Tags: Wages | fall | more | bottom

Study: Wages Fall — and More So for Those at Bottom

Study: Wages Fall — and More So for Those at Bottom
(Dollar Photo Club)

By    |   Friday, 04 September 2015 07:52 AM

Official data show that wages have risen about 2 percent annualized since the Great Recession ended in 2009, but a new study from the left-leaning National Employment Law Project indicates the situation may be worse than that.

It shows that median hourly wages averaged across professions slid 4 percent from 2009 to 2014. And not surprisingly, those at the bottom of the earnings spectrum fared worst.

Wages for occupations in the bottom three-fifths fell 4 percent or more, while averages in the top two quintiles declined by an average of 2.6 and 3 percent, respectively. Wages in the bottom quintile plunged 5.7 percent.

The two occupations experiencing the biggest wage drops in the bottom quintile were cooks (8.9 percent) and food preparers (7.7 percent). Clearly this isn't the golden age for restaurant workers. Janitors, personal care aides and maids also fared poorly.

"Addressing wage declines, especially for workers in the lowest-paid occupations, is urgent and critical," the report states. "It should be a central focus of policymaking efforts."

Meanwhile, don't be lulled into complacency about the jobs by market by the fact that unemployment held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent in July, says former Wall Street Journal columnist Simon Constable.

"Today’s unemployment rate isn’t anywhere close to what economists call full employment, which usually involves some small level of unemployment, where people spend at least some time looking for new positions or finding work after they’ve quit," he writes on Ozy, a financial news service.

Remember that the unemployment rate includes only those actively seeking a job. "Over the past decade, a lot of people simply haven’t been looking," Constable points out.

The labor force participation rate stands at 37-year low of 62.6 percent down from 66 percent 10 years ago. That means 8.5 million peoples have dropped out of the workforce.

Then there are marginal workers, those who have part-time jobs but want full-time jobs. If you include them, the jobless rate is 10.4 percent.

The government releases August jobs numbers Friday. Economists predict a 223,000 gain in non-farm payrolls, compared to 215,000 in July, according to Bloomberg.

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Official data show that wages have risen about 2 percent annualized since the Great Recession ended in 2009, but a new study from the left-leaning National Employment Law Project indicates the situation may be worse than that.
Wages, fall, more, bottom
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2015-52-04
Friday, 04 September 2015 07:52 AM
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