry jobs are designed for teenagers looking to make pocket money and not someone who is looking for a career.

Admittedly, it’s not easy to earn a living long-term, and starting salaries are low in most service industry jobs, but that’s where a little thing called hard work comes in. There is room for upward mobility if you work for it.

Compensation and benefits aside, having a job gives people a sense of purpose, a sense of pride in making a positive contribution to society. If you’re not in your dream job now, you might be working hard to fund your dream.

Opportunity abounds for those who search for it, and long-term stability is far more important than having the finances to accommodate “the now.”

Every day, folks complain that their favorite restaurant is closed on certain days, or is operating on reduced hours or takes twice as long to take orders as it used to.

We’ve got a shortage of people who are willing to work, which is a problem. But as government funds begin to dwindle and employers offer more and more incentives to work for them, those who would rather sit at home are running out of excuses.