Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer’s $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America shows that the truly poor have great trouble finding and keeping even the lowest-skilled jobs in the formal sector.
Question: If employers hesitate to hire the ultra-poor for $7.25 an hour, why on Earth would they hire them for $15?
“No one can live on $7.25 an hour,” you say? Well, it sure beats living on $2.00 a day.
And when Edin and Shaefer’s subjects fail to find a job, that’s precisely what they have to do:
[W]orkers at the very bottom continued to experience double-digit unemployment through 2012, well after the recession was officially over. For low-level positions, there are often many more applicants than there are jobs. Companies such as Walmart might have hundreds of applications to choose from, and it is not uncommon for many of these applicants to have some post-high school education, making it that much harder for a young woman of color with a GED and little previous work experience to make the cut.
How do these companies wade through so many applications? How would you do it?
Via Bryan Caplan