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US Almost half of Americans work in low-wage jobs

01:05  03 december  2019
01:05  03 december  2019 Source:   cbsnews.com

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Low - wage jobs are pervasive, representing between one-third to two-thirds of all jobs in the country's almost 400 metropolitan areas. The reality is that Americans are working but aren't earning enough to gain stable economic footings. As Ross and Bateman noted, "Nearly half of all workers earn

However, low - wage countries may be affected as well, if companies adopt automation to boost quality, achieve tighter production control, move production In these scenarios, average wages end up lower in 2030 than in the baseline model, which could dampen aggregate demand and long-term growth.

America's unemployment rate is at a half-century low, but it also has a job-quality problem that affects nearly half the population, with a study finding 44% of U.S. workers are employed in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of $18,000.

Contrary to popular opinion, these workers aren't teenagers or young adults just starting their careers, write Martha Ross and Nicole Bateman of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, which conducted the analysis. 

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Americans work low wage jobs because low wage jobs are what employers offer. Almost half of the population of the US has a tertiary degree putting the US near the top in tertiary education attainment.

Women working in low - wage jobs need higher wages — we can start by raising the minimum wage — and other key policy supports, including family tax credits, affordable health insurance, nutrition and housing assistance, and access to the full range of reproductive health care. We’ve also got to

Most of the 53 million Americans working in low-wage jobs are adults in their prime working years, or between about 25 to 54, they noted. Their median hourly wage is $10.22 per hour — that's above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour but well below what's considered the living wage for many regions.

Even though the economy is adding more jobs, there's increasing evidence that many of those new positions don't offer the kind of wages and benefits required to get ahead. A new measure called the Job Quality Index recently found there is now a growing number of low-paying jobs relative to employment with above-average pay. 

For the U.S. overall, median household income is $66,465, according to Sentier Research, with roughly half of families earning less than that amount. 

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In fact, if you go back to 1990 about half of all jobs in the U.S. were good jobs . But since that time, a whopping 63 percent of the jobs that have been created have been “ low - wage , low-hour jobs ”… Today more than 44 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt, which has become the

America has a wage problem. The country is projected to add almost 8 million jobs through 2022, representing 5 percent growth, according to a new study from CareerBuilder. Yet that research found good jobs are increasingly shifting toward Americans with college degrees, who now hold the bulk of

Workers aren't shy about expressing their frustrations, with about 6 of 10 workers saying their jobs are mediocre to downright bad, according to a recent Gallup job-quality survey. For instance, 1 in 5 workers told Gallup their benefits are worse now than five years ago.

"Not enough jobs paying decent wages" 

Low-wage jobs represent between one-third to two-thirds of all jobs in the country's almost 400 metropolitan areas, Brookings found. Smaller cities in the South and West tend to have the highest share, such as Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Jacksonville, North Carolina, where more than 60% of workers are low-wage.

But not only small cities in the South and West have a high proportion of low-paid jobs, the Brookings authors noted.

"Places with some of the highest wages and most productive economies are home to large numbers of low-wage workers: nearly one million in the Washington, D.C., region, 700,000 each in Boston and San Francisco, and 560,000 in Seattle," Ross and Bateman wrote. 

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Four in 10 Americans are struggling to pay for their basic needs such as groceries or housing, a problem even Health care costs have outpaced wages and inflation, pushing more Americans into high-deductible plans, which can Low -income households reported the highest share of hardship.

The biggest program and America to alleviate poverty just might be making things worse for low wage work . It's the question was posed in a report. By the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which examined rising inequality in almost all of the 34 modern economies around the

But, they added, the issue can't entirely be addressed by improving workers' skills, since low-wage jobs reflect the strength of a local economy. Recent research suggests "there simply are not enough jobs paying decent wages for people without college degrees (who make up the majority of the labor force) to escape low-wage work," they wrote. 

In other words, even if low-wage workers undergo job training and learn new skills, they're not guaranteed to find good-paying jobs anywhere near where they currently live.

So what makes a good job? Simply put, middle-class wages and benefits like health insurance, according to previous research from Brookings. But only about 30 million Americans have good jobs by that definition — and most of those are held by workers with college degrees, it found. 

The reality is that Americans are working but aren't earning enough to gain stable economic footings. As Ross and Bateman noted, "Nearly half of all workers earn wages that are not enough, on their own, to promote economic security."

A booming jobs report isn't an all-clear signal for the economy .
The blockbuster November jobs report, eased recession worries and reflects renewed business confidence in recent months. But the economy is slowing.Some economists are largely attributing the impressive 266,000 job gains to easing trade tensions and Fed interest rate cuts. But they continue to predict a slowdown in the economy and labor market next year, with a risk of recession still looming.

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