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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Jobs may be out there but they don't pay

But to get to the most important trend you have to dig under the job numbers and look at what kind of new jobs are being created. That’s where the big problem lies.

The National Employment Law Project did just that. Its new data brief shows that most of the new jobs created since February 2010 (about 1.26 million) pay significantly lower wages than the jobs lost (8.4 million) between January 2008 and February 2010.

While the biggest losses were higher-wage jobs paying an average of $19.05 to $31.40 an hour, the biggest gains have been lower-wage jobs paying an average of $9.03 to $12.91 an hour.

In other words, the big news isn’t jobs. It’s wages.

For several years now, conservative economists have blamed high unemployment on the purported fact that many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech jobs market.

So if we want more jobs, they say, we’ll need to take pay and benefit cuts.

And that’s exactly what Americans have been doing.

Employers have demanded wage and benefit concessions from their unionized workers and often got them. Detroit is creating auto jobs again — but new hires are getting about half the pay that auto workers were getting before. Airline workers are taking home 30 to 50 percent less than they did years ago. And so on.

The Real News on Jobs
Robert Reich, Truthout, March 4, 2011

This matches perfectly with this author's everyday impressions. There seems to be an awful lot of service jobs around which pay wages at around $10 per hour. Quite laughable especially in large metropolitan areas. And by "laughable" I certainly don't mean "funny".

For now what we seems to be doing is just watching the people lose their faith in honest work, lose their hope, their work ethics... What's next? A crime wave? Riots in the streets? Police oppression? All of the above?

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