Job 'Seekers' Seek Unemployment, Not Jobs


POSTED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 7:57pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 5:02pm

EL PASO- Labor experts say jobs are out there, so why aren't the jobless grabbing them?

With national unemployment at 8.6 percent and the local jobless rate at 10.4, local staffing agencies are facing an unusual dilemma.

RMPersonnel Inc., a staffing agency in east El Paso says it offers jobs to people all the time, and they fear people are rejecting job offers simply to hold onto their unemployment benefits. This is something the Texas Workforce Commission says is not allowed.

More than 3 million jobs are open in The United States, and yet millions of Americans without a job receive unemployment benefits.

Amber Vargas is the Human Resource Manager at RMPersonnel Inc. She says most people think it’s tough to land a job, but she challenges people who need work to step up their game.

"I think that in today's day and age, the work ethic is not where it used to be. There is still a lot of 'me' attitude out there. You owe me a job for sitting around and doing nothing. You need to pay me just because I'm here,” said Vargas.

Vargas says that ‘me' attitude is preventing job applicants from accepting open positions.

She fears that out of all the people they offer jobs to and turn them down, around 50 percent of those people turned the job down simply so they can continue to receive their unemployment benefits.

"Right now because of the economy, everybody is out for such a long period of time and right now some of the jobs that were out there have gone down, especially with construction slowing down. It's probably about 50-50 that want to stay on unemployment,” said Vargas.

Job seeker Daniel Fitzpatrick has a Master’s Degree from UTEP. He says he doesn't receive any unemployment benefits, and is happy to accept any job he can get.

"Make looking for work our job, and so we come to the unemployment office. We try to stay here 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Fitzpatrick.

Texas Workforce Commission spokesperson Lisa Givens says unemployment rules state anyone receiving unemployment benefits cannot turn down a job offer.

"We take into account physical fitness, the ability to perform the work as well as the distance from their home, their prior training and experience,” said Givens.

Givens says if a staffing agency offers somebody a job and the applicant still turns the job down, the agency can report that person to The Texas Workforce Commission, but Vargas says it's difficult to know if someone who turns down a job is receiving unemployment.

"We don't know which of the employees are actually out on unemployment, unless they are our employees. We don't know. They don't wear a sign that says, ‘hey I'm on unemployment.’ We don't ask them that. That's not a relevant question,” said Vargas.

Givens says it's The Workforce Commission's goal to reintroduce the unemployed to the working world.

"The important thing with regards to unemployment is that statistics generally show that the longer somebody is out of the workforce, the harder it is to reattach to the workforce,” said Givens.

On a brighter note, the number of jobs available nationwide is 35 percent higher than where the labor job market stood just two years ago.


Comments News Comments

this isn't China, and El Pasoans aren't illegal
..republicans may push for the end of worker's rights, but Americans will not be treated as second class citizens..agencies like this don't offer stability in hours or in long term employment..republicans don't Honor working is during the W administration that the jobs left...those products of those jobs created products still needed, republicans encouraged them to leave for greater profits by having workers paid 1/4 or less

It is not a lack of work ethic but a lack of good paying jobs, some who have decided to stay on unemployment is due to the fact that they make more staying unemployed. All those new/available jobs are all minimum wage jobs.

President Obama has created a dependent class! Those are your results! How disgusting!

"We don't know which of the employees are actually out on unemployment, unless they are our employees. We don't know. They don't wear a sign that says, ‘hey I'm on unemployment.’ We don't ask them that. That's not a relevant question,” said Vargas. THAN! How can you come up with the 50% conclution and by the way Amber Vargas meet Daneil Fitzpatric, his looking for a job.

How about some balanced reporting here? This staffing agency representative failed to mention that most of these jobs are crappy part time or temp jobs with no benefits that pay less than the unemployment benefits. What do you expect people are going to do?

Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to diminishing returns. An interesting research article called High Speed Universities is the solution to stop your job hunt. Search for it online.

I was appalled by the stereotypical comments made by the woman being interviewed. She had no data and was expressing her biased opinions. Do you call this an example of intelligent reporting?

Imagine that, people "entitled" to something they feel they deserve. So who's fault is it? If there are jobs and if the govt didn't pay out what would they do? Get a job I guess.

Yes, it's too easy for someone to receive unemployment and there is fraud all over. They collect their check and chill out till the next time they have to turn something in. A time will come and their benefits will run out. The jobs they turn down now will not be there the next time. Get a job people show your kids something other than laying around the house doing nothing but complain that you don't have a job.

ya there is plenty of jobs paying 10 dollars an hour....people are not lazy there just tired of grabbling for pennys, while the aristocrats sit back and laugh at us............must be nice to say people are lazy.......this is wrong employers in el paso need to stop bending all elpasoans over......get a heart

If there are sooo many jobs then why are the only jobs on Vargas' RMPersonnel website for forklift drivers and a tool and die maker.

Or maybe because you have a Bachelor's Degree and these employment agencies only want to offer you jobs that are 4 hours a week programming television remotes... it's not even worth the gas money.

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