Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Help Wanted

As seen on a drive through the Flathead Valley.

It's the large number of signs that caught my attention. They're everywhere. I perceive this as an anecdotal surge in hiring. Most of these signs are service industry jobs and I suspect it is because it is springtime and the Flathead is getting ready for tourist season. However there is a nagging part of me that wants to say this relates to the 11.7% increase in Flathead Valley population.

Perhaps we can measure this another way.

The Daily Interlake is listing 134 help wanted ads.

The Whitefish Pilot is listing 192.

I found 236 at the Helena IR.

And the Bozeman Daily Chronicle is listing 856

According to the State of Montana website Montana currently has a 4.3% unemployment rate and Flathead county has a 5.0% unemployment rate.

No, I still don't know what it means.

Perhaps I'm trying to read too much into some roadside advertising but this looks to me like a piece to a larger puzzle that I do not yet understand.

Of that 11.7 population many were from California? Just curious
Most of the signs look like they're for crap jobs you can't really live off of. When you looked through the jobs, how many were actually ones someone would want?
Touchstone, I agree with your take. These are not good jobs. The Flathead is the fastest growing region in Montana with a rumored seven new people per day moving in. Yet the jobs there are, as you say, crap jobs that you can’t live on. The help wanted classifieds are a fraction of the size of other areas of Montana and the unemployment is higher.

Something does not add up.

Perhaps it is as Moose suggests; the money could be coming from California.
I noticed the same thing when I was in Billings today. Sign after sign advertising work available. One Mcdonalds even quoted a $7.50/hour starting price with full medical. Whether there was full medical or not I don't know but this just shows the signs of the real high employment rate in the state. It makes it tough for those of us looking for people to work for us. I keep raising the starting wages and can still have a hard time finding any takers. Living in the Middle of Nowhere though is a big discouragement for most of the young people wanting an active social life.
I'd try some of that pork roast maybe.
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