Work is a Four Letter Word
I have been hunting for new work of late and finding the workplace to be a bit of a contrast to what the media are saying about it. I need to start making more money in order to make it back to school and move to Saskatoon. I figure I need to make at least $18.00 an hour to get the ball rolling given the cost of living in the Metropolitan Vancouver Area. So far I have been out of luck. For a place that the news has been hyping up as an employment hot spot, the Lower Mainland job climate seems remarkably cool.
There are jobs I have been trying for and just not getting. Translink actively hires and seeks people to work on Skytrain, but so far I have yet to get them to notice me. I know two people working as Attendants and neither of them have my pedigree or recommendations. Competition is stiff, I know, but I still have a lot experience in my favour. Translink or Coast Mountain have another security force, separate from the Transit cops, but I have been unable to figure out who does the actual hiring, etc. I also tried for bus driver, but I need to have held my current driver's license for three years - I haven't even reached the one year mark with my new license.
So where are all the jobs? The media out here has gone on at some length about how employers paying $12.00 an hour and below are having a hard time finding people willing to work for such low wages. Apparently, there are so many hot, high paying jobs out there that some employers just can't compete. But where are these alleged jobs? I have looked in papers, online and asked around but no one is really too sure. But everyone just knows what a hot job market we have going right now, the media tells us about it.
Some of these hot jobs are in construction, which makes sense as we head towards the 2010 Olympics. I know a few contractors who are always looking for people. Unfortunately I have a minor physical disability that keeps me out of construction and manual labour - too much of a liability. But there has to be more jobs out there than just construction? Can a hot job market really be comprised of one industry alone? I think not.
Given the huge strike happening in the City of Vancouver, it is obviously not going through a hiring boom at this time. I looked on Monster.ca and Workopolis but all I see are the same crap jobs, managerial positions and soulless office jockey work that I have seen online since 2002. Cold something else be going on in Vancouver's job crisis? Could there be another reason why people are not working jobs in Vancouver that pay less that $12.00 an hour? Could it be the cost of living is out of control?
Unless you are in one of the better earning brackets, life in Vancouver and the surrounding area can get to be a bit hand to mouth. The Provincial Government has allowed landlords to jack up rents by something like 11-12% a year, which has lead to some staggering leaps in rental prices. The housing market is out of the reach of many ordinary working families. All this leads to people being pushed further and further out of the Metropolitan area.
Costs of living, costs of commuting, the time taken to commute back and forth all have to play as factors in Vancouver's mini-employment crisis. The truth, as far as I can see it, is that there is no hot job market in Vancouver. Certain areas would seem to be doing a lot of hiring, while service industry jobs suffer from high turn over due to the fact that their necessarily lower wages cannot compete with the high cost of living in, what regional propagandists like to call, the "Best Place on Earth".
Seems to me the only way we are going to see some stability in this region is for the municipal and provincial governments to acknowledge the growing disparity between it citizenry and to get serious about curbing the rising costs of living and and the absurd prices of what could be called "unreal" estate. The failure to do so can only result in more serious problems for the region down the road.