Unemployed Workers Find Job Offers -- but It Doesn't Mean They Always Take Them
Harding, Margaret, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
When Molly Maddox was offered a part-time job after about six months of being unemployed, she decided to hold out for something better.
Eight months passed before she was offered another job. That, too, was part-time. This time, she accepted.
"I thought this might be the last decent opportunity," said Maddox, 61, of West Deer, who works in Etna as a counselor for autistic children.
About 17 percent of unemployed workers have received at least one full- or part-time job offer, and almost all of those workers -- 92 percent -- turned down such an offer, according to a recent survey by Personified, a division of CareerBuilder.com. The reason most often cited -- low pay.
The government's extension of unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 99 weeks is a factor, career counselors said.
"If you're making somewhere in the mid-20s and collecting almost $19,000 a year (in unemployment), I think you can rationalize staying home," said Ron Alvarado, president of Novus Staffing Solutions in Robinson. "But I don't think that's going to be the case for someone making $60,000 to $70,000 a year."
He said jobs people have turned down usually are customer- service positions paying $12 to $16 per hour.
Unemployment benefits subsidize a job hunt so people can turn down offers in hopes of landing better ones, said James Craft, a business administration professor in Pitt's Joseph Katz Graduate School of Business.
But job qualifications change during times of economic upheaval, and unemployed workers might not be qualified for positions they held or are holding out for, Craft said. …