Tuesday, 19 February 2013 10:54
By Jim Hightower, Other Words | Op-Ed
The Powers That Be say the bulk of America’s middle-class manufacturing jobs are gone and aren’t coming back. High-tech jobs are being outsourced, as is an increasing share of the work historically handled by our accountants, lawyers, and some other professionals.
Retail jobs at brick-and-mortar shops, however, can’t be exported.
But wait, those aren’t jobs, they’re “jobettes.” They’re part-time, pay poverty wages, offer no benefits, feature lousy schedules, come with little training, and boast few advancement opportunities.
Most big retail chains treat their employees as nothing but a drain on profits rather than an asset worth investing in. Sales people are typically paid only $10 an hour, clerks get only $9.70, and cashiers just $9. Even worse, 94 percent of retailers define full-time work as only 30 hours a week. People can’t make ends meet on that, and America can’t have a healthy economy without a solid middle class. However, 15 million Americans are in retail work now, and it’s to be our second-biggest source of new jobs for the next decade. ...................(more)