Jarrod Howard, 45, who has been unemployed for two years, recently finished a welding course in nearby Modesto. He said that welders with his skills could earn $60 an hour, but that he would settle for $20 an hour if he were able to stay within 50 miles of the house he shares with his mother.
“I could live on $15 an hour because it is not that expensive to live here, but I’m trying to put away as much money as I can to retire,” he said. “If I ever retire.”
My guess is that a lot of these folks would indeed find work if they were willing to relocate anywhere in the country. Or at least widen their horizons to finding a job somewhere other than their home town.