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Posted by on May 28, 2011 in Economy | 0 comments

Quote of the Day: Are “Now Hiring” Signs for Real or Just Business’ Doing PR?

Our political Quote of the Day comes from “Dr. Helen” Smith who raises an interesting question about the “Now Hiring” signs popping up in many cities. Here’s part of her post:

Why are there “Now Hiring” signs in front of so many businesses these days when so many people are complaining about not finding a job? Everywhere I go in Knoxville, there are generic “Now Hiring” signs from the hotels to the car dealerships to the stores at the mall.

Is it just a slogan to make people feel better about the business? Are they truly hiring? Or are they just waiting for the perfect person to show up and taking applications from the rest? I find it puzzling because if businesses were really that desperate to hire, so much so that they are all putting up signs, why are so many people saying they are having trouble finding work?

During the Depression, businesses showed their compliance with New Deal programs by putting up the “Blue Eagle,” with the motto “We do our part.” “The eagle, which had been modeled on an Indian thunderbird, was displayed in windows and stamped on products to show a business’s compliance.” Consumers were encouraged to only shop at the businesses that displayed the blue Eagle logo….

Is the “Now Hiring” sign just a slogan being used to show the business “supports their community” in the current recession even though they are not really hiring?


Go to the link and read the post in full.

I travel a great deal (and as I write this am preparing to do a car trip from San Diego to a city north of Sacramento and a major national tour in my other non-blogging incarnation from September 2011 through June 2012). I’ve also noted a lot more “NOW HIRING” signs — but you also see in small and large malls some stores closing, some stores in those malls relocating even within the same mall.

I recently went to a small strip mall near my new home 18 miles north of downtown San Diego and noticed that an Ace Hardware had closed there. I know of one young man who has had a slew of jobs since November — most of them ending due to he recession. One was a major charity that shut down its entire office in San Diego; another was a supposedly stable “green’ company here that touted itself to new workers as stable and well-funded and it in effect fired more than 100 employees the Monday after Thanksgiving.

You get a sense that the economy is s-l-o-w-l-y on the mend. And Dr. Helen is probably correct: businesses can see they have a larger number of applicants to choose from than in any other chapter in recent American history except for the Great Depression. So it’s likely a combination of the economy improving in some areas, being pickier than usual — but this is also offset by the still lousy home sales market and other factors.

It means there are an increasing number of opportunities to apply for jobs — but it does not necessarily mean that there is a sudden big spurt in the number of them.