To The Daily Sun,
I have been thinking about all the talk about people who won’t take one of the many jobs that are unfilled, who don’t seem to want to go back to work. Comments come from politicians, neighbors, just about anyone. I would really like the facts and the only way to get those is by talking to the people who are maligned as lazy or whom we assume are on the public dole. Now that the relief checks have gone away, what causes these jobs to go unfilled? Do those who have not returned to work have access to public dollars? I don’t know and I shouldn’t guess.
Might one of our newspapers put together a survey which invites the unemployed to chime in, anonymously of course, as to why they have not returned to the workforce? Here are some of my thoughts, lengthy but I’m sure someone could boil this down to a survey.
Reasons for not returning to the workforce:
• I am one of the employable persons who has died due to COVID.
• I am a long hauler, suffering (perhaps temporary) from the effects of COVID.
• I am a long hauler whose ongoing effects of COVID will never be resolved.
• I was very close to retirement when COVID shut down my job and that job has disappeared. At my age taking on a physically demanding job won’t work, and that is a lot of what is available.
• We are learning to adjust our expectations to a lower income as now only my spouse has returned to work.
• As a parent, when COVID shut down my job and my children’s schools, I stayed home to take care of and homeschool my children. We found that it worked well for our family, I am continuing to homeschool and, by tightening our belts, we can get by without a second income.
• The kids have returned to school, and we’ve discovered that we can survive as a one paycheck family.
• A member of my family suffered serious affects of COVID and I am now that person’s caregiver. It has meant a decline in our financial wellbeing.
• My employer is not offering a safe environment to which I can return.
• I have underlying health issues that make it dangerous for me to return to work around the public. I am getting by with help from family.
• It is difficult, with my qualifications, to find something I can do at home as I am not well enough to return to my former job.
The main thing I would like to see come out of this, as well as with many other situations when we feel it is all right to judge people without the facts, is that we all make a list of what might be the underlying causes for why people make decisions. We accept that individuals have a right to make decisions that work.