Posts Tagged ‘Low-Wage Jobs’

McDonalds tells employees to budget better

July 17, 2013


McDonalds has teamed up with Visa to advise restaurant employees on how to lead a good life on a McDonalds wage.

mcdonalds.employeesSome of the things the employees would have to do are (1) hold two jobs, (2) pay nothing for heat or air conditioning and (3) get health insurance for $20 a month.

What were McDonalds’ executives thinking?  Did they actually think their advice was realistic?  Or was this an ill-conceived public relations ploy and, if so, who was it aimed at?

Click on Practical Money Skills Budget for the McDonalds-Visa financial planning web page.

Click on McDonalds Tells Workers to Toil 70 Hours a Week, Use Ripoff Payroll Cards as Part of “Financial Literacy” for Yves Smith’s detailed breakdown and analysis on naked capitalism.

Click on A Model World for Jim Henley’s briefer breakdown and analysis on Unqualified Offerings.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed and well-fed.
    ==Herman Melville (1819-1892)


[Update 7/19/13]  Click on Minimum wage workers teach economics to the economists for what it means to live on minimum wages.

Why don’t politicians care about working people?

March 28, 2013
Mark Thoma

Mark Thoma

Mark Thoma, professor of economics at the University of Oregon and host of the Economist’s View web page, wonders why politicians in general and Democrats in particular are so little concerned about the plight of American working people.

Consider… four facts from a recent speech by Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Raskin.

  • First, around two-thirds of the jobs lost during the recession were in moderate-wage occupations, but more than one-half of subsequent job gains have been in low wage jobs.  As she says, recent job gains have been largely concentrated in lower-wage occupations.
  • Second, since 2010 the average wage for new hires has actually declined.
  • Third, about one-quarter of all workers are “low wage” (just over $23,005 per year in 2011 dollars).
  • Finally, involuntary part-time work is increasing, and more than a quarter of the net employment gains since the end of the recession involve part-time work.


I don’t blame Republicans for their efforts.  I wish the working class was more important to Republicans, and I cannot understand their indifference to the struggles of so many people.  But that’s not who Republicans are.  Fundamentally, it’s the party of the rich and this is a chance to lower government spending and reduce the pressure for tax increases on high-income households.

I do, however, blame Democrats for allowing them to be successful.  Even though unemployment is extraordinarily high and job opportunities, when they exist at all, are mostly at reduced wages, and even though the future for the working class looks increasingly bleak, too many Democrats have aided and abetted Republicans in this diversion of attention from jobs to the national debt.

Click on Why Don’t Politicians Care about the Working Class? for Thoma’s entire article.

Click on Focusing on Low- and Moderate-Income Working Americans for Sarah Raskin’s speech.

Hat tip to occasional links & commentary

America’s low-wage recovery

September 4, 2012

When and if employment in the United States gets back to what it was before the recession, American working people will still be worse off than before, because on average they’ll be working in lower-paying jobs.

The National Employment Law Project, a liberal think tank, reported that about three out of five of the new jobs gained during the current economic recovery were in low-wage occupations, with median pay less than $13.52 an hour, or $28,122 for someone working full-time, year-round.   But about four out of five of the jobs lost during the recession were in occupations with median wages above that level.

There is good growth in occupations such as retail clerk, kitchen worker, laborer, freight handler, waiter and waitress, home health aide, office clerk and customer service representative.  The low-wage occupations would provide $15,621 to $28,121 a year to someone working full-time year-round.

The moderate-wage jobs would pay $28,142 to $42,973 a year.  They’re mostly in construction, information industries and banking, insurance and real estate.

Median wages in the high-wage jobs would be $42,994 to $110,906 a year.  A relatively small number of these jobs were lost during the recession, but the loss hasn’t been made up.

The NELP researchers said the shift reflects a hollowing out of the middle level of the U.S. economy which has been going on for a long time, plus layoffs of government workers during the recession.

Back in April, the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented think tank, issued a report predicting that 28 percent of American workers will be in low-paid jobs in 2020, about the same as in 2010.  The EPI defined a low-paid job as one insufficient to keep a family of four above the poverty line.  In 2011, that was $23,005, or $11.06 an hour for someone working full-time year-round.  In yet another report, NELP researchers estimated that one in four American workers currently has a job that pays less than $10 an hour.

What all this shows is that economic stimulus is not enough to bring about prosperity.  Unless we Americans are resigned to growing steadily poorer, we have to figure out not just how to restart, but how to rebuild, our economy.

Click on The Low-Wage Recovery and Growing Inequality PDF for the NELP report.

Click on Majority of New Jobs Pay Low Wages, Study Finds for a summary of the NELP report in the New York Times.

Click on The Future of Work: Trends and Challenges for Low-Wage Workers PDF for the EPI report.

Click on Welcome to Your Low-Wage, Temp Work Future for a summary of the EPI report in Forbes.

Click on Obama, Romney and the Low-Wage Future of America for an article by Dan Froomkin of Huffington Post on the failure of either President Obama or Governor Romney to address this issue.

Hat tip to Think Progress.