Job One — A Damn-Decent Wage

April 3, 2015

picasso__le_repas_frugal-e1340367392424Thinly-overcast this early Friday morning on California’s north coast, producing some faded sunshine, which is better than none at all.
And the wind is down, too, also a game-changer this close to the shoreline — nice and warm so far.
A decent-sized rain system expected by Sunday, maybe earlier, and supposedly could last until the middle of next week.

This morning, too, being the first Friday of the month, the American industrial-employment numbers were released by the US Department of Labor, and despite a nifty history, the digits were shitty this round — employers added just 126,000 jobs in March, way-well short of economists’ estimates of 247,000, smallest gain since December 2013.

The unemployment rate stayed at 5.5 percent, and wages still suck.

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Frugal Meal’ found here).

The major gap in any recovery is money in the pocket — wages. Despite all the tip-toeing around the subject for years, in the recent past, apparently, there’s been some indicators that maybe wages would/could keep up with inflation.
However, in March average hourly earnings rose by just 7 cents to $24.86, the yearly wage growth only up 2.1 percent — prior to the 2008 financial meltdown, the growth rate was ‘north‘ of 3 percent. US workers received about a .30-cents-a-year raise.
Yeah, right.

From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

The recovery’s missing ingredient has been wage growth, stuck around 2% a year for the last half-decade.
Average hourly earnings of private-sector workers in February were $24.78, up — you guessed it — 2 percent from a year earlier.
But Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at accounting and consulting firm CohnReznick, thinks earnings could pick up in March as more employers raise wages to retain and hire workers in a tighter labor market.
“I think there is growing evidence that we are finally — and it’s been a long time coming — seeing some acceleration in earnings growth,” he said.
A note of caution: Monthly wage growth has jumped several timesduring the recovery, then quickly faded.

The wages of the poor…real bottom-line from an income primer at the Economic Policy Institute: ‘The stagnation of hourly wages is the most important economic issue facing most American families, and most of our key economic challenges hinge on whether or not hourly wages for the vast majority grow. Further, the policy roots of hourly wage trends are deep, but too often downplayed or even ignored.’

Yeah, right…again.

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