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Tough, dangerous jobs sometimes go unfilled

The economy is down and unemployment is up, but there are still some jobs that employers often find hard to fill.

Business Insider recently compiled a list of nine such jobs. One of the things most of the jobs had in common was the risk of workplace injury.

Take a look at the list:

  • Window washer: in Manhattan, this job often involves extreme heights and insecure scaffolding. About eight window washers die here in the city each year from falls. Seventy-five died on the job between 1983 and 2008. One California window-washing firm says it has had six washing jobs open since early this year. It has so far filled only two of the positions.
  • Dairy farm worker: while it might sound like a wonderful job in the great outdoors, the reality of a dairy farmhand is far different. They often milk cows on the graveyard shift; working in summertime heat or wintertime cold. Dairy farmers find vacancies hard to fill with American workers: 41 percent of farmhands are foreigners.
  • Head lice technician: a tough job to fill, for obvious reasons, Business Insider says. One Florida firm says only half of its job applicants even show up for their job interviews.
  • Diaper service worker: the job is "dirty" and "disgusting" one diaper service company owner says.
  • Ironworker: in New York City, ironworkers often earn a good wage. With the money comes lots of danger, of course. On-the-job falls can be deadly. Too often employers don't properly train workers on use of equipment or safety procedures.
  • Sewer/septic worker: the risk of injury isn't as high on this job as in some of the others listed, but the "ick" factor can make it difficult for employers to fill these jobs.
  • Oil/gas roustabout: high injury rates and hard work apparently don't combine to keep people from applying for these often surprisingly low-paying jobs (median wage: $15 per hour).
  • Slaughterhouse worker: again, injuries are common in this line of work also containing a pretty high "ick" factor. And once again, the pay is typically not great.
  • Meter reader: it's dull work that doesn't typically pay well in much of the country, but apparently vacancies aren't hard to fill.

Source: Business Insider: "9 Dirty Jobs That Nobody Wants" by Steve Yoder: Aug. 25, 2011

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