Labor Statistics
Posted: 05 October 2007 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Employment Situation Summary

Does anyone watch press releases that boast about net gains in jobs?

Does anyone bother to see which jobs are being created and which ones are continued to be lost?

Is there something to be upbeat about when manufacturing jobs are constantly being cut while health services, leizure and hospitality make up most of the gains? In other words, we are replacing good paying jobs with low paying jobs.

There is also this: Economy’s Gains Fail to Reach Most Workers’ Paychecks:

• Real wages have been stagnant for many workers in the 2000s. After rising quickly in the second half of the 1990s, most workers real wages have been stagnant in the 2000s, especially since 2003. This result holds for a wide variety of wage and compensation measurements, including those that add the value of fringe benefits.

• The productivity/wage gap has grown. The gap between productivity growth and workers wages, especially those of middle- and low-wage workers, is at a historically high level.

• Wage growth has been unequal. Wage growth in the 2000s followed a highly unequal pattern, and higher-wage workers gained the most ground.

• Despite low unemployment, workers’ bargaining power has diminished. Though the unemployment rate has been low in historical terms, it does not capture the erosion of employment relative to the population caused by weak growth in (or withdrawal from) the labor force over the past few years. The bottom line is that many workers still lack the bargaining power to claim their fair share of the productivity growth they themselves are helping to create. This is partly due to weak job creation over the course of this recovery.

• More downward pressure on wage growth is likely. The recent slowing of productivity growth and rising unemployment are likely to place further pressure on most workers’ real wages in the near to medium terms.

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“Unsustainable systems can’t be sustained.” ~ Robert Jensen

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Posted: 05 October 2007 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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“I want to thank members of my economic team for coming in the Oval Office this morning to bring some good news here for America’s families and America’s working people. The—last month our economy added 110,000 new jobs. And that’s good news for people here in our country. It’s an indicator that this economy is a vibrant and strong economy.” - GW Bush

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Posted: 05 October 2007 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I think an additional worthwhile statistic to be reported would be the average and median wages (adjusted for inflation) for those jobs over the last twenty years.

Occam

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Posted: 05 October 2007 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hmmmm….......I wonder how NAFTA figures into all the loss in jobs and reduction or stagnation in real wages? Hmmm…..I wonder how NAFTA figures into the rise in rate of illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S. due to the rise in maquiladoras (sweatshops) in Mexico.

NAFTA = exploiting cheap labor. something the U.S. is extremely good at with or without NAFTA.

(some 525,000 U.S. workers have been specifically certified as “NAFTA job-loss victims.” real wages in Mexico are lower today then they were before NAFTA, their minimum wage has decreased by 20 percent and hovers at around 4$ a day. half of that nation lives in poverty. i would immigrate to the U.S. too under those conditions.)

Hmmm…....

never mind.

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Posted: 06 October 2007 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam - 05 October 2007 06:15 PM

I think an additional worthwhile statistic to be reported would be the average and median wages (adjusted for inflation) for those jobs over the last twenty years.

Occam

Living Wage; Facts at a Glance:

- Wages for the bottom 10% of wage earners fell by 3.9% between 1979 and 1999.

- The number of jobs where wages were below what a worker would need to support a family of four above the poverty line also grew between 1979 and 1999. In 1999, 26.8% of the workforce earned poverty-level wages, an increase from 23.7% in 1979.
between 1979 and 1999. In 1999, 26.8% of the workforce earned poverty-level wages, an increase from 23.7% in 1979.

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Posted: 24 October 2007 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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You can get a decent breakdown of income in the US by percentiles @ http://www.IRS.gov.

Gary

Reinstitute the draft or get out of Iraq.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 24 October 2007 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes, it never ceases to amaze me how politicians can make life worse for so many people, then warp the stats to make them look good and get credit for good economic management. Bush is, well bush league at this compared to Ronald Reagan, but still!

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Posted: 24 October 2007 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Geez, do they deliberately put it in a font that kills your eyes?

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Posted: 25 October 2007 01:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yes, but do what I do.  Download it as a text file.  Go to your word processer, bring it up, and change the font and size to what is easy for you to read.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 25 October 2007 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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mckenzievmd - 24 October 2007 08:06 PM

Yes, it never ceases to amaze me how politicians can make life worse for so many people,

Privatization….which gives the authority to an unaccountable tyranny…..that’s what politicians do. Public institutions have side benefits, they may purposely run at a loss because they’re not driven or reliant on a profit motive. A public steel industry can provide cheap steel to other industries. Public institutions can maintain employment in periods of recession which increases demand which helps you get out of recession. A privatized resource can’t do that. Their motive is to cut down on labor to maintain profits, that’s how they make money. One day everything will be owned by private companys.

There is even a copyright on the song “Happy Birthday” by an AOL Time Warner subsidiary. You sing it in film…..you pay them. They demand over $10,000 to allow you to hear it in film.

Bolivia’s water supply was privatized by Bechtel due to demands of the World Bank, both American institutions. The World Bank would lend money to Bolivia with the demand that they privatize water and Bechtel would do the work. That capitilized their access to a basic need…..water.

A quarter of the peoples income goes to the access of water. They earn 4 dollars a day. They even privatized rainwater, it’s illegal to collect rainwater in Bolivia. If that’s not Kapitalism on Krack I don’t know what is. They’re starving in Bolivia, yet Bechtel is profiting nonetheless.

it’s worse for so many people.

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Posted: 25 October 2007 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I have no statistics for you.  Only an eyewitness account that is probably not unusual or that couldn’t be told by any of a number of other people.

I am in “middle management” (I have “Manager” in my job title although nobody reports to me; I manage products and programs) and work in the office of a manufacturing company. 

A few years ago, we were bought out for the second time by a publically held corporation.  Sometime after that, the new CEO came to visit the plant where I worked.  All the Union employees decided to wear T-shirts that said something like “UAW and Proud of It!”  Not long after that, those of us who worked in the office were called to a 1PM meeting in the conference room at the same time the people out on the shop floor were being called to a meeting.  We were all simultaneously told that 1) all pensions were being frozen (not unusual these days) and 2) that wouldn’t affect all of us because all company facitlities in our location were being closed.

Over 200 people lost their jobs.  People who had worked for the company 30-40 years and were close to retirement were now out of a job.  I was one of the lucky ones.  I could keep my job if I would relocate to the new headquarters in another state.  As three different “head hunters” could find nothing in town, I moved.  One of the product lines from that facility is now made “off shore” (aka Communist China).

After I moved, my job required me to work with a number of different plants in different locations.  Once again, in a “cost cutting measure” one of these plants was closed, another 200-250 people lost their jobs and 1/3 of the work was moved to Mexico.  At the same time, we were told that we were not to use any vendors in the US unless absolutely necessary.  All further Purchasing was to be from China.

Then our CEO told us the corporation was filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection so that we wouldn’t have to pay what US vendors we had left.  More plants were closed (I forget the number; it’s hard to keep track).  After a year of this, they were about ready, they said, to emerge from Chapter 11.  In preparation, they decided to sell the company I work for, give the top seven executives of our company a “gift” of a years salary each to make sure they did a good job pitching the company to prospective buyers and they sent a petition to the courts for the disposition of a portion of the money that was earmarked to pay back some of the vendors.  In this petition they said, effectively, “For all of our good work at guiding this ‘corporate ship’ into the rocks, before you start paying the vendors back, we think we on the Board of Directors should be paid for the stock we gave each other in bonuses during these trying times, but no other shareholders.  And as the CEO, I deserve $27.2 MILLION” or words to that affect.

We found a buyer, and now another plant has been closed.  But this wasn’t so bad.  Only 60 people were let go.  The rest were sold, like slaves, to the company who bought the product that was made in that plant.  They lost all seniority (back to 1 week vacation), took pay and benefit cuts, but got to stay employed.

Sorry I have no statistics.  I don’t know, all told, how many people I’ve seen lose their jobs.  Close to 1,000 I guess.  New jobs?  That’s easy to calculate.  0.

God Bless America and the Big Business platform of the Republican Party.

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Posted: 26 October 2007 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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PaineMan - 25 October 2007 08:26 AM

  New jobs?  That’s easy to calculate.  0.

God Bless America and the Big Business platform of the Republican Party.

That’s an amazingly similar scenario to the one I’m used to seeing from the Co. I work for. I’m a CNC machinist that works for a company that is owned by an investment group. The original owner sold the company around 8 yrs ago to an investment group and that CEO recently retired and the company was bought by another investment group.

We never used vendors from China until we were “owned” by investment groups. Last year our pensions were frozen too with the stipulation the company would, for the first time, match employee 401 k contributions. I’ve done some reading on that and it is common and some co’s have been doing it for years yet the old CEO played it off like it was his idea!!

I’ve made it through 3 layoffs, the latest about 2 months ago, yet our company is in the process of looking at buying 3 other company’s that manufacture a similar product line. If there is an acquisition, many of them will be layed off as well and if they don’t yet exploit the cheap labor and materials of overseas vendors, if bought by “us”, they will.

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