Recently unemployed New Yorkers took to the streets with shovels this week in hopes of turning the snowfall into a financial windfall. After a storm dumped more than 11 inches on New York, the city rallied emergency snow laborers who are paid $12 per hour "unbury fire hydrants, scrape crosswalks and create a curbside space where people can wait for the bus," according to the Times.
And thanks in part to the recession, 1,661 people have already lined up for the job this week — easily surpassing the number of people who participated in the program throughout all of last winter, according to the Department of Sanitation. There are no official figures on the number of unemployed people participating in the program, but the paper spoke with several jobless folks who saw the storm as a business opportunity. “I want snow till May,” said unemployed light rigger Carlos Rosario, 54.
But Dawaine Johnson — a 44-year-old chef who lost his job last month — told the Times he had to swallow his pride to take the gig. “I used to tell my son, I don’t care what you have to do to make money, even if you have to shovel snow, though I said it much more derogatory than that,” he said. “Now I’m shoveling my own words.”