This is the “new normal”
The ADP Report on private sector jobs came out today and showed an increase of 158K jobs. David Dayen at the FDL News Desk discusses this report and the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that will be issued tomorrow morning (Friday, November 2):
Plug this all in and what have you got? The consensus forecast calls for an increase in 125,000 jobs. That would be an increase from last month’s increase of 114,000, but below the increases in July and August (August and September will get revised in the report). This generally matches what we’re seeing in the ancillary reports, and shouldn’t be a number that would arouse joy or sadness in either Presidential campaign. However, with the volatility of last month’s topline unemployment rate, derived from the household survey, I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw it increase from the current level of 7.8%.
Either way, it’s a preliminary report, and we probably shouldn’t put as much weight on it as we will, especially with the political implications headed into the election.
The reality for many millions of us among the long term un and underemployed is the good jobs just are not there. At the end of August, Catherine Rampell of the NY Times had an article headlined “Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Finds.” As I noted in this post, it was very similar to an earlier post from April ’11 I had written that was based on a Washington Post article. Both the Times article and the Post article were based on reports from the National Employment Law Project.
Sunday in the NY Times, Steven Greenhouse had this article on how employers in retail and hospitality industries use (and abuse) part time workers:
But in two leading industries — retailing and hospitality — the number of part-timers who would prefer to work full-time has jumped to 3.1 million, or two-and-a-half times the 2006 level, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In retailing alone, nearly 30 percent of part-timers want full-time jobs, up from 10.6 percent in 2006. The agency found that in the retail and wholesale sector, which includes hundreds of thousands of small stores that rely heavily on full-time workers, about 3 in 10 employees work part-time….snip…
A 2011 survey of 436 employees at retailers in New York City, as diverse as luxury establishments on Fifth Avenue and dollar stores in the Bronx, found that half of the city’s retail workers were part-time and only one in 10 part-time workers had a set schedule week to week. One-fifth said they always or often had to be available for call-in shifts, according to the survey, which was overseen by researchers at City University of New York.
Mr. Flickinger, the retail consultant, said companies benefited from using many part-timers. “It’s almost like sharecropping — if you have a lot of farmers with small plots of land, they work very hard to produce in that limited amount of land,” he said. “Many part-time workers feel a real competition to work hard during their limited hours because they want to impress managers to give them more hours.”
What? Could someone have actually spoken a truth here? The modern day wage slave, complete with sharecropping as the ideal.
While CNN has an article this morning attempting to paint the rosy glasses scenario on how the jobs are not all part time minimum wage, even they have to acknowledge the reality of the lower wage since 24% of the “new” jobs are in hospitality and retail:
It’s true that the economy has added a lot of low-paying jobs over the last two years. Restaurants and bars, which pay a median wage of just $9 an hour, have accounted for 15% of all the jobs created in the recovery. Retailers, which pay a median $11 an hour, make up another 9%.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Monday on the long term un- and underemployed of Ohio:
According to the government, 780,000 Ohioans are underemployed or unemployed, a number that does not include persons working more than 35 hours. The report does not compile local underemployment numbers.
More people are working multiple part-time jobs, a practice Pautke cites as the only means of increasing the person’s take-home pay.
And this point goes back to the job scheduling practices noted in the NY Times article above — it is rather difficult for a part time wage slave to work those two or more part time jobs if/when the employers want the “flexibility” to schedule the work shifts the day before.
This is the “new normal” for far too many workers. So somebody please explain to me where all those jobs are from the “job creators?” Businesses in multiple industries are posting record profits (here, here, here, here, here, here) yet there are still millions of people in long term un and underemployment, people wanting to work, people with skills asking only for an opportunity to earn a decent wage with fair benefits.
And because I can:
Cross posted from Just A Small Town Country Boy by Richard Taylor