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Angel Diva
NY Times article, with many factors discussed:

Unemployment Is High. Why Are Businesses Struggling to Hire?
Health concerns, expanded jobless benefits and still being needed at home are among the reasons would-be workers might be staying away.


There's also a Planet Money, which was interesting, but it was also from October...still, they do address the core question. Their answer is, more or less, we just went through a period of major economic upheaval and it will take a while to shake out and regain balance. The economist they interviewed was adamant we do not have an actual labor shortage, as the hallmark of that is rising wages. And we don't have rising wages.


Angel Diva
I've been seeing places upping wages too actually. Can't remember what the name of the water park is, but they are increasing salaries locally trying to attract seasonal employees. There was a story about it today, will try to find it. Theme parks in different parts of the country are doing the same trying to compete with neighboring states for seasonal employees.

I'm not sure if it's an increase or not since I don't know what the wage usually is there, but I saw an ad today as well for line cooks at a burger place in Bethel, ME advertising $15-$20 per hour full time which seemed pretty good to me for that area in the offseason.


Angel Diva
The NY Times article addresses rising wages at some places. It's these jobs that are getting the workers, and leaving other businesses that can't complete, like restaurants, and, I have to think, seasonal employers, in the dust.

Show me the money
“If you can swing a hammer, you can go make $25 an hour.” — Brandt Casey, manager of Cafe Olé in Meridian, Idaho, quoted in The Idaho Statesman.

The simple, Economics 101 answer to what a company should do when it has trouble recruiting enough workers is to pay them more. That is the logic that underpins the economic policy of the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve: Achieving a tight labor market will result in higher pay for workers.

But the restaurant industry faces a particular challenge. The sectors that have thrived during the pandemic have been on hiring binges, often paying higher wages than restaurants do. Amazon alone added 500,000 employees in 2020, with a wage floor of $15 an hour. Companies like Walmart, Target and home-improvement and grocery chains have all been hiring aggressively with wages at or not far behind those levels.

And as Mr. Casey suggested, those with some in-demand skills — whether in construction or commercial truck driving — can do even better. Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings has raised its wages for newly certified drivers by 40 percent, to the point they can average $60,000 salaries.

That puts restaurants in a tough spot competitively. According to federal data, the median cook or food preparation worker made $13.02 an hour in May 2020, and dishwashers $12.15.

“When certain sectors have disadvantages like not enough tipped earnings or worries about the pandemic, you would expect reduced labor supply to those sectors and greater labor supply to other sectors that have experienced increased demand, like logistics,” Mr. Dube said.

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