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jooseyjoose

Job Market in NWA

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I didn't find any threads related to this (maybe I didn't look hard enough?) but can anyone give me a general idea what the job market is like in NWA. What (besides the obvious Wal-Mart) are the large companies in the area and what types of jobs are available?

Thanks everyone!!! :yahoo:

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Well, there's Tyson Foods, which is headquartered in Springdale. Tyson is around 70ish on the Fortune 500 top companies.

There's also JB Hunt Transportation, second largest Trucking company in world, situated in the middle of the metro in Lowell.

The State's largest univeristy, the University of Arkansas employs thousands and has around 18,000 students.

Superior Industries employs over a thousand people in Fayetteville as one of the world's largest rim makers.

Simmons Foods, Tyson Foods, Cargill Inc, McKee Foods, and Crystal Foods are all large Poultry companies with many plants and poultry farms in the area.

Construction is an ever growing field, with literally thousands of construction jobs created in the last few years due to a surge in construction. Many large construction companies include Nabholtz Construction Co.

Healthcare is large in the area as well, with 5 large Hospitals in the area: Washington Regional Medical Center (Fayetteville), Willow Creek Womens Hospital (Johnson/Fayetteville), Northwest Medical Center (Springdale), Mercy Health Hospital (Rogers), and Bates Medical Center (Bentonville). There's quite a bit of hospital jobs as you can see.

Also, Wal-Mart Vendors, especially IBM, Proctor & Gamble, Clorox, and Kimberly-Clark have set up large offices in the area to better their needs to the Wal-Mart Community. There are literally thousands of Wal-Mart Vendors in the Metro, with many more still coming to the area.

For Banking, there's plenty of jobs opportunities especially at Arvest, one of the State's and region's largest Banks. Arvest was founded in NW Arkansas, with well over 40 Banking Locations in the general area. Many other large Banks in the area include First Western Bank, Pinnacle Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Regions Bank, First Security Bank, etc.

I'd say practically any job field in NWA, with exceptions to certain specialities is widely available. You shouldn't have trouble finding a job here, heck our Unemployment Rate is 2.5%!!!

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Thanks! From what I see, however, is that the wages are quite a big lower in NWA than they are here in So. Cali. which is probably to be expected since the cost of living is lower there. The only wages that seems to be around the same are the City of Fayetteville jobs.

Thanks again for the info! :D

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I would have to agree. This is an area with more jobs than seekers. That having been said, it is still a small market. I have a MS degree in biology with an emphasis on molecular biology and I really didn't have many options here. Now, I know that is a specialty area...but half of the jobs in the world are one specialty or another. So, I'll answer your question with another. What fields do you and your husband work in? Or want to work in?

With that info, we can almost certainly give you a pretty specific list of employers as well as probably general employment possibilities. It is even possible one of us work in the same field and can even give you a leg up :)

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Thanks! From what I see, however, is that the wages are quite a big lower in NWA than they are here in So. Cali. which is probably to be expected since the cost of living is lower there. The only wages that seems to be around the same are the City of Fayetteville jobs.

Thanks again for the info! :D

Most people moving to the area end up working for one of the many Wal-Mart vendors in Bentonville. A lot of vendor jobs in Bentonville start at $18.00 per hour, but if you have technical certs like MSCE, CCNA or DCSEl you'll start at around $45K per year. Just having A+ certification will get you a $12.00 an hour job in one of the call centers in Bentonville. If you have retail experience Rogers will have literally thousands of retail job openings over the next couple years, including hundreds of retail management positions, which will be the largest job growth in NWA. When the Pinnacle Promenade opens in October there will be around a thousand job openings. There are a lot of manufacturing companies in Rogers, such as Superior Industries and Glad Manufacturing are just a couple.

If you're looking for a technical job GDH Consulting does most of the hiring for NWA. Their office recently relocated from Fayetteville to Lowell to the north in Benton County. I would suggest contacting some of the many temp agencies in Fayetteville as they are a great source for jobs. You should have no problem finding a job right away and don't get discouraged if it's not exactly what you're looking for, because there's always going to be other jobs in NWA.

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Unfortunately neither my husband or I have a college degree but we have years and years of good work experience. I was a flight attendant for many years before layoffs that stemmed from 9/11 and now I work for the County of San Diego Dept of Animal Services. We service all of San Diego for animal control needs. If you ever watch Animal Precinct on the Animal Planet channel...that is exactly what we are!!! San Fransiscos "Animal Cops" is the most like our organization.

I am not an officer but wouldn't mind going that direction. I am a public representative for the department, basically handling all adoptions, impounds of animals, dispatching officers to calls, etc. Public relations is pretty much what I do.

My husband is in the IT field. Right now he works for a company that designs art for, licenses and markets name brands and wholesales them to large department stores....including Wal-Mart!!! Some of their larger clients include Orange County Choppers, Anchor Blue, Corona Beer, Guiness Beer, Miami Ink, etc.

He is the Art Administrator, overseeing all the designs the artists make and he is also pretty much the go-to guy for all computer related issues. He also does some licensing and product development.

We are open to other areas of work. It is a big step for us to leave jobs that are so secure, but we have faith that things will work out. They always do, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time!

Little off topic, but can anyone direct me to a thread that talks about housing?

Thanks!

:thumbsup:

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Unfortunately neither my husband or I have a college degree but we have years and years of good work experience. I was a flight attendant for many years before layoffs that stemmed from 9/11 and now I work for the County of San Diego Dept of Animal Services. We service all of San Diego for animal control needs. If you ever watch Animal Precinct on the Animal Planet channel...that is exactly what we are!!! San Fransiscos "Animal Cops" is the most like our organization.

I am not an officer but wouldn't mind going that direction. I am a public representative for the department, basically handling all adoptions, impounds of animals, dispatching officers to calls, etc. Public relations is pretty much what I do.

My husband is in the IT field. Right now he works for a company that designs art for, licenses and markets name brands and wholesales them to large department stores....including Wal-Mart!!! Some of their larger clients include Orange County Choppers, Anchor Blue, Corona Beer, Guiness Beer, Miami Ink, etc.

He is the Art Administrator, overseeing all the designs the artists make and he is also pretty much the go-to guy for all computer related issues. He also does some licensing and product development.

We are open to other areas of work. It is a big step for us to leave jobs that are so secure, but we have faith that things will work out. They always do, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time!

Little off topic, but can anyone direct me to a thread that talks about housing?

Thanks!

:thumbsup:

I wouldn't worry about not having a college degree. Most of the people I know and work with make good money without a college degree. It sounds to me that your husband will find something great since "marketing" is the big demand with Wal-Mart and it sounds like the type of graphic design work he does would fit into that category. There are thousands of Wal-Mart vendors here that spend a lot of money coming up with new packaging designs for their Wal-Mart accounts. I came up with a few links that you may find of interest in you job search. I threw in a couple rental links in case you're looking for an apartment. I'm afraid I can't help much with house rentals, but there are quite a few real estate agents that assist people with their move to NWA. I've provided a couple links to realtors.

City of Fayetteville Animal Services - Information & Employment Link

List of Top Employers in Fayetteville

Marketing Companies in Northwest Arkansas - Comprehensive List

Employment Agencies & Services in Northwest Arkansas:

ASAP Services Inc.

Arkansas Workforce

Express Personnel Service

Job Guide

Kelly Temporary Services

Management Recruiters of Rogers

ManpowerManpower

Olsten Staffing Service

Staffmark

TEC Staffing

Work Connection of Northwest Arkansas

I have a hardcopy of a list of Wal-Mart Vendors. I'll try to find a softcopy of it.

I almost forgot the realtor links:

Homes & Land Magazine - Arkansas

Benchmark Real Estate

oodleFayetteville Classifieds

NWAnews Classifieds.

Lindsey Management Apartment Communities

NWAapartments.com

MargieSells.com

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I didn't know where else to put this and didn't want to cluster up this forum with more "come and go" threads. Anyway, I was reading through the June issue of the Fayetteville Free Weekly and there's a small article about rising unemployment rates in NWA and Fort Smith. Unemployment on the rise isn't exactly something the mainstream media in NWA is going to be reporting as it would slow down people migrating to NWA for low unemployment rate that NWA is famous for. Here's a breakdown of changes in unemployment rates for each county being reported...

Unemployment Rate in May 2005 compared to May 2006:

Washington County: 3.0% to 3.3%

Benton County: 2.6% to 2.9%

Fort Smith: 3.8% to 4.2%

The article then makes the statement:

"Watch for the state level, no matter how the bean-counters compute it, to start rising and rising sharply."

Scary stuff.

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Unemployment Rate in May 2005 compared to May 2006:

Washington County: 3.0% to 3.3%

Benton County: 2.6% to 2.9%

Fort Smith: 3.8% to 4.2%

The article then makes the statement:

"Watch for the state level, no matter how the bean-counters compute it, to start rising and rising sharply."

Scary stuff.

I would say that this has more to do with our maturation as a metro than an actual honest rise in unemployment. Anything under 4% is very low and statistically anything under 3.5% is insignificant. Meaning that there is around 3-4% of the population who won't or can't work at a given time. Think students and people who are hurt on the job, construction workers who haven't relocated from a recent job yet, etc. Fort Smith is a different story, they aren't seeing the rapid growth we are, but even 4.2% isn't bad.

I would actually say that getting our unemployment numbers UP a bit may help to diversify our economy some, no real employer will move to an area with under 3% unemployment. They know they will have to hire what they can get and generally will have to pay more for them. That is OK for service level stuff because they move where they HAVE to because of the market etc. Plus they aren't exactly aiming all that high level for their recruiting anyway. Things like tech and traditional industry are an entirely different thing.

On a side note, the national economy is slowing down a bit too. The large employers in this area are national companies who are directly effected by the national economy. Right now all three big companies in this area are in a bit of a slump because of their own internal problems. This is a temporary change, nothing more nothing less.

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Washington County: 3.0% to 3.3%

Benton County: 2.6% to 2.9%

Fort Smith: 3.8% to 4.2%

The article then makes the statement:

"Watch for the state level, no matter how the bean-counters compute it, to start rising and rising sharply."

Scary stuff.

Those numbers look amazing. Why would the unemployment start rising around here? Do we have a few corporations going under anytime soon?

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On a side note, the national economy is slowing down a bit too. The large employers in this area are national companies who are directly effected by the national economy. Right now all three big companies in this area are in a bit of a slump because of their own internal problems. This is a temporary change, nothing more nothing less.

Those numbers look amazing. Why would the unemployment start rising around here? Do we have a few corporations going under anytime soon?

I agree that even with the rise in unemployment NWA is still looking pretty good compared to most of the rest of the country. It is something to be concerned about if it's a long-term trend. I would find it hard to believe that NWA is immune to the effects of the national economy, which is why it's imperative that NWA start diversifying it's economy real soon. Many of the jobs in NWA do depend on the national economy and there's a huge need for local industrial jobs like mining, quarries, manufacturing and such "blue collar" jobs.

It may also be that many of the people that have been moving here are underqualified for many of the "white collar" jobs in NWA and end up on the unemployment line due to the scarcity of "blue collar" jobs here.

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I can understand being a bit worried about rising unemployment. But as long as it doesn't get out of control it actually could be good for NWA. Such low unemployment for such a long time can hinder job growth because there aren't enough people to fill new jobs. Not trying to say I'm cheering on higher unemployment but as far as NWA is concerned it's not so bad.

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I can understand being a bit worried about rising unemployment. But as long as it doesn't get out of control it actually could be good for NWA. Such low unemployment for such a long time can hinder job growth because there aren't enough people to fill new jobs. Not trying to say I'm cheering on higher unemployment but as far as NWA is concerned it's not so bad.

It could be good for NWA, but I'd expect that when Pinnacle Promenade opens in October the unemployment rate will drop consideraby in Benton County and with all the new retail and restaurant jobs opening in Fayetteville there will be a noticable drop in unemployment in Washington County. It is good that NWA is increasing in service sector jobs, but there is still a good demand for light and heavy industrial jobs in NWA.

Another thing to consider is that construction in NWA is keeping unemployment down also and when major developments start to thin out the unemployment rate might spike a little. The unemployment rate in NWA is complicated because there's so many factors because UA students, construction, Wal-Mart vendors, retail, restaurant and service jobs are all booming right now. Many of those jobs were filled by employees from out of state who eventually moved their families here which, exponentially, increases the unemployment rate. So a small spike around .3% is not bad at all. I still say that without long-term light and heavy industrial jobs that NWA will never be truly economically diverse.

What's really interesting is that the worse the national economy the more vendor jobs there will be available in NWA. This calculation is based on the fact that when the national economy is down people spend less and shop more at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart keeps their prices down by pressuring vendors for the lowest price. Vendors move to NWA to make sure Wal-Mart gets the lowest price.

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The job market in NWA is only rivalled by a handful in the whole country if you are untrained or have a general business background. Wal-Mart has a lot of opportunities but its presence also brings in a lot of indirect opportunities, such as those offered by vendors, as someone mentioned.

That said, I think the numbers are real - I think that jobs growth in NWA is slowing and there is continued population growth and the Tyson layoffs won't help that. You'll start to either see a drop in growth or a rise in unemployment.

I think masonsdad is right and that retail jobs are going to drive unempoyment back down again a bit in Benton Co. In major metros you won't see shopping centers have an impact on unemployment but we're talking about a big project in a fairly sparsely populated area. I think it will have an impact.

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It is good that NWA is increasing in service sector jobs, but there is still a good demand for light and heavy industrial jobs in NWA.

There aren't many cities in the country where there isn't a demand for light and heavy industrial jobs, the problem is they aren't coming. The US is no longer an industrial nation, sure there is still a decent bit of industry here, but over time it will reduce and become more specialized. It is just cheaper to make products in other markets and ship them here than it is to pay for them to be made here. If you think the lower middle class industrial sector is bad off here, head up to the Rust Belt. The only city in the whole zone that is doing OK is Chicago which is far more diversified than most of the other cities in that region. Detroit, Cleveland, Gary, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, etc are all doing quite poorly now. That is because the entire region was based on the type of job which you are wanting to come here and they left, not the region, but the country. About the only sector you mentioned which really CAN'T move is mining, but there is nothing substantial worth mining here. Sure there will be some jobs in that sector, but you can't believe that a series of mines will all of a sudden open up hiring 50,000 people in this region. The only real deposits here are quarry type mines, not metals or industrially important chemicals (sulfur, fluoride, chlorine, etc) and that type of mine just doesn't get all that big or employ many people since it is primarily of regional interest.

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The last I knew, anyone considered an adult and had no issues preventing them from working (disabilty, etc.) was unemployed. So for every stay-at-home mom or dad in which only one person in the family works, that counts towards the unemployment factor also.

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The last I knew, anyone considered an adult and had no issues preventing them from working (disabilty, etc.) was unemployed. So for every stay-at-home mom or dad in which only one person in the family works, that counts towards the unemployment factor also.

That's not true. Think about it, if that were true unemployment would be at least 10% everywhere.

However, when you a ludicrously low unemployment rate like 2.2% as NWA was at one time, you have to take into account that a certain percentage of people aren't able to keep jobs because of issues with addiction, absenteeism, etc. Furthermore, we all know people who prefer to sit at home and collect unemployment benefits for as long as possible before actually looking for jobs.

The lowest unemployment rate I've ever seen was 1.8% but as a general rule I've always assumed that 2% was the minimum threshold reachable and that those 2% represent those who choose not to work.

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There was something I wanted to point out. This doesn't fit in with the current topic but it does have to do with job growth so I figured I'd put it here. I've been checking out the job growth going on in the Arkansas metros for a little while now. Every so often they put out this info in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on Sunday. I wanted to check out severals month worth to make sure I could see a pattern and not just a unusual month. Despite NWA's growth as far as the job market is concerned Little Rock is outpacing NWA. For several months now NWA has increased the civilian labor force by 10,000 compared to the same month in 2005. Little Rock however seems to be averaging closer to 13,000 to 15,000 a month compared to the previous year. Of course this doesn't apply to all of the general population but it appears to me that the Little Rock metro is still fast enough to not have to worry about NWA catching up to it. It seems to me the growth is just more noticable up here because we have a smaller population in the first place. Anyway just thought it was an interesting point.

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There aren't many cities in the country where there isn't a demand for light and heavy industrial jobs, the problem is they aren't coming. The US is no longer an industrial nation, sure there is still a decent bit of industry here, but over time it will reduce and become more specialized. It is just cheaper to make products in other markets and ship them here than it is to pay for them to be made here. If you think the lower middle class industrial sector is bad off here, head up to the Rust Belt. The only city in the whole zone that is doing OK is Chicago which is far more diversified than most of the other cities in that region. Detroit, Cleveland, Gary, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, etc are all doing quite poorly now. That is because the entire region was based on the type of job which you are wanting to come here and they left, not the region, but the country. About the only sector you mentioned which really CAN'T move is mining, but there is nothing substantial worth mining here. Sure there will be some jobs in that sector, but you can't believe that a series of mines will all of a sudden open up hiring 50,000 people in this region. The only real deposits here are quarry type mines, not metals or industrially important chemicals (sulfur, fluoride, chlorine, etc) and that type of mine just doesn't get all that big or employ many people since it is primarily of regional interest.

I totally agree with you about industrial (manufacturing) jobs going over seas and it is everywhere in the US. There are still quite a few industrial jobs that can be exploited in NWA, like manufactured and modular homes, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, "space-age" manufacturing and "military" manufacturing. These are specialized jobs and would require some political clout to get some of them here, but there are other industrial sectors of the country that would be more readily able to handle them with a much larger unemployed "blue collar" workforce. Rock quarries do well here because of all the construction going on here, but like you said a quarry doesn't hire many people, about a 150 at most. I'm one of those huge debaters about how the US used to be the industrial powerhouse of the world and how so many bad decisions by our government has all but crippled our economy. I would love to see the US replace Russia as the military export powerhouse of the world. It would create millions of jobs and bring the US dollar back to it's respectable place among world currencies. But that won't ever happen.

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I didn't know where else to put this and didn't want to cluster up this forum with more "come and go" threads. Anyway, I was reading through the June issue of the Fayetteville Free Weekly and there's a small article about rising unemployment rates in NWA and Fort Smith. Unemployment on the rise isn't exactly something the mainstream media in NWA is going to be reporting as it would slow down people migrating to NWA for low unemployment rate that NWA is famous for. Here's a breakdown of changes in unemployment rates for each county being reported...

Unemployment Rate in May 2005 compared to May 2006:

Washington County: 3.0% to 3.3%

Benton County: 2.6% to 2.9%

Fort Smith: 3.8% to 4.2%

The article then makes the statement:

"Watch for the state level, no matter how the bean-counters compute it, to start rising and rising sharply."

Scary stuff.

The unemployment numbers rising in NWA is actually good news to hear. It is very unhealthy for a region to have such a small unemployment number. The best unemployment numbers are actually in the 4% range, but the 2.6% we had in Benton County is not healthy for the economy.

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The unemployment numbers rising in NWA is actually good news to hear. It is very unhealthy for a region to have such a small unemployment number. The best unemployment numbers are actually in the 4% range, but the 2.6% we had in Benton County is not healthy for the economy.

Tell me about it. The low unemployment in NWA is what's bringing more qualified people to NWA to fill the specialized positions created by Wal-Mart and it's thousands of vendors leaving underqualified people without a job in the coming years. When those specialized vendor jobs are all filled where are all the current and new people moving here going to work?

Speaking of which... Pinnacle Hills Promenade will be hosting a job fair in August to fill thousands of positions at the new mall.

Store Jobs

Wouldn

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I totally agree with you about industrial (manufacturing) jobs going over seas and it is everywhere in the US. There are still quite a few industrial jobs that can be exploited in NWA, like manufactured and modular homes, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, "space-age" manufacturing and "military" manufacturing. These are specialized jobs and would require some political clout to get some of them here, but there are other industrial sectors of the country that would be more readily able to handle them with a much larger unemployed "blue collar" workforce. Rock quarries do well here because of all the construction going on here, but like you said a quarry doesn't hire many people, about a 150 at most. I'm one of those huge debaters about how the US used to be the industrial powerhouse of the world and how so many bad decisions by our government has all but crippled our economy. I would love to see the US replace Russia as the military export powerhouse of the world. It would create millions of jobs and bring the US dollar back to it's respectable place among world currencies. But that won't ever happen.

Agreed, large things like manufactured homes will always be easier to build regionally (plus they don't ship all too well) due to low price in comparison to size. Like you said, all the other stuff is pretty specialized and is really barely blue collar. I would say that an entry level job at WM HQ as an analyst requires the same or maybe even less training than those jobs.

I think that us becoming and then transitioning away from being an industrial powerhouse has more to do with the ultimate globalization of the economy than any bad decisions, but that is just me. I hate to see it, but at the same time if the government all but requires companies to manufacture local then they would just lose out on the global market and instead of an American or Japanese company hiring a Chinese company to make something it would be a Chinese company directly selling it to us.

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Agreed, large things like manufactured homes will always be easier to build regionally (plus they don't ship all too well) due to low price in comparison to size. Like you said, all the other stuff is pretty specialized and is really barely blue collar. I would say that an entry level job at WM HQ as an analyst requires the same or maybe even less training than those jobs.

I think that us becoming and then transitioning away from being an industrial powerhouse has more to do with the ultimate globalization of the economy than any bad decisions, but that is just me. I hate to see it, but at the same time if the government all but requires companies to manufacture local then they would just lose out on the global market and instead of an American or Japanese company hiring a Chinese company to make something it would be a Chinese company directly selling it to us.

Most jobs at Wal-Mart Home Office and all the vendors require a basic degree of some sorts. NWACC opened the Shewmaker Center for Workforce Technologies specifically to cater to Wal-Mart's vendors. A Marketing Degree will get you an entry level position at any of Wal-Mart's supplier vendors. An A+ Certification, CCNA, MCSE or Dell Certification will land you an entry level position within any of Wal-Mart's IT vendors. Without one of those qualifications anyone off the street with no experience can get an $8.00 an hour job at Wal-Mart or any of it's vendors.

The bad decisions our government keeps making every day is to allow corporations to continue to send manufacturing jobs overseas so those wonderful corporations can line the pockets of the politicians that allow it. And it's no longer just manufacturing jobs as nearly every IT company in the US has moved hundreds to thousands of jobs to India and Scotland to name a couple. When will it stop? The corporations keep getting bigger and wealthier at the expense of the American worker. Soon all the "high tech" jobs and specialized industries will be overseas leaving the American worker with a job manufacturing rubber dog poop to export to China.

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Without one of those qualifications anyone off the street with no experience can get an $8.00 an hour job at Wal-Mart or any of it's vendors.

It's around $11.50 at the Home Office for Entry-Level Workers without any experience or certification.

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It's around $11.50 at the Home Office for Entry-Level Workers without any experience or certification.

Who knows... maybe it's just the company I work for that are cheapskates. :blush:

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