September 10 - 1987: Cape unemployment rate under 2 percent

Cape's growth brings difficulty finding employees; unemployment rate at 1.8 percent
Cape Cod needs summer employees

1987: "Cape Cod's Lament: Who'll Do the Work"

The unemployment rate on Cape Cod was down to 1.8 percent

An article in this week's New York Times in 1987 by Seth King exclaimed about the difficulty businesses on Cape Cod were having hiring help.

The article began, "Near one entrance to this small city's busiest traffic rotary is a large banner announcing that Chili's bar and grill is now hiring for all positions and will pay full benefits."

Chili's is long-gone, and with it the surplus of jobs here.

The article continued: 

The (Chili's) banner has been there for more than a month, one of scores of such signs in Cape Cod supermarkets, retail stores and restaurants, offering full-time or part-time jobs, many with working hours adjusted to suit the applicant.

These signs are not left over from early summer when, as in past years, legions of college students surged onto the Cape for seasonal jobs. These signs offer year-round jobs, most of them beginning at hourly rates nearly double the minimum wage of $3.65.

This frantic hunt for permanent workers is further evidence of a paradox that plagues Cape Cod. While its year-round population continues to increase, its labor force, those working or seeking work, continues to shrink.

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