OK, so about the narrative that we’re not any better off now than we were four years ago. Yeah, let’s take a look at that for a few, shall we? OK, so let’s overlook the fact that t low-wage jobs, paying $13.83 per hour or less, have dominated the recovery to date according to a National Employment Law Project report (pdf). Yes, what’s important to for all intent and purpose of this post, is that since the end of the Great Recession in early 2010, the economy has recovered about 3.3 million jobs. Which is a good thing considering that the U.S. lost about 8.1 million jobs after the recession began.
According to the report, jobs paying between $13.83 and $21.13 per hour, made up about 60 percent of the jobs lost during the recession. Those jobs have been slow to return during the recovery as mid-wage jobs have made up just 27 percent of the jobs gained. Yep, the bad news is that low-paying jobs have constituted roughly 58 percent of the jobs gained since 2010. At a glance it would seem that we’re worse off now than four years ago. However, the fact that manufacturing has grown in three years under Obama than eight years of the Bush administration bodes well.
The BGOV Barometer shows U.S. factory positions have grown since early 2010, arresting a slide that began toward the end of the 1990s. It’s the best showing since the era of Bill Clinton …
“This is the first sustained increase we’ve seen in a long time,” Macpherson said. … The progress so far also contrasts with the job losses seen during the recovery from the 2001 recession, when George W. Bush was president, he said. More jobs at factories are mainly an outcome of longer-term trends including rising productivity and innovation, a weaker dollar and free trade agreements, he said.
So while budget cuts to state and local government have taken away a major source of mid- and higher-wage jobs as noted by the NELP report. The fact that manufacturing is finally growing (despite last August being the third consecutive month of contraction) is a welcome sign to the millions of people currently employed in pow-wage jobs within the service industry.
“The Republicans in Washington claimed to draw their ideas from a website called ‘America Speaking Out.’ It turns out that one of the ideas that’s drawn the most interest on their website is ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Funny thing is, when we recently closed one of the most egregious loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimously opposed. The Republican leader John Boehner attacked us for it, and stood up for outsourcing, instead of American workers.” – President Barack Obama
Of course there’s no way we can expect every single manufacturing job to return. However, with China’s slowing economy, and the recent boost in home construction and the real estate market. It’s easy to see that we’re on the right track, and we’re obviously better off than we were four years ago. No thanks to George W. Bush’s stimulus package that included those massive tax cuts of course.
Yeah, how did that “stimulus” work out for you?