Dear Editor:

This is in response to a column written by Gordon Smith about extended unemployment benefits is like being on the Dole.

I am a mother of one of the unemployed who had been on benefits until recently.

I truly disagree with your thoughts on this subject as in your article in the TIMES NEWS on April 28th. For some reason you are putting people of all trades in one scope. Go to school and learn a new trade you speak of! Did you ever think that maybe the unemployed of today also have college degrees and have student loans payments that are hundreds of month to pay back? The days have long gone that people come out of High School and can get a good paying job. So your perspective is obsolete of a time that has gone by 40 years ago. Without College the worker of today has a grim future.

I would like to add people on unemployment are not on the DOLE and living a great life collecting unemployment. The unemployment they get is usually half of what they originally made minus any benefits.

You speak of loads of jobs in the Service Sector that cannot be filled per your post (Despite the decent compensation from the combination of wages and tips, the restaurants I frequent are always short staffed. Jobs like these go begging for applicants. Restaurants and fine dining establishments cannot compete with unemployment insurance, as some people between positions prefer a benefit check that enables them to stay home rather than working. If they were employed, they would have child care, transportation and other employment related expenses. Their net pay from their job after deducting work related expenses could be less than they receive on the dole. As a result the dole becomes a lifestyle rather than a safety net.)

What you seem to overlook is that these jobs pay minimum wage- have no Health Insurance Benefits, No Pensions Benefits or 401Ks. A single person cannot afford to even live on these wages and how do you expect a family to do so?

Please Walk the Walk before Talking the Talk!

I have to ask: Are you employed full time or collecting Social Security? If you're employed full time and believe these Service Sector Jobs are so great- quit your job and give it to one of the unemployed families that need it and then you can take the non- benefit paying minimum wage job and ENJOY!

And if you collect Social Security- aren't you then on the DOLE? Most people collect more on that program then they paid in but for a much longer time then the unemployed with unemployment benefits.

Once last thing there was an article in the TIMES NEWS about local elderly women who took low paying factory jobs and now can't make it on Social Security. Isn't this the same cycle for the worker of today if they take your low paying service sector jobs?

The truth of the matter, the worker of today with a family has to leave Carbon County and go to Reading, Allentown, Philly, Stroudsburg or New Jersey to make a decent living and most of the unemployed in the area were working in those areas before they got laid off.

So your one OCCUPATION fits all theory doesn't hold it's worth in words.

Mrs. Celeste Bybel

Summit Hill