OUR VIEW: Is it true that nobody wants to work anymore?

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A national insurance company (you can figure out which one) has had fun over the last years with commercials about people turning into their parents.

Whether it’s printing the internet, a group of adults reminding each other they need to go to the bathroom before entering the movie theater or a shopping trip complaining about a shopping cart being in the wrong place — the commercials have made more than a few of us laugh.

We all love our parents, but we’d rather not turn into them as we age. However, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

One of the biggest complaints in 2022, post-pandemic, mid-pandemic — wherever we “officially” are these days — is that no one wants to work anymore. You hear it around the dinner table or out and about talking about issues a business is having. 

But guess what? Your parents were probably saying the same thing a few decades ago too. And so were their parents. And — you guessed it — their parents.

University of Calgary professor and researcher recently Paul Fairie recently posted newspaper clippings from the last 10 decades, going back and showing where the phrase “nobody wants to work anymore” was printed.

It’s certainly not a new phrase in our country. In fact, apparently for at least 100 years nobody has wanted to work.

The statistics show that isn’t true.

In July, Georgia’s unemployment rate hit an all-time low at 2.8%, and there’s a record number of people working in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

We realize there are still workforce challenges out there, including here in LaGrange and Troup County. As new industry comes in, they need employees to perform those jobs, and they’d rather not have to attract people from outside of Troup County.

But we don’t think the issue is that people don’t want to work anymore. Sure, there are some people who don’t want to work. And all of us would probably rather be lying on a beach somewhere than putting in a hard day of work. 

But the majority of Americans want to work and contribute to society. And most do.

This generation has many problems, one that includes filling jobs, but we’re guessing the next generation will have relatable issues as well. 

And guess what we’ll be saying then? “Nobody wants to work anymore.”