Saturday, August 3, 2013

More Temp and Low-Paying Jobs

The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent as 162,000 more Americans had jobs in July, the U.S. Labor Department announced Friday. They said the number of unemployed went down from 11.8 million to 11.5 million. The way the government counts jobless numbers is either a sham, or miracles really do happen!

From the Huffington Post: Temps accounted for nearly 8,000 of the jobs added in July, and along with retail and restaurant workers made up more than half of the employment gains. Low-wage workers have been a big part of overall job growth since the recession officially ended in 2009, a pattern economists say is normal early in an economic recovery but usually doesn't last this long.

In July, there were 4.2 million long-term unemployed, Americans who have been jobless six months or longer. Their ranks have declined by almost 1 million in the past year, though economists are uncertain about how many of them are finding jobs or just giving up on their search for work. (Note to economists: If they were finding jobs, they would be counted. If they haven't found a job after one year, they are no longer counted.)

This proves once again my "conveyor belt theory", where as more people move into the "long-term" unemployed category, others are also "dropping out" of the labor force (making the rate go down). Whereas if layoffs exceeded "drop outs", the rate would only remain the same, rather than going up.

In July there were 8.2 million part-timers who wanted full-time work but couldn't find it.

From the Wall Street Journal: Arne Kalleberg, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina (and the author of the book Good Jobs, Bad Jobs) says, "These jobs count as jobs in the jobs reports, but there's very little attention paid to the kind of jobs these are. They tend to be low-wage jobs, they tend to be in retail and personal-service-type sectors, many of them are part time."

Over the past year, lower-paying sectors such as retail, restaurants, hotels and temporary-help agencies accounted for more than 40% of job growth. Many of those jobs are part time; the share of Americans working part time, which spiked during the recession, has shown little improvement and has been trending upward for much of this year.

The proliferation of low-wage jobs is leading to anemic growth in incomes. A broader measure of income released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed that inflation-adjusted incomes actually fell slightly in June. said it was adding more than 5,000 full-time jobs in its distribution centers across the country. Many of the jobs pay $11 an hour or less. "In our viewpoint these are great jobs," Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said.

Some 6.6 million workers say they want a job but don't count as unemployed because they aren't actively looking, a number that has barely budged in the past year. (The Dow Jones Industrial Average marked its 30th new high this year).

From the Economic Populist - Today Walmart is the largest private sector employer in the U.S. with more than 1.3 million employees. A Reuters survey of 52 stores run by the largest U.S. private employers showed that 27 of them were only hiring temporary workers --- including America's largest employer, Walmart, who calls temps "flexible associates". And America's second largest private sector employer is a temp agency called Kelly Services with 538,000 workers.

The Huffington Post - Daniel Alpert, managing partner of New York investment bank Westwood Capital, told Yahoo Finance's Daily Ticker, "We have become a nation of hamburger flippers, Wal-Mart sales associates, barmaids, checkout people and other people working at very low wages. That's why job growth is not increasing consumption or the ability to go out and buy stuff."

  • The unemployment rate fell in part because 37,000 workers dropped out of the labor force
  • The labor-force participation rate fell to 63.4 percent in July, near a 35-year low.
  • The civilian employment-population ratio was near the lowest in 30 years, down from more than 63 percent before the recession.
  • And there are a skyrocketing number of Federal workers on forced leave because of sequester cuts.
  • And we have a GDP growth rate of only 1.7 percent.
  • And the Economic Policy Institute says,"We could have a jobs deficit of more than 8 million jobs."

* On MSNBC Al Sharpton and his guests were discussing the GOP's plan to cut food stamps by $40 billion. They said that one Republican congressman, at a hearing on the poor this week, asked why the churches weren't doing more. Al Sharpton asked, "So next time we should just ask the churches to bail out the banks?"

* * Funny video from Stephen Colbert about McDonald's

1 comment:

  1. I lost my job 10 years ago. The only work i've been able to find is contract work. In those years the rate paid for these jobs is now less than half what it used to be. There are too many desperate workers out there so if I don't take the work someone else will.