- The dollar chains do provide jobs of their own, of course. The chain employs about 121,000 people nationwide and has said it will hire 10,000 more employees this year. But those jobs will be or are mostly low-wage. Salaried managers can earn about $40,000, but they often work long hours without overtime pay. These few positions won’t make much of a dent in the fortunes of communities such as Decatur. The only new employment opportunities in the foreseeable future, other than at the larger Dollar General, are on the grim, hazardous industrial meat lines at Simmons. The company recently announced plans to build an expanded factory 2 miles outside town by 2019 and close part of the existing one. Tharp doesn’t know if the city will lose its water and sewer contract with Simmons and is worried about the potential loss of tax revenue for the schools.
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