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Bill Rubin column: Sign of the times: Help wanted

Bill Rubin

The U.S. unemployment rate was recently announced at 3.7 percent making it the lowest since 1969. A few may remember 1969. Most will not. Wisconsin's unemployment rate has been reported at 3 percent or lower for eight straight months. It is not uncommon for some Wisconsin counties to report unemployment rates under two percent. St. Croix's is at a modest 2.4 percent for September.

Human resource departments and job recruiters have their work cut out for them as they seek new workers. Some have reverted to comedy. In the case of a local bar and restaurant, a portable sign read, "Want some alone time? Have your kids work here." It seems "alone time" may contribute to St. Croix's place among the fastest-growing counties in the state.

Other signs may have less desired results:

"Now Hiring" was placed atop a banner that read, "Fried Turkeys"

"Now Hiring 2 sausage biscuits $1.77"

Must read carefully: "Now Firing - Apply Within - Positions Available"

Found on a manhole cover: "Now Hiring: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Inquire Within"

"Help Wanted (Siruis persons only please)"

An oldie but goodie: "Sponge Bob is Here Hiring Managers"

"Now Hiring - Must Have a Clue"

Sad but sometimes true: "Because your boyfriend will eventually ask for gas money — Now Hiring"

A sign reads, "We're looking for computer engineers who like to solve difficult problems. Call us at this number now" (a formula is provided where "x = 24" and "y = 30" . . . an equation follows, complete with derivatives)

And so it goes. From entry level to executive vacancies, jobs are available. Manufacturing, healthcare, education, construction and retail sectors are all chasing the same scarce commodity. It seems "soft skills" will go a long way to landing a job, along with ambition or strong work ethic. The economy is strong, but outputs could be improved if critical positions were filled. Good luck recruiters. Good luck job seekers.

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