What recovery? Many workers still stuck in recession
A survey finds that low-wage employees feel worse off now than they were during the economic downturn.
Those making $35,000 a year or less are not only still feeling the effects of the devastating downturn, but they're unsure if they'll ever pull out of it. A two-part Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey finds that low-wage workers are feeling worse off now than they were during the recession, while The Wall Street Journal finds unemployed Americans feeling similarly low.
The AP-NORC survey found that half of low-end workers were "not too" or "not at all" confident that their jobs would help them meet their long-term career goals. As its stands, only 41% of workers who have been in dead-end jobs for more than a decade reported ever receiving a promotion.
Their unemployed counterparts, meanwhile, are seeing their jobless benefits shrink from recession-era levels as strapped states cut back. Payouts are shrinking, the length of time unemployed workers are offered benefits is shriveling and alternative options keep disappearing.
Their problems aren't solved by newfound employment, either. Through last month, the U.S. economy had recovered 5.7 million of the 8.7 million jobs shed during the recession. Low-wage jobs are usually the first to come back after a slump, and roughly 65% of the jobs added since the recession officially ended in June 2009 have been the low-wage variety.
Among those holding such jobs, 71% worry about not being able to pay bills, 70% worry about unexpected medical expenses and 53% are still concerned about keeping up with the mortgage. While 44% report that their wages have stagnated over the last five years and 20% say that their pay has dropped, more than half -- 53% -- are far more concerned about losing their job than about their current pay.
A full 74% of low-wage workers said they were satisfied with their job overall, according to an AP survey in September, but that's still well below the 90% of all workers who said the same.
Those without jobs, however, need to convince employers that they're worth hiring. Forty-four percent of employers surveyed said it's tough to find people with the appropriate skills and experience to fill lower-wage jobs, particularly in manufacturing (54%).
While 88% of employers said they were investing in training and education for employees, few low-wage workers were aware of or used such programs. If employers need better workers and their employees need more training, someone needs to step up and start making that connection -- before what feels like a recession actually becomes one again.
There are few individuals who are benefitting from the recovery. It is mostly being captured by corporate profits and dividends to shareholders, not trickled-down to employees. Most jobs being generated are low-paying, and those with better jobs have stagnant earnings, working their asses off due to sparse staffing, and hanging on by their fingernails.
The country deserves the direction it elects. 51% says Obama is the answer. Voters had a chance to vot for a man who was employed, and was an employer, both of which Obama has never done. As a conservative, I admit Romney was not my selection for president, but this economy would have had a better chance at yielding positive results.
Defend this, Obama frees 2k illegals from jails, blames others. He stops White House tours. He blames both because of sequestration, an idea HE said he would not stop.
74k dollars a day to run WH tours, 250 million to Egypt.
The man will take this country further down. Maybe he gets at the rich some more, but if you don't believe that you the employee or the consumer won't pay for it, well then you're just not being realistic.
9.5% Unemployment in New Jersey since 2008. Bureau of Labor Statistic, so that's probably low.
Figures lie and Liars figure.
We have MANY talented, educated, and experienced AMERICAN STEM workers sitting idle while low-wage H1-B workers are imported into our country, live 10 people to a 2 bedroom apartment, perform WORSE doing the same job Americans should be doing, but at least the C-level execs are making hundreds of times what the average worker makes so yeehaw for America!
These H1-B workers drive down the wages for all American STEM workers, they de-incentivize future generations from obtaining costly and difficult education, they get experience and training and take it back to their own country.
This is a TERRIBLE situation for American STEM workers AND for the rest of America (except for highly-bonused C-level execs, immigration lawyers, and politicians!).
END H1-B NOW!!!!
Why didn't they say this during the elections??
To those of you who say jobs have moved oversees because of corporate greed, here are some questions for you.
How far out of your way are you willing to go to buy American?
How much more are you willing to pay to buy American?
Is it really corporate greed or union and worker greed that caused jobs to move out of this country?
How many benefits are you willing to give up to have some of these jobs back?
How many of you have agreed with government over-regulation of business?
How many of you have stood side-by-side with your employer to fight over regulation?
I’m sure I can answer for most of the complainers.
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