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Middle class dies as 1 in 3 jobs (40 million) pay low wages (under 11.11/hr)

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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 07:42 PM
Original message
Middle class dies as 1 in 3 jobs (40 million) pay low wages (under 11.11/hr)
REPORT FINDS 44 MILLION JOBS (1 IN 3) PAY LOW WAGES
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2007

Contact: Lynn Erskine, 202-293-5380 x115

Washington, DC: A new report http://www.cepr.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1080&Itemid=8 from The Mobility Agenda finds that over 40 million jobs in the United States about 1 in 3 pay low wages ($11.11 per hour or less) and often do not offer employment benefits like health insurance, retirement savings accounts, paid sick days, or family leave. Moreover, these jobs tend to have inflexible or unpredictable scheduling requirements and provide little opportunity for career advancement.<snip>

"All too often these low-wage jobs are replacing jobs that have supported a broad middle class," said Margy Waller, director of The Mobility Agenda and one of the paper's co-authors. "The economy and our democratic society are strongest when no one is falling too far behind the rest. Unfortunately, we find that, in 2006, 44 million workers were employed in low-wage jobs paying much less than the rest of us get paid."

The report, Understanding Low-Wage Work in the United States, uses a social inclusion approach that provides a definition of low-wage work that allows for comparison among jobs in the United States. The authors define a low-wage job as one paying substantially less than the job held by a typical male worker. The trend since 2001 has been a sharp decline in wages for these jobs. Worse, reviewing the evidence on economic mobility, the authors conclude, "In the U.S. labor market, it is not possible for everyone to be middle class, no matter how hard they work. Moreover, it has been getting harder to do over time."

This report is the first in a series for The Mobility Agenda, where advisors are developing a menu of new ideas and strategies for improving low-wage work and economic mobility a set of options that goes beyond minimum wage to strengthen the labor market and build an economy that works for everyone.

"We're focused on improving wages, benefits, and other work conditions. We encourage further public debate about the significance of low-wage work and a more direct focus on the labor market and economic policy for a strong nation," said Shawn Fremstad, another co-author and advisor to The Mobility Agenda. <snip>

Center for Economic and Policy Research, 1611 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 293-5380, Fax: (202) 588-1356, Home: www.cepr.net
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. What is middle class
and how will I recognize it if I ever get there? :shrug:
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montanacowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. YEP...COME TO MONTANA WHERE IF YOU ARE LUCKY
YOU CAN SCORE A JOB FOR $7, 8 OR $9/HR. $10/HR IS PRETTY HIGH, IF YOU MAKE $12/HR YOU ARE IN HIGH COTTON;

IT'S JUST DISGUSTING; THINGS HAVEN'T CHANGED HERE FOR YEARS AND YEARS. I DO NOTICE HOWEVER THAT HOUSE PRICES ARE GOING THRU THE ROOF, AND PROPERTY TAXES ARE UNBELIEVABLE PLUS WE HAVE AN INCOME TAX. HOW MANY JOBS DO FAMILY MEMBERS HOLD DOWN? TWO, THREE OR FOUR? AND FORGET ABOUT BENEFITS. VERY FEW EMPLOYERS OFFER.

THE RICH EMPLOYERS MOVE HERE FROM CALIFORNIA, SET UP THEIR BUSINESSES OVER THE NET AND HIRE THE CHEAP LOCALS. SAME OLD STORY, SAME OLD BULLSHIT.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I live on the OR Coast
Same here. I feel ya'. People vie for jobs based on tips, not salaries and benefits. It's sad.

When my husband and I lived in Montana we always said we may as well live where everybody was broke together!! We only left because he had leg injuries and couldn't take the cold. I will always miss my mountains. I do like it here too though. But there's just something about Montana.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. Sounds a lot like SC, except I don't think our housing market is
as inflated as in some places.

"AND PROPERTY TAXES ARE UNBELIEVABLE PLUS WE HAVE AN INCOME TAX. HOW MANY JOBS DO FAMILY MEMBERS HOLD DOWN? TWO, THREE OR FOUR? AND FORGET ABOUT BENEFITS. VERY FEW EMPLOYERS OFFER."
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. And then people want to tell me
That two low income workers are stupid and greedy for trying to buy a house, even if it means taking a risk on an ARM loan. Fuck them. Hard.
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frankenforpres Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. why dont they rent?
it's what i do since i cant afford a loan without wacky financing
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. When your rent triples and your wages stay the same
Edited on Thu Mar-15-07 08:56 PM by sandnsea
In 20 years, think about what you just wrote and then wonder why people buy when they can.

They loosened the loan requirements which meant that a lot of lower income people who had never qualified for loans suddenly had a chance to buy - and take the first step to locking in a monthy payment and building some equity. I don't blame anybody who has watched their rent skyrocket in the last ten years for trying to do something different.

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frankenforpres Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. they werent locking in
when you get an adjustable rate mortgage, you arent locking in. we also might have a different definition of what "can" means. i "can" go do to the BMW and get a 7-series (as in it could happen). but to me, i cant afford that.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. The first step
That's what I said. You get the ARM for two years, pay it on time, and then you can qualify for a locked in mortgage.

Homes are not luxury purchases. :eyes:
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. No, sandnsea.. you are absolutely right in your thinking..
I've been reading your posts, and you are absolutely right in investing your rent money into housing you own..
Kudos to you for standing your ground..
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. entry level middle class is $18 t0 $20 an hour
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frankenforpres Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. really?
Edited on Thu Mar-15-07 09:52 PM by frankenforpres
a middle class family (2 worker)makes $80,000 a year? seems high to me



edit: yeah that seems way off according to wiki too. they put median family income around $47K


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. So one can not be middle class without being in a 2 worker family? - Or is $23,500 per person
now middle class? - 11.75/hr?

Or does a shrinking middle class due to decreased life style that the median income provides mean that comparisons to the two family median are not the yardstick to use for measuring how deep into "middle-class" one has penetrated?



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frankenforpres Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. depends what you mean
im not trying to get into a debate about what middle class SHOULD mean, I am just putting the info of what middle class is right now.


median family is like $47K, median two earner family is like $67K. the other breakdowns are on the wiki page
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Ok - I misunderstood your post - sorry - in any case the "middle class" no longer
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 07:43 PM by papau
has the economic status that it once had, if we define it is as wiki median income

From wiki:

annual household income according to the US Census Bureau was determined to be $46,326,<3> similar to that of Canada which was roughly $41,510 (USD) in the year 2000.<4> The median income per household member (including all working and non-working members above the age of 14) in the year 2003 was $23,535.<5> In the year 2005, there were approximately 113,146,000 households in the United States. 17.23% of all households had annual incomes exceeding $100,000,<6> while another 12.7% fell below the federal poverty threshold<7> while the bottom 20% earned less than $19,178.<8> While the aggregate income distribution tends to tilt towards the top with the top 6.37% earning roughly one third of all income, those with upper-middle incomes also controlled a large, though declining, share of the total earned income.<9><2> Households in the top quintile, 77% of which had two income earners, had incomes exceeding $91,705. Households in the mid quintile, with a mean of one income earner per household had incomes between $36,000 and 57,657.<8>

The 2005 economic survey also found that households in the top two income quintiles, those with an annual household income exceeding $55,331, had a median of two income earners while those in the lower quintiles (2nd and middle quintile) had median of only one income earner per household. Due to high unemployment among those in the lowest quintile the median number of income earners for this particular group was determined to be zero.<6> Overall the United States followed the trend of other developed nations with a relatively large population of relatively affluent households outnumbering the poor. Among those in-between the relative extremes of the income strata a large and quite powerful section of households with moderately high middle class incomes<9> and an even larger number of households with moderately low incomes.<6> While the median household income has increased 44% since 1990 it has decreased very slightly when considering inflation. In 1990, the median household income was determined to be $30,056; $44,603 in 2003 dollars. While personal income has remained relatively stagnant since over the past few decades, household income has risen due to the rising percentage of households with two or more income earners. Between 1999 and 2004 household income stagnated showing a slight increase since 2004.<10>

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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. sorry my info is old..
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
12. This is what ordinary people have been seeing around them
Edited on Fri Mar-16-07 09:11 AM by raccoon
for years.

"pay low wages (under 11.11/hr)"
And $12.00 isn't middle class, nor high wages.

Let's get this on Greatest, yall! Just 2 more R's needed.
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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
15. K & R
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. 1 in 3 = 40 million?
What is wrong with this pic:
Government says unemployment =5% or less
300 million americans
At least 1/2 are adults of working age
so that makes 150 million working age americans
150 does not equal 120 million!

And this does not include the people working 2 or 3 jobs.

So three possibilities
1. Jobs not counted- jobs for illegals? Entrepreneurs?
2. more retirees and children than I have counted
3. unemployment is much higher than we are told...
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gravity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-16-07 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #16
17.  labor supply which is different than working age
Not all adults work or plan on working, so its an accurate comparison.
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. Have you know the bushes administration to report any statistics without fudging?
What we do know is that discouraged workers (unemployed for over a year and have stopped looking because they can't find a job) are not counted and some high unemployment areas such as the inner city and rural poor are not included in the household survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So some people suggest that the true unemployment rate is around 12%.

I personally think the bushes are just plain changing the numbers in very deceptive ways so that the changes are not easily detected. My guess is that unemployment is closer to 15% and if they would include people who have to hold two jobs, it would be closer to 20%.

http://www.shadowstats.com/cgi-bin/sgs/article/id=341
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-17-07 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
20. From looking at local want ads
It seems more like 2 out of 3.
I know that many middle and high income jobs are in the "hidden" job market. It makes it harder for people without connections to get decent paying jobs.
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