“There are no jobs!” That is what people told me when I visited this NYC “jobs center” near Fox’s studios.
But it’s not true.
After people at that welfare office told me, “There’s nothing out there, nothing!” …“no jobs available”, my team of four researchers (two of them interns) walked the area within a few blocks of the “jobs center”. In a few hours, they found 40 job openings! 24 of the employers said they had entry-level positions—“no experience necessary.”
As you may have seen in the “Out of Work” special tonight, that repeats on Fox Business on Wednesday at 9pm, a manager of a frozen-yogurt store told us, “We need two or three people all the time basically.” At a new restaurant, the manager said, “We’re hiring for cashiers. Also chefs and prep guys.”
Less than one block away, the owner of a restaurant called the Pink Tea Cup told me he would hire 12 to 14 people immediately, if workers would just apply.
“I would hire more than that but you know the hardest thing is to get good help,” he said.
Here’s our list of the employers that had entry-level jobs:
• Party City
• Jack Rabbit Sports
• Wet Seal
• Annie Sez
• Free People
• Pret A Manager
• The Soft Serve Fruit Co.
• Hale and Hearty
• White House Black Market
• Metro Drugs
• Bourbon Coffee Shop
• Pink Tea Cup
• Top Brgr
• New Valentino Market
• Mesa Grill
• Arden B.
• Flavaboom Frozen Yogurt
Why, at a time of high unemployment, don’t more people apply for these jobs? The owner of the Pink Tea Cup, one block away from the welfare office, said, “They don’t want to get off the welfare system because they’re happy it’s taking care of them.”
Right. Why work if you can get a check from government without working?
At the welfare office, one healthy-looking man said, “I can’t work. I’m on disability.” One woman said “I can’t find work in my field.” She’d been a medical assistant. I asked her about the jobs we’d found. She said they didn’t pay enough. But what is “enough”?
Studies show that one third of all unemployed workers suddenly find a job only when their government checks stop.
Of course, the jobs we found are not great jobs. They often pay just minimum wage. I say, so what? A minimum wage job teaches you skills, teaches you to show up on time, to get in the habit of work. I referred one young man to the Pink Tea Cup restaurant. He got hired as a dishwasher, within two weeks was promoted to busboy, then to waiter. Waiters make up to $200 a night.
“No jobs”? Bunk.
John Stossel is the author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." Click here for more information on John Stossel.