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Employment: Missoula needs better-paying jobs

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Things are very bad right now in Missoula for a lot of people. The holidays make this time even more burdensome.

Remember, there are plenty of people that are really in a bind right now. On the one hand they’re expected to get into the Black Friday and Cyber Monday mindset, buying without abandon. On the other hand, they’re expected to pay their January rent and high power bills as well. Many times these two things are not possible together.

There’s always a lot of news in the Missoulian about development projects and the water lawsuit and of course the problems at the university. But rarely do we hear how terrible the job situation is in this town, how utterly depressing our stagnant wages are, or how seemingly impossible it is to ever get a leg up onto the next rung of the social ladder.

In Missoula, this is just no longer possible. The only jobs we get are low-level service industry jobs, and whenever a voice is raised against this, they’re told to get back into their place, to shut up, to be thankful they get that much.

These jobs are not good enough, and I will not apologize for saying that. They’re not the jobs you brag about to relatives during the holidays and they’re not the jobs that will provide a living wage, benefits or any form of upward mobility.

I feel real sorry for our older citizens in Missoula, too, the ones who are on fixed incomes but have seen their property taxes explode over the past decade. It’s a shame no one’s apologizing to them for the added stress and anguish they must be experiencing daily.

We need jobs, good jobs, and we need them bad.

Greg Strandberg,


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