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Do you think the Lawrence area is a difficult place to find a job?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on March 12, 2008

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Photo of Linda Niedbalski

“No. It seems like it’s a pretty easy place to find a job, but there aren’t a whole lot of well-paying ones.”

Photo of Ted Klein

“No, I wouldn’t say so. Especially with so many places to work downtown.”

Photo of Heather Douglas

“It’s kind of hard to find a good job as a student, anyway, but there are quite a few places to work if you’re willing.”

Photo of Gabe VanRiette

“No, not really. I didn’t have any problems finding the job I wanted here.”


nettie 10 years, 2 months ago

Please, let's examine your some of your statement.

Looking is not Relevant to Finding.

No Comment. Thank You.

Unix_Admin 10 years, 2 months ago

RI- Thats why I'm so happy I took the clubbing northern river otter's correspondence.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 2 months ago

Yes, it's terrible. I haven't found one yet.

...of course, I haven't actually been looking, but I don't think that's relevant.

BigPrune 10 years, 2 months ago

The City as a whole doesn't want any companies that offer high paying jobs, never has, never will. Actions speak louder than words since the City Government let a vocal minority dictate the separation of the classes. KU is the most taxpayer subsidized employer in town, yet the voices of KU do not want high paying jobs for the private sector especially if there is an incentive involved.

Lawrence is sincerely, a joke. If I owned a company looking for a new home, I would NEVER put Lawrence on the list. Too much opposition. Olathe, Overland Park, Ottawa, and Topeka welcome companies with open arms, why screw with Lawrence?

Aileen Dingus 10 years, 2 months ago

I found when I arrived here that on the job experience (years thereof) is trumped by a college degree nearly every time. I was losing out to college grads at $8 an hour gigs, even though I had more experience.

After three months of looking and interviewing, I took the best of my three meager offers and agreed to make 1/3 less than I had been making at the job I left. My husband found a job fairly easily, in the restaurant/cooking field. Eventually I became a typical Lawrence "slash person" by taking another job to supplement my income, as did he. Fortunately I'm now at a different place and have been able to cut back to one job, and he's moved to another employer as well, so was also able to cut back to one.

So sure- jobs are available, but the enormous pool of applicants makes it difficult to find one job that can support a family. It takes more time than some people have.

geppetto 10 years, 2 months ago

You may be able to find one but that's because every job is an entry level job. You also get an entry level salary. So if you are the best on what you do, forget about Lawrence or get your own company going.

preebo 10 years, 2 months ago

...apparently there was a modest increase in Kansas jobs and they primarily occured in the Kansas City, Kansas area. However, jobless claims in KS are still below the national average. Taking that into consideration, the increase in jobs were in professional and business areas, not the traditional stronghold for Kansas. As for Lawrence, I would say the job market is fairly limited to the University and perhaps those connected via contracts for various duties. In other words, not a real diversified job market. It's a college town not a business hub. We are talking serious apples and oranges here.

Sagecasey 10 years, 2 months ago

"Would you like fries with that?" is not necessarily an easy job to get anymore. You need to be bilingual with Spanish because half of the work force at fast food restaurants can't speak english.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 2 months ago

It's a piece of cake to find a job here but somewhat difficult to earn a living.

juscin3 10 years, 2 months ago

Yes it is hard to find a job, and yes I agree that pretty much you will find are entry level positions. I have notice that not only the price of fuel rising, but cost of groceries. If they are going to raise all of this, then maybe they need to raise the min. wage again. I have also noticed that alot of jobs want you to have a degree. I understand about how important it is to go to college, but alot of people choose not to. So basically no degree no good paying job. I was at a job making $12 an hour. I quit and they posted my position in the want ads and raised the pay to be $14-$17 an hour. What a bunch of CROCK! I should have stayed!!! LOL

acg 10 years, 2 months ago

I think it depends on the job and the pay you're expecting. If you're trying to find a gig in food service or cocktail waitressing/bartending then Lawrence is a great place to work. If you're trying to find a job paying more than $25.00 per hour in a professional environment (that doesn't include KU jobs) then probably not so much.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 2 months ago

TOB - I go there too! But I'm majoring in taxidermy. Maybe we should hook up there sometime and see if we can work together after graduation!

Jaminrawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Easy to find a job. Hard to find a career.

Tony Kisner 10 years, 2 months ago

TOB - you are outed, everyone knows the Haskell Wetlands Upstairs Northern Otter Clubbing Technical Institute is nothing but a degree mill.

I'd like to see the rest of your resume, alleged whale hunts, strip mining,:..

black_butterfly 10 years, 2 months ago

These questions always kill me. Rarely any diverse populations of people being asked. Most always young people. Almost always on Mass Street. LJW at it's best!

Richard Heckler 10 years, 2 months ago

"More payroll means more households means more demand for city services, and workers simply don't pay for themselves in terms of city services. The city makes a profit on most businesses, and takes a loss on most households. Of course there are exceptions and complications, but this result has held up on average in quite literally hundreds of studies all across the country." - a local economist

I say Lawrence has way too many homes at the moment and too much retail space. Any new high wage employer would need to hire from existing resources rather than from JOCO or Topeka to make a significant difference. It seems to me with 12,000 - 15,000 commuters available for filling new high wage employment that goal should be a piece of cake. This company would also need to come not seeking tax dollar TIF's,abatements or rebates for 5,10,15 or 20 years. Thus far it is difficult to understand how high tax bedroom communites such as Lawrence can afford to authorize tax subsidies as it all comes back on existing residents who may be tired of picking up the tab. Meanwhile developers continue to make money.

otto 10 years, 2 months ago

LJW reporters can walk over to mass. to ask these questions. LJW wouldn't want to pay for car, fuel, insurance, taxes, hire people w/ a drivers license. Get the college kid with a bike for about 8 bucks an hour. Oh, this is one of those crappy jobs we are talking about?

guesswho 10 years, 2 months ago

I guess all the people with real jobs were probably working when those questions were asked.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 2 months ago

50% of the people asked do have "real" jobs. I would call veterinarian and respiratory therapist pretty good jobs.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 2 months ago

Sue, you make humorous statements that are taken seriously? It's good to know I have company!

sunflower_sue 10 years, 2 months ago

sgt, my sarcastometer doesn't have an "off" button. (Like some people...) ;)

dajudge 10 years, 2 months ago

I have been unable to secure gainful employment in my chosen field. As a fresh dog paw chef, I can only find work in China, but I continue looking here in Lawrence. Maybe I will change careers to otter clubber.

adriennerm 10 years, 2 months ago

It's very difficult to find a well paying job. I moved here from Chicago in late July. I already had interviews lined up. Each and every job offered me under $11 per hour. I was told to look in KCMO, Topeka, Overland Park..etc. I didn't want to drive that far so I kept searching in Lawrence. Now it's late August, i'm broke and getting upset. So I submitted my resume to a couple of places further away.

Pro- I got the pay I was looking for Con- I work in Overland Park.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 2 months ago

babboy, I do live in Michigan, which is currently a bad place to find a job. I actually lost my job last year (my university temp position ended), and that happened to be about a month after pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced it would be closing down its massive Ann Arbor facility. Talk about good timing.

Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to seeing the new-look Michigan offense. I'm not sure what it'll be like this fall, since Rodriguez has had only one recruiting class (and a fairly rushed one at that ... but he did a good job anyway), but in 2009 and beyond, it should be very fun to see what he does with the offense.

Also, I'm looking forward to this fall just because unless hotshot Pryor reverses course and picks Michigan, the likely starting quarterback is a local guy. It would be fun to see Michigan's starting qb be a guy I saw in high school.

beawolf 10 years, 2 months ago

What an idiotic question. More appropriate would be:

"Can you find a reasonable paying job to support yourself and/or family?"

ksdivakat 10 years, 2 months ago

I agree with the earlier blogger, you can always get a job but you cannot have career here unless you are a doctor or lawyer, maybe an accountant or a business owner, but no real career opportunities here cause to many students both KU and HS will work for 5 or 6$an hour. I just happened to get lucky and land a job that pays fairly decent, but it took a long time to find it!

coool 10 years, 2 months ago

The Oread Inn is creating a lot of new jobs before, during and after it is constructed.

del888 10 years, 2 months ago

Computer programming jobs don't exist in Lawrence. Have to commute to KC or Topeka, and thus spend money out of town.

Bruce Liddel 10 years, 2 months ago

Well, unfortunately on this topic I have way too much experience. I've lived here 29 years, but only worked in Lawrence for about six of them. I was backed into a computer programming career, and despite my willingness to take ANY job - even door to door sales, I now have to commute 59 miles to work each way every day. If you are not a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or food service worker, and you have a higher education, then you are overqualified, or "we selected an applicant whose qualifications more closely meets our needs". Lest you think I am driven by unrealistic earnings expectations, I make only about half of my 2001 earnings, and I just spent five full-time months looking for any job - ANY JOB at all.

I agree with Black Butterfly. The sampling methodologies used by LJ World need a great deal of refinement if they intend to reflect reality.

SpiritTat 10 years, 2 months ago

bliddel ~ i hear you! yes~ i'm seriously underemployed ~ and that was just so i could quit my commute to KCK at 45 min drive, twice a day, 5 times a week

so that I can bascially support my child and i

forget about being able to put back money..


and it took me 4.5 months to find that job in KCK!!!! i was interveiwed A LOT but folks could pay others with less education, less money..

and I interview well and have a good work history..

it's just one of those things in this area.... let's see the real picture represented, folks

May Soo 10 years, 2 months ago

I never had problem finding jobs when I was in High school. Now with a college degree, no one will hire me, then again I refuse working at jobs paying under $7.00

sgtwolverine 10 years, 2 months ago

Babboy, thanks for the good luck wishes; fortunately, I haven't yet had to look for a job. When my job at the university ended, instead of finding another job, I decided to open my own photography business. I've been at it for just over a year now, and while I'm certainly not making truckloads of money, I'm also not losing money. And I enjoy what I'm doing, and that's worth a lot.

Yeah, I was very happy with the Rodriguez hire. It shook up the Michigan football culture a little bit, and I think that probably needed to happen. As far as Pryor ... athletically, he'd be a good fit, but after several recent reported fights or near-fights after his basketball games, I'm starting to wonder if he's completely worth the trouble he might be. Don't get me wrong; he's an amazing athlete. But if he's a head case or a troublemaker (which is a very real concern if the #1 football recruit in the country can't ignore taunts from a high school basketball crowd), then all that talent is just a ilttle bit less exciting if you don't like seeing your star player in the headlines for off-the-field action.

Anyway, from what I've read over the last couple months, it sounds like Michigan is behind Penn State and Ohio State right now. I wouldn't be the happiest camper if he went to another Big Ten school, but it doesn't sound like he's seriously considering any schools outside the conference, so one way or another, we'll have to deal with him.

GretchenJP 10 years, 2 months ago

Nope as long as the other hookers don't bogart my street corner. Stay offa my lawn!!

swamp_rat 10 years, 2 months ago

Seriously,... I think anyone can find a job in Lawrence. Is it going to be a good job that you can live on alone? For most people,... no way! Most would need a roommate (or two) and a second job just to get by. Kinda sad. (But true.) :(

BigPrune 10 years, 2 months ago

KU doesn't want high paying private sector jobs because then they'd have to pay their workers more money - which isn't much as it is.

denak 10 years, 2 months ago

Funny this should come up because I am in the process of getting my paralegal certification. I have, for the last two months, been trying, in Lawrence, to get a paralegal internship. It has been a trial. (no pun intended) I keep hearing, over and over, "We don't have the budget," "We are a small firm," "We don't have the overhead" etc.

So, I am starting to wonder if they can't even "afford" an intern that they don't even have to pay, what is going to happen when I graduate (with a college degree) in May??? I pretty much think I am going to have to drive to KC or Topeka.

I think it is easy to find an entry level job here paying 7,8 or 9 dollars. I think it is easy enough to find a job with a professional degree (PH.D,J.D., M.D) but I think for people who just have a B.A. or a M.A. and who need a salary between 30,000 and 50,000, I think it is really difficult. I have friends with those degrees and salary demands and pretty much all of them commute to jobs outside of Lawrence. So, I think if you are in the middle, you are are going to be challenged to find a position.


camper 10 years, 2 months ago

Denak, If the economy grows worse, I can only suggest to stay in school and earn higher degrees while you are young. Though I admire your wanting to jump into the job market, maybe I can relate my story. When I graduated in 91' the job market was slow in my field. Nevertheless, I went out and took some low-paying positions without much thought. Though the work was fullfilling I found it hard to advance my education while working 40-50 hrs a week. And when you earn a paycheck, as small as it may be, it can be hard to change course. If you do this long enough, you can get typecast as to what you currently do. My advice if you are young and the job market is slow....stay in school. It may pay dividends in the future for you. Good luck to you though in your future endeavors. Don't necessarily take my advice tho, cause there might be something out there for you right now.

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