Ford Louisville Assembly Plant

Here's a measure of how bad the economy is. Ford is getting ready to start assembling the upcoming all-new Escape at its Louisville Assembly Plant after having built the Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer there since 1990 (see the last one ever made in the mob of people above). To that end, the company recently began accepting applications for 1,800 open positions to shore up the 1,100-strong workforce already there. According to reports, nearly 17,000 people showed up to apply – 16,837 souls to be exact.

Unfortunately, most of those people don't have much of a shot at becoming part of the Blue Oval family. According to USA Today, the open spots will first go to Ford workers laid off at the Louisville plant since production of the Explorer was moved to Chicago, then to workers laid off at other Ford plants around the country. If there are any spots left after that, Ford will hold a lottery to determine who gets to move on for consideration, but even then, current Ford workers can refer friends and family as potential applicants, making the lottery pool that much larger.

What do they get if they make it to the factory floor? $15.51/hour, which is the lower second-tier wage that's now being offered to new workers, a concession the United Auto Workers granted Ford in its last contract negotiations.