Underemployment Numbers Should Be A Thing
Unemployment is up in Lubbock, but still below Texas as a whole. The real problem is people who have to work jobs well below their abilities.
I think what you're actually looking at here is people tired of being underemployed and filling for the loot rather than taking a thankless minimum wage job.
Underemployment is a real thing as the economy shifts and changes. So many jobs are being automated and/or phased out, that people who could make a living as say, warehousemen, can't really make a living. That's the real problem the world-wide economy is facing; you used to be able to support a family as a baker or a manager of a small store and now those are minimum wage jobs.
I don't have an answer to this underemployment problem. What I do think is that it needs to be reported properly. When you hear "unemployment," you think that at least part of those people are hapless, low-skilled people who can't keep an entry-level job. What people don't think about is that a lot of those people are actually highly skilled victims of consolidation. You also have a number of those people, and people with degrees that cannot find a decent job so they take what they can get and end up underemployed.
I think underemployment should be something we discuss right alongside unemployment every time we discuss the job situation. People want to feed their families and many have received education and training only to find out there is nothing for them out there.