Temp Jobs Provide Economic Lifeline For Some Columbus Workers.

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The federal Labor Department today says employers added more than 100-thousand jobs last month. The figures give some credence to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s view that there’s evidence of a self-sustaining recovery. But, some Columbus area residents say the job market remains “iffy.” So, they depend on temporary work. WOSU’s Tom Borgerding reports.


Before dawn on Friday morning, a handful of would-be workers arrive at the Labor Ready office on Morse Road on Columbus’ north side. Gordon Giles, David Smith, Patrick Howard, and Dwayne Robbins are all longtime residents of Columbus…and they are all looking for work. David Smith is smiling at his good fortune.

Q) Your headed to work today? Yes I am I have a job at 7:30. When did you find this out? This morning when I stopped in the office they had a job for me.

Smith has been looking for permanent work for nine months.

“My background is in retail and sales. I got let go from my job about, I’d say maybe nine months ago and its sort of been spotty as far as job opportunities and stuff.” . Across the waiting room, Gordon Giles has been looking for permanent work for three months. He says he’s beginning to see more help wanted signs around town.

Believe it or not, yes I have. There’s been a few sparklings of for hire signs out about town. Mostly service jobs. But it seems its trying to pick up but its slow.”

Giles says he’s been aggressively searching for permanent work in retailing, warehousing, or transportation. In the meantime, he works a series of temp jobs.

“You have to thread these things together. Its why bringing a positive attitude and a cup of coffee and from there you take it one day at a time, one day at a time.”

Patrick Howard says he’s also seen evidence of an improving job market.

“Yeah actually I have. I’ve seen out in Grove City a lot of warehouses have been doing quite a bit of hiring out that way.”

Unfortunately for Howard, he is limited in his job choices for now.

“I don’t have an automobile and it is making hard to find jobs on the bus line. Its kind of hard right now and its really making it tough.

Earlier this week, a report by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce indicated about 85 thousand people are remain unemployed in Central Ohio. An additional 35-thousand individuals have given up looking for work. Dwayne Dobbins says he see first hand evidence of the stubbornly high unemployment rate. Dobbins is a single parent with two children also trying to build his income through temporary work.

“You know its a matter of trying to keep food on the table. Its a matter of trying to keep your bills paid, to keep a roof over your head. I find it somewhat amazing that this is 2011 and we’re still having difficulty, you know, with a lot of people who want to work and the jobs are just not there.”

Dobbins uses part time work to supplement his other full time income. He says a person has to do what he can to make ends meet.