"It's Not Just Harder To Get A Job – It's Harder To Get A Good Job"

For many in the US, as WSJ reports based on the bifurcated ‘recovery’ in the US, the recession never ended, “we’re still in it… it feels like like we’re still in it and it’s getting worse.” Simply out, America’s jobs recovery is proceeding on two separate tracks – a pattern that is persisting far longer than after past economic rebounds and lately has been growing worse. For those with decent jobs, wages are rising, albeit slowly, and job security is the strongest it has been since before the recession. But many others – the young, the less educated and particularly the unemployed – are experiencing hardly any recovery at all.

 

As we have vociferously explained, hiring remains weak, and the jobs that are available are disproportionately low-paying and often part-time.

 

 

Via WSJ,

Despite three years of steady job gains, and four years of economic growth, many Americans have yet to experience much that could be described as a recovery. That sort of pattern isn’t unusual in the aftermath of a recession, but it usually eases as growth picks up steam.

 

 

The two-track nature of the recovery helps explain why the four-year-old upturn still doesn’t feel like one to many Americans. Higher earners are spending on cars, electronics and luxury items, boosting profits for the companies that make and sell such goods. But much of the rest of the economy remains stuck: Companies won’t hire or raise pay without more demand, and consumers can’t spend more without faster hiring and fatter paychecks.

 

 

“If you look at guys with just a high-school diploma or less than a high-school diploma, those guys are still in a recession,” Mr. Porcelli said. The confidence figures, he said, “really drive home this idea of a bifurcation in the U.S. economy.”

 

 

Economists aren’t sure what is behind the trend, or how long it will continue. Low-wage sectors are often the first to hire during a weak recovery, and less desirable workers—whether because of their age, education or other factors—are the last people hired in almost any scenario.

 

“It’s not just harder to get a job – it’s harder to get a good job,” said Harry Holzer, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University who has studied low-wage jobs. “Companies are more willing to create jobs right now if they’re low-wage jobs and they don’t have to pay much in benefits or make a major commitment to their employees.”

 

 

Top-line measures such as jobs and GDP often obscure the uneven progress underneath. The long-term unemployed, for example, have seen hardly any improvement in their chances of finding employment, even as job growth has been steady. The unemployment rate for those with less than a high-school diploma is 10.9%, compared with 3.8% for those with a college degree, and the unemployment rate for those under 25 is over 15%, versus 6.1% for those 25 or older.

 

 

In the 1990s, the best job market of recent decades, “the situation of people at the bottom of the labor market improved but not dramatically,” Mr. Osterman said. “Median wages have been basically flat for 30 years.”

    



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