Friday, January 24, 2020

Further real life adventures in the longest economic expansion in U.S. history

Quoted in Women’s Gains in the Work Force Conceal a Problem.  (The New York Times, 1/21/2020)

1/23/2020 update starts here.

Quoted in Women’s Gains in the Work Force Conceal a Problem.  (The New York Times, 1/21/2020)

1/9/2020 update starts here.

The Truth About US Jobs.  Low unemployment isn't worth much if the jobs barely pay.  (Brookings, 1/8/2020)
In a recent analysis, we found that 53 million workers ages 18 to 64—or 44% of all workers—earn barely enough to live on. Their median earnings are $10.22 per hour, and about $18,000 per year. These low-wage workers are concentrated in a relatively small number of occupations, incuding 
  • retail sales
  • cooks food and beverage servers
  • janitors and housekeepers
  • personal care and service workers (such as child care workers and patient care assistants) 
  • various administrative positions.

1/3/2020 update starts here

Reported in The economy is growing and leaving low-wage workers behind.  (Brookings, 12/19/2019)

12/7/2019 update starts here

The Uneven Economic Recovery Is Cementing Financial Anxiety for Millions of Consumers.  (Gartner, 7/16/2019)
Unemployment may be at a historically low 3.7%,2 but “underemployment” — the percentage of individuals who would prefer to be working more hours or in a position that more fully utilizes their skill set — is perhaps a better measure of health for the modern labor market.3 Thirty-three percent of college graduates and 40% of recent college graduates are considered underemployed — a rate that remains unchanged since before the Great Recession. Consumers recognize this discrepancy.

7th real life adventure (12/3/2019) starts here

Photo credit:  Amazon

Reported in Prime Mover: How Amazon Wove Itself Into the Life of an American City.  (The New York Times, 11/30/2019)

6th real life adventure (11/26/2019) starts here.

Reported in Activists Build a Grass-Roots Alliance Against Amazon.  (The New York Times, 11/25/2019)
Last fall, the retailer was forced to begin paying a $15 hourly minimum wage nationwide.  

$15 x 2080 for a full-time job = $31,200.

Let's see how that stacks up.

Source:  HSH

5th real life adventure (11/8/2019) starts here

Reported in Meet the Low-wage Workforce.  (Brookings, 11/7/2019)

4th real life adventure (11/5/2019) starts here

Source:  BeBusinessed

Push to Raise Minimum Wage Goes Local, at Airports and Hotels.  (The New York Times, 11/3/2019)
By keeping the focus on specific industries and occupations, organizers have largely been able to bypass the partisan divide over the national minimum wage, which has been frozen at $7.25 for a decade. The House has passed legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but the bill has no chance in the Republican-controlled Senate 
The push for sector-specific minimum wages comes amid a broader debate about inequality, and a sense that the fruits of the decade-long recovery have largely gone to highly educated Americans while most workers have had to make do with modest gains. It also seeks to build on the momentum from successful efforts for state and local minimum-wage increases in places like Seattle, New York State and California. [emphasis added]

3rd real life adventure (11/1/2019) starts here

Reported in Lots of Job Hunting, but No Job, Despite Low Unemployment.  Print headline:  What Recovery?  Life on the Edge.  (The New York Times, 10/31/2019)
In other words, we're just fooling ourselves. Most of these people do not show up in the stunningly low official unemployment rate, which was 3.6 percent in October. Working even one hour during the week when the Labor Department does its employment survey keeps you out of the jobless category[emphasis added]

2nd real life adventure (10/23/2019) starts here.

Reported in In a Strong Economy, Why Are So Many Workers on Strike?   (The New York Times, 10/19/2019)

Related reading (source of graphs):
CEOs see pay grow 1,000% in the last 40 years, now make 278 times the average worker.  (CNBC, 8/16/2019)

1st real life adventure (10/22/2019) starts here.

Bar graphs:  Shift Projecgt

How Unpredictable Work Hours Turn Families Upside Down.  (The New York Times, 10/16/2019)
Unpredictable schedules can be brutal for hourly workers, upending their lives. New research shows that African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities — particularly women — are much more likely to be assigned irregular schedules, and that the harmful repercussions are felt not just by the workers but also their families.\
The findings come from continuing surveys of 30,000 hourly workers by the Shift Project at the University of California. The researchers compared workers who earned the same wages, including at the same employers, but had different degrees of predictability in their schedules. Those with irregular hours fared worse — and so did their children.

Related reading:
6.4 million Americans are working involuntarily part timeEmployers are shifting toward part-time work as a ‘new normal’.  (Economic Policy Institute, 12/5/2016)
In Still falling short on hours and pay: Part-time work becoming new normal, Golden shows that the number of people working involuntarily part time has increased 44.6 percent since 2007. While many areas of the labor market have recovered from the recession, the chronically higher level of involuntary part-time workers is evidence of an incomplete recovery.

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