Thursday, July 29, 2021

People can't afford to live here on a pittance

| July 18, 2021 1:00 AM

In Roger Gregory's letter to the editor, he stated, "… workers told her they make more on unemployment than they do working, or close to it." Therein lies the problem — not with workers, but with employers.

Bonner County is going to lose its work force because it is impossible to live in this area making $7.25 an hour. Right now, the combined unemployment benefits are an average of $16 an hour, and gasp, people are able to survive. Perhaps its time for employers to pay employees a living wage for the area in which they reside. Rent exceeds $1,000 a month, gas is over $3 a gallon, groceries are outrageously expensive. Factor in childcare, utilities, and other basic living expenses, it's no wonder people don't want manual labor at minimum wage or slightly above. They can't afford to live on that.

My suggestion is that instead of blaming a political party, those who are complaining may need to look at their business model and shift expenses to pay employees a living wage for this area. My educated guess is that it isn't laziness or political affiliation, but that good people can't afford to work for a pittance, and so they are going elsewhere.