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Fort Myers man Joey Holz goes viral with employment "experiment"

Posted at 10:31 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 09:24:55-04

LEE COUNTY — We’re hearing from a Fort Myers man who has now gone viral for an "experiment" he conducted.

Joey Holz said he had been seeing hiring signs all over Lee County. He wanted some extra work, so he came up with a plan for putting out applications.

“Let’s do 30 days, 2 jobs a day. If I pick something up on the side, great. I’m already employed," said Holz.

Sixty applications for jobs that paid between minimum wage and $12 an hour. Holz kept track of the responses, and he was surprised by the result.

Holz's data compiled into a pie graph
Holz's data compiled into a pie graph

“16 of them responded to me, 4 of those went on to a phone call after an email exchange, and then 1 of those turned into an interview. 0 of them turned into a job that was actually desperate for help," said Holz.

On September 29th, Holz posted his “experiment” to social media. He was soon contacted by Business Insider, and from there the story took off.

“He wrote his article and that got picked up everywhere. Front page of Yahoo News, I’ve been trending on Reddit, Occupy Democrats on Facebook, The Other 98% page," said Holz.

Holz’s experiment comes at a time when workers are protesting for better wages and conditions across the country. Companies like John Deere, Kellogg, even janitors at the Denver airport are on strike.

“It’s not that nobody wants to work. It’s that nobody wants to work for slave wages anymore," said Holz.

The U.S. Department of Labor shows the marketplace is responding, with wages rising $0.19 an hour nationally in September.

Holz said, to him, those numbers show the workers are there, companies just have to pay for them.

“You’re like oh no I promise I’m trying to find you help, it’s just nobody wants to work. Nobody believes it anymore," said Holz.

Holz said he never intended for his experiment to get this much attention, but he hopes it can start a conversation about labor in the United States that wasn’t happening before.