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Job Seeker Who Applied For 300 Openings Asks 'Where's The Labor Shortage?'

Photo: TikTok
Burb explains applying to 300 jobs.

A job seeker hunting for a new role is asking the question on the lips of the many millions of people who are out of work right now — where are all the jobs?

The job applicant in question is from Greenville, South Carolina, and shared a recent post about their job searching struggles on the video-sharing app TikTok. They’ve applied to a whopping 300 jobs! And unfortunately, without much luck.

After applying for 300 jobs, they asked ‘where’s the labor shortage?’

“300 job applications later, and only five employers have gotten back to me,” they said.

Though, the responses they got back are not too promising. They shared that three of them were “scammers,” another was a pyramid scheme, and shockingly, the last wasn’t even in business anymore. So, they decided to direct their efforts to minimum wage job openings at fast food and gas station chains.

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“So, what do I do next? I check places like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Spinx, QT, other local gas stations with hiring signs lit up all the time,” they said.

However, finding a job at those places proved to be difficult because of their previous work experience. For once, instead of being underqualified, they shared that they’re, in fact, overqualified. 

“McDonald’s and Taco Bell tell me I’m too qualified, and all of a sudden, the gas stations are no longer hiring,” they explained. In the comments section, people questioned why a job would turn down someone for being too qualified. They responded, explaining that it has to do with the turnover rate.

“I assume they don’t like the idea of being a temporary job or a stepping stone. [T]hey’d rather trap someone for life,” they wrote.

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People in the comments sympathized with those struggling to find employment.

“[W]hy don’t people get this[?] I’ve also put in hundreds of applications and nothing,” one person wrote.

“I’ve applied to over 460 this year and have walked in and handed my resume in. It’s gotten m[e] nowhere,” another added.

Many people still asked why the job seeker struggled to find employment. In a follow-up post, they clarified that they’re disabled and also consume cannabis, which makes them fail drug tests since marijuana is still illegal in South Carolina.



Though, some people gave a helpful suggestion. They said to go to local unions because they often have job openings. In another follow-up video, they shared that they actually found some success! Even though they have yet to land a job, they at least were scheduled to have in-person interviews. On top of that, they said they “pay fairly well.”

Despite there being a labor shortage right now, some people aren’t experiencing it. According to a May 2023 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are a whopping 9.9 million job openings, with only 5.8 million people filling them. If that’s the case, then why are some people still struggling to find a job? Well, the answer isn’t uniform across the board. Some people are taking time off to spend with their families; others are acquiring more skills to land better jobs in the future. Then, why are some people failing to get a job when they’re actively applying?

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news and human interest stories.