Politics Magazine

Jobs Lost In Recession Being Replaced By Low-Wage Jobs

Posted on the 30 April 2014 by Jobsanger
Jobs Lost In Recession Being Replaced By Low-Wage Jobs
Jobs Lost In Recession Being Replaced By Low-Wage Jobs
The figures below are from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) -- and they show that the recession recovery that has been experienced by Wall Street and the giant corporations has still not filtered down effectively to the vast majority of Americans. It's bad enough that the unemployment rate remains high and millions of Americans remain unemployed, but the recovery for workers has been very unequal -- and many of those who have been able to find jobs are making significantly less than before the recession.
Note that the bulk of the jobs lost because of the recession were high-wage and mid-wage jobs (about 77.6%), while the low-wage percentage lost was about 22.4%. But the job gains since the recession have been very different -- with only 56.1% being high-wage or mid-wage jobs, and a huge 43.9% being low-wage jobs. To put it another way, there are now 1.93 million less high-wage and mid-wage jobs, and there are 1.85 million more low-wage jobs.
So Main Street has seen nearly 2 million high-wage and mid-wage jobs turn into low-wage jobs. That may be good for Wall Street and the mega-corporations, but it is disastrous for workers. Workers had already seen a couple of decades where their wages were stagnant and had little growth. Now they are seeing the median wage fall as good jobs are being replaced with low-paying (and many times no benefit) jobs.
NELP says it is just that the high and mid-range jobs are lagging behind, while it is easier for low range jobs to recover. They are more optimistic than I am. Personally, I think Wall Street and corporate America loves the situation we are in, where they can easily replace the good jobs they lost with poor pay and benefit jobs -- and they have no intention to change that. They haven't been sharing productivity with workers for quite a while, and now they can compound that travesty by paying less than before the recession.
It has been estimated that by 2020 about one quarter of the American workforce (about 1 out of every 4 workers) will be working in low-wage jobs -- and if the minimum wage is not raised, many of those workers will be working for even less than the NELP definition of a low-wage job ($9.48 to $13.33). This is not a recovery -- it's a disaster.

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