Happy Labor Day…if you have a job
Even though the recession ended nearly two years ago, polls show that American workers are feeling stressed and shaky this Labor Day because the nation continues to register month after month of job losses and wages are rising more slowly than inflation.
One factor above all has fueled the insecurity: the nation has lost 2.7 million jobs over the last three years. The recovery has been so weak since the recession ended in November 2001 that the nation’s payrolls are down one million jobs from when economic growth resumed.
Indeed, the current economic expansion is the worst on record in terms of job growth. The average length of unemployment, more than 19 weeks, spiked this summer to its highest level in two decades.
“American workers are doing very badly,” said Carl Van Horn, director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. “All the trends are in the negative direction. There’s high turnover, high instability, a reduction in benefits and a declining loyalty on the part of employers. At the same time, expectations for productivity and quality are going up. It’s a bad situation from a worker’s standpoint.”
Thank you, red states…