January 09, 2008
Thousands show up for shot at Wal-Mart job

From today's AJC:

They came in droves high school students, retirees, young moms, the unemployed all for a shot at a job at a new Wal-Mart on Memorial Drive in central DeKalb County.

In just two days, and with virtually no advertising or even any signs, a staggering 7,500 people filled out applications for one of the 350 to 400 available jobs.

Delois Zeigler was among those who packed a meeting room Tuesday at Saint Philips AME Church near Avondale Estates, hoping to soon be wearing Wal-Mart's trademark blue uniform.

"I need a job," said Zeigler, who has held temporary cleaning and cooking jobs since moving to metro Atlanta two months ago. "I'm open to anything."

The big turnout speaks volumes about the state of the local economy, said Bruce Kaufman, a Georgia State University economics professor. While the unemployment rate in the area remains relatively low, Kaufman said the large number of job-seekers suggests that many people are either under-employed or had stopped looking for work.

"People are trying to upgrade to a better job," he said.

Hmmm... maybe those Wal-Mart wages aren't so bad after all.

UPDATE (1/11):

For the fourth consecutive day, people waited in long lines Thursday for a shot at a job at a new Wal-Mart in DeKalb County, pushing the total number of applicants beyond 10,000.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 10:11 AM in Economics

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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