Anne Jordan was a contributing editor to GOVERNING.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The big news out of New Orleans late yesterday was, of course, Mayor Ray Nagin's announcement that the city was laying off 3,000 employees--half of its workforce.
But just below that article on the Times-Picayune Web site was another startling jobs story: Competition for low- and unskilled workers is fierce in the metropolitan region. Many fast-food restaurants, for example, are increasing their pay by more than 50 percent to $8 an hour, as well as offering signing bonuses of up to $6,000.
The tight general labor market is good news for the working poor who remain in the area--as well as for many who just received a pink slip from City Hall. (It's a troubling but true fact that lots of full-time, government jobs in the Big Easy, and elsewhere, pay less than $20,000 a year.) And I expect that not only cafeteria cooks but also clerical specialists, custodians, library aides, mail-room supervisors, parking-meter collectors, pest-control workers and sign fabricators are happy to hear Popeye's is hiring.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.