Flipping Burgers, or CEO

Jobs, jobs, jobs, the media is a buzz with how strong the BC economy is, or for that matter, the general strength over all of Western Canada’s economic well being. We read about it in the news papers, we see it on the television, and we hear about it from our neighbors, co workers and the idle gossip at the coffee shops: it is a job seeker’s market. So, why do I see young kids lining the sidewalks at the local Job-call centre and Employment Temp Agency? Why do I see young people hold signs that say “will work for food” sitting on the meridians of street boulevards in down town Langley City? I think the answer is in what the media is not saying, and how the job markets are being manipulated through the media.

I noticed the fluctuation in the job market when I first went back to school in 2004. Then, like most parts of Canada, there seemed to be a shift in people, such as myself, deciding to embark into new carries. I left a job in the retail market; what I would call a dead-end job with no real high expectations of ascending passed the glass ceiling into management. In fact, the focus of maintain good, educated labour was the last thing on my employer’s mind at the time. Since then, they have almost completely turned over their entire workforce, albeit less educated, they seem to reflect the opposite end of the population curve than expected, in fact, during my last visit, I saw older workers entering their doors. Is it highly skilled, educated and motivated workers leaving for higher paying jobs elsewhere?

In an article, The Langley Times, just published on November 12, 2006, spelled out that there was a problem: but only for specific sectors of industries–mainly those who are opposite ends of the social economic means table. At one end, we have the housing and construction sector, and at the other end, we have the retail and consumer businesses–both fighting for workers at manageable wages. Construction is a high pace, contractual businesses whose means it is to build, and when the economy is booming, prices go up to meet the competitive demand. People are wiling to pay the price for such a hot economy–even if it means mortgaging and financing beyond any previous scale seen before–the economy roars onward. However, people are not willing to pay for a competitive dinner for two if the business [restaurant] cannot find anyone who is willing to work at competitive wages: the minimum wage. The dinner will definitely be price beyond what anyone would be willing to pay if the business owner adds his or her overhead, only to accommodate the cost of hiring keen workers whose expertise would crate the most tastiest meal in the township. The article does lead to one very interesting point that seems to reflect the youth who are entering the workforce–they are holding back for the best job they can get.

Most certainly I am in agreement to this revelation of what is going on with the fresh new labourers who are graduating from their respected schools. I know from my own personal experience, that young job seekers are holding back, waiting for that rumored $30.00 p/hr job, that all the other kids are talking about, or what the guidance councilor stated during their careers and trades fare day at school. They are definitely primed for this moment in our history as the labour force shrinks and the economy booms. And I know that parents are holding their children back too, because they remember the recessions and bad times from not so long ago; and how important it is to have a good and secure job for the future. My nieces and nephews are all scheduled to enter College, post secondary and University when they leave high school, then seek an academic way of life: to be leaders. When I hear business leaders tell government that schools should be preparing students to work as labourers, I then hearken back to what made me seek an academic career: something tells me that it will be the parents who will decide what is best for Junior, not big brother! So answer will be economics: the all mighty dollar.

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