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I have been home with kids for 6 years now. Prior to that, I worked for 16 years in the corporate world. I started on the bottom but hard work paid off and I quickly moved up. My last few years were spent in a senior position in research & development (software company). I am just offering that info as a background on where I am coming from.

We are now in the process of starting a few business "ventures" but it does take time and it would be nice to bring in a few extra dollars. So I started looking for a job. I do not want to get back into the corporate rat race and don't want to spend 2-3 hours a day commuting. So I have just been looking for what is available in our rural county. I may be a tad rusty but I still have lot of solid technical knowledge. The thing that totally amazes me are the requirements for jobs that pay just slightly more than minimum wage and sometimes just minimum wage. Yet the applicants are expected to be proficient with things like MS Office products, Quickbooks, one or more programming languages, being multi-lingual, etc.

Back when I was working, a person with the qualifications listed on some of these applications would be making $40K-$50K a year - today you get $9/hour. Wow!

I read somewhere that it is better to claim you were in a coma for years than admit you left workforce to care for your children ... reading these application forms, I feel like I have been in a coma. LOL
 
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Yup... After 30+ years in IT, I went from $60,000+ annually to my last job of $22,000... Makes it not really worth working when 50% of my income also goes to health insurance. So, when I had to pay $30,000 in cash for some back surgery - that insurance didn't want to pay for - I just stayed at home when my FMLA ran out. Not worth it to go in any more, and with a 3-pound lift limit, I can no longer do that job... I cannot even carry an issued laptop.

What a horrid job market. :-/
 

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After 15 years I left IT, to drive a truck, making double the money.

It's supply and demand for labor, absolutely and businesses are taking advantage of it - for now.

It's changing.

Panda express Chinese fast food had a sign on the door, flex time, etc start at $9/hr.
 

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It's no better in the blue collar world. Why would you need to submit a resume for a factory, warehouse, or part-time retail sales position? Many of which, pay minimum wage or little better. Many older blue collar workers struggle with this one. And it's definitely an employer's marketplace out there.

I can only assume that, from an HR perspective, it streamlines the process because a typewritten resume is easier to read than a handwritten application. A basic chronological resume allows an applicant screener to scan for keywords, as well as specific educational and industry experience. So, using a typical one page resume format probably saves time as well. In a business climate where profit margins get tighter by the year, squeezing the most efficiency from every task is a high priority of management. Then there's the opportunity to gauge an applicant's communication skills, which can be verified or found lacking in the event the company actually does conduct interviews before hiring.

However, if you're new to the resume application world you quickly find yourself running the gauntlet of advice about creating one. It's enough to make you feel you're back in school again. Only this time there are five teachers, all covering the same material, but in five different ways.

~Chronological resumes are out. 7 out of 10 hiring managers prefer experience specific resumes. 15 words and phrases on resumes that HR people hate.~

Sheesh! I just wanna lay block... or sell you a can of paint. Maybe drive a forklift... or make a freakin widget! I don't want be Ernest Blessed Hemmingway!

But, I really like the online application fiasco. Often ill-fitting and poorly designed, they force an applicant to answer questions in ways that can give incomplete or misleading information. The one size fits all nature of this type of application, including their accompanying personality/compatibility tests (wrapped in a trendy, multiple guess format), might work fine in a cookie cutter society. But, for my segment of the job seeker crowd, it seldom stretches far enough.

I know, or think I know the reasons for those personality assessment surveys that often accompany those online apps. Compatibility with a company's goals is, of course, very important. Yet, they too often pigeon hole you into picking the best choice available, not the best answer. Then too, they can take as long to complete as the application section itself. What's more, they're designed by a third party who probably only gets generalized feedback info on their efficacy. They start with a very general idea of what is, at best, a close to correct answer. Get back general statistical evidence of the survey's results. And if it ain't too broke, no one wants to go to the trouble of tweaking it. So, if you're not in the middle 20% of the bell curve? Well, I guess your just SOL.
 
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What did you think a recession was going to be like?
OK Mr. Broken Record. You need a new tune to sing.

It might have something to do with the portability of IT work and it being done by those in rural America, begrudgingly accepting that pay scale, and maybe even more attributable to off shore IT workers.

It is a new world... A big new world, and a new small world, all at the same time...
 

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What did you think a recession was going to be like?
It's certainly not what a recovery is supposed to look like. The media and the Obama administration have been trying to sell a nonexistent "recovery" for 5 years now. According to them we're not in a recession we're in a recovery, the stock market is soaring, unemployment is down, and real estate is up.

All smoke and mirrors due to money printing, the oldest failed trick in the book.
 

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For those who are worried that things will get better, fear not, the Obama administration ( and their corporate backers) are working hard to insure that it doesn't;

They are quietly drafting yet another trade deal, this one will be the biggest yet, called the Trans-pacific partnership agreement. This will insure that any hope of a jobs recovery and wage increase in America will never-ever happen;

http://www.citizen.org/TPP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership#Controversy

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...-to-know-about-the-trans-pacific-partnership/
 

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Waiting for Nevada to repeat his 5 more years of recession statement. It's always 5 more years. In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 5 more years.

Me- I think it is an ugly combination of shipping first manufacturing then service jobs to where the wages and restrictions are less, the aging population needing less goods and putting less manpower into the economy, technology eliminating what was productive human skills, unrestricted immigration, lack of civic values, the rise of a population of public employees, etc all putting their little bits into holding back recovery.

Eventually US wages will become more competitive as other places rise while we fall but it will not come back to the same standard of living. We'll all just get used to a lower one.
 

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Yup... After 30+ years in IT, I went from $60,000+ annually to my last job of $22,000... Makes it not really worth working when 50% of my income also goes to health insurance. So, when I had to pay $30,000 in cash for some back surgery - that insurance didn't want to pay for - I just stayed at home when my FMLA ran out. Not worth it to go in any more, and with a 3-pound lift limit, I can no longer do that job... I cannot even carry an issued laptop.

What a horrid job market. :-/
I am not even talking about IT jobs. These are jobs like a receptionist, bank teller, etc. While I certainly agree that you need to be computer literate, I do not see why you need to know at least one programming language to answer phones. I have the skills they are asking for, I just do not know why they are asking for them.
 

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I just do not know why they are asking for them.
Because the supply of willing workers is so huge, they can afford to pick the cream of the crop for the same money. If all cars were the same price, would you pick a ford hatchback or a BMW turbo? The hatchback will do the job, you may not NEED a BMW but why not pick a higher quality car if the cost is the same?
 

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I wonder if we're creating a generation of cynical, disappointed people who were told that simply going to college guaranteed a good life.
 

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I think you pointed out the differences with pay... You were commuting to a large city, where there is a lot of competition, so a company has to pay more to get a good employee.. You have to intice people to work for you.

In the rural communities, you find many either don't want to work, or there is very little competition for a high skilled job. They don't have to pay near as much because people will take what they can get since there isn't much to choose from.....

Since we've moved, my wife has taken well over a 40K pay cut, yet still doing basically the same thing working for a large law firm... In the country, they just don't pay as much as they do in the city..

She just got an offer for an interview for a state job, although it's in a real small town... She goes in Friday for the interview. If she gets the job, it pays even less than the law firm she is at now pays, but the bennies are much better. It's a trade off... But she is still doing basically the same kind of work, and actually doing more of it than she did while we were living in the DC area..
 

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i'm a machinist at a local steel forge shop.35yrs exp.now split my time between production and training next generation.previous lathe exp will not get u an interview!too many hoops to jump just to get in the door.i asked the boss-what about these 2 candidates?1 has previous exp.no jon,we have a process!wanna share this process?got glared at.can'y wait to see the new trainees!!!!!
 

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I think you pointed out the differences with pay... You were commuting to a large city, where there is a lot of competition, so a company has to pay more to get a good employee.. You have to intice people to work for you.
Alot competition for jobs in the city too. There might be more jobs available but there are proportionately as many people ( or more ) all competing to get those jobs. It's tough in the city too, pay scale has gone down everywhere.
 

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When I was in STL, an IT job like I was working paid around 35-40K... When I moved to DC, I started out at 65K and left making over 80K.... and that was just end user support..

For engineer positions, in STL, average was around 80-90K.. in DC, it was $125K and up...

There was a lot more companies in DC to work for than in STL, but there were more people trying to get those jobs in DC too... bu they still paid much better.

It's all in where you live, and what the local economy is like. If most people have money, they will pay more. If most people have less money, they will pay less..

Then again, DC is a world of it's own... The rules there aren't liek the rules for jobs anywhere else in the country..
 
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Things I miss about DC, and other things I am so happy to be away from... I do miss the concerts and food..
 

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Things I miss about DC, and other things I am so happy to be away from... I do miss the concerts and food..
Country concerts occur on porches and in churches. And I have a dozen ethnic cookbooks I'd be happy to sell to you. :)
I'm very sincere about cooking though. There is nothing made in DC that you can't make, better probably, yourself. I think it's the convenience that's missing.
 
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