Florida man applies for 60 jobs to discover if the 'labor shortage' is real
Help wanted sign (AFP Photo/Joe Raedle)

On Thursday, Orlando Weekly reported that a man from Ft. Myers applied to 60 entry-level jobs to investigate the claims by employers that they are facing a "labor shortage" and that too many people are being paid not to work.

Joey Holz found that the truth was more complicated.

"Holz saw a discrepancy between the rhetoric of employers and the facts on the ground in Ft. Myers," reported Alex Galbraith. "Many pointed to the expanded unemployment benefits as a reason they weren't seeing applicants, but jobless claims have steadily dropped and Florida ended the enhanced benefits several months before he even began applying."

In all, Holz got only one in-person interview from the 60 businesses claiming on social media they were understaffed — and during that one interview, "the business owner attempted to walk back the pay of $10/hour offered in the listing," he claimed

"Are they desperate for HELP? Yes, according to their loud lamentations on Facebook, but so far 1 interview (where the advertised hours and pay were misrepresented) after 58 applications says y'all aren't desperate for workers, you just miss your slaves," concluded Holz in a viral Facebook post.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has argued that what is happening in the labor market is not so much a "shortage" as a de facto general strike against low pay and poor working conditions. And indeed, data indicate that some sectors of the economy are being forced to raise wages this year.