Middle Class still missing out

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RickyZ

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2012
8,388
196
63
#1
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[FONT=&quot]Wages are heading up, but not for middle class
Wage hikes evading middle class

Gains thus far have been very uneven, concentrated at the top and bottom of
the pay scale.

By Don Lee

WASHINGTON — Jorge Hunzelmann was pleased enough when his employer bumped up his pay this year by $2.50 an hour to $19.50.
Hunzelmann, a truck driver, is a beneficiary of a tightening labor market. But he does not have company-provided health benefits, and thankful as he was for the raise, the 52-year-old father of two says it’s still a hand-to-mouth existence for his family.
“We don’t have money to save to put into the bank. Everything is gone,” said the resident of Gaithersburg, Md., tanking up his white truck loaded with recycled materials.
Across the country, wages that were stuck for years finally seem to have started to rise faster, especially in industries such as trucking, which is begging for workers.
Average hourly earnings for all private-sector employees last month grew at a 2.9% annual rate, the most since 2009. That has fueled hopes for workers. It has also spooked some investors with fears of higher inflation and interest rates, which have convulsed financial markets.
But wage gains thus far have been very uneven, according to detailed Labor Department statistics. They’re concentrated at the higher end of the pay scale and the lower — well-paid executives at one end, workers such as Hunzelmann at the other.
By and large, the broad middle of the labor force has not seen much of a raise, mirroring a long-running trend of income polarization and a shrinking middle class in America.
Even with unemployment at a 17-year low of 4.1%, the proverbial rising tide has not lifted all boats: The fancy yachts have gotten most of the lift.
Take the finance sector, which has led the pack in the recent wage increases.
Some 8.5 million people work in banking, insurance and real estate; their average hourly pay jumped 4.2% in January from a year earlier, to just a penny under $34 an hour.
But for ordinary nonsupervisory employees in finance — about 4 out of 5 financial-industry workers — the average increase was just 1.6%, to $26.75 an hour.
A similar, though smaller, gap can be seen in other industries, including healthcare, retail trade, information and professional services such as computer systems designs.
“It’s a pulling apart at the top,” said Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-oriented group, noting that if the latest trend continues, it will exacerbate the country’s already large income inequality.
The Republican tax overhaul that passed in December is expected to stimulate economic growth, and Trump administration officials say that will lead to broad-based wage gains as companies will have more cash to give to their workers.
Many economists, however, doubt the $1.5-trillion tax overhaul will prove to be a windfall for most workers. History and recent surveys suggest that companies are more likely to use most of the tax savings to buy back shares, reward stockholders and make acquisitions.
Stronger economic growth probably will push the jobless rate down further. Already, unemployment has fallen to a level that in the past has generated wage gains of around 3.5% to 4%.
Some analysts think wage increases are on the cusp of moving up to that range again. After several years of spending a constant 3% more for salaries, U.S. companies now appear to be budgeting a little more for pay, said Sue Holloway, a director at WorldatWork, a nonprofit group that studies compensation and benefit trends.
“We’re at a point now where the labor market is heating up,” she said.
Wage gains at the bottom of the pay scale could, eventually, put upward pressure on pay in the middle. But a number of factors could restrain pay gains, at least for most workers: sluggish productivity growth, a shift to giving bonuses as opposed to raises, continued outsourcing of business services, and what appears to be a more concentrated labor market in certain regions and industries that gives companies greater bargaining power.
“I sometimes wonder whether part of it is, firms got used to not giving raises because we were in a period of a lot of labor market slack for a long time and because the recession was so deep,” said Jay Shambaugh, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and economics professor at George Washington University.
“You occasionally see the anecdote where someone says, ‘I’ve been hiring roofers at $17 an hour for the last 10 years, and all of a sudden I can’t find workers.’ And you think, paying literally the same wage for 10 years ... it should be going up.”
Another legacy of the Great Recession is uncertainty about what happened to millions of workers who disappeared from the labor market and have yet to return.
Although the official jobless rate would suggest the nation is at full employment — and there are pockets of that in the country — there could be a lot more labor slack in the economy if many workers who dropped out want to get back into the labor force now. In that case, employers would feel less pressure to raise pay.
Lenny Arnold, 52, lives near Dayton, Ohio. In December 2015, he was laid off from his $26-an-hour union job making pumps for a manufacturer in nearby Springfield.
For the next two years, Arnold was neither working nor looking for work and thus not counted as part of the unemployed; he was in community college getting trained in welding and computer-controlled machining. After graduating in December, having made the dean’s list all four semesters, he quickly found work at another pump- making factory close to his home.
But the pay is much lower than he had before: Arnold started as a temp at $16 per hour, and a month later was converted to regular full-time status earning $17 an hour. “When I walked in, they wanted to give me $11 an hour,” he said of the employer’s low-ball offer.
Arnold doubts he’ll ever get back to his old pay rate. “They’ll just start hiring more temp workers to cover what they need.”
The stronger global economy has spurred demand for American products, and many factories are busier than ever. But many also continue to struggle to fill jobs as baby boomers retire from plants and fewer young adults want to work in factories.
As a result, manufacturing firms are offering signing bonuses and more pay to entice workers into their plants. The rate of hourly wage gains for production workers has risen steadily since summer from about 2% to 3.3% in January, with some of the strongest gains in lower-wage industries such as food processing and garment making.
Lonnie Kane, president of Los Angeles apparel maker Karen Kane Inc., attributes that partly to higher wage floors in many states and cities. The legal minimum wage rose last summer to $12 an hour for larger businesses in Los Angeles, as well as some other cities in the county, and will keep climbing until it reaches $15 by 2021.
Overall, hourly earnings for workers in apparel manufacturing, which is concentrated in Southern California, in January averaged $15.02 for production staff and $21.06 if supervisors are included. Both figures were up by double-digit percentages from a year earlier.
“If the lowest paid are getting an increase, what about the group of people above that, and then what about the group over that?” said Kane, explaining the trickle-up effects of minimum wages at his business and others.
Kane has another reason, besides good business these days, to pay more for workers. “There’s difficulty in hiring, but not where you would expect,” said Kane, whose 38-year-old firm employs about 200 people.
“We’ve probably gone through three or four receptionists in a year. We hired somebody to start on Monday, and that person didn’t even show up.”
The recent gains for low-wage workers is encouraging, said Shambaugh of Brookings. “That’s helping people who are working at or near the poverty line, but you’d like to see more of that creeping up into the middle.”
[email protected]
Twitter: @dleelatimes

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p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
21,972
366
83
#2
They ain't going up for us Retired folk either.....sooooooo
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
7,456
297
83
#3
soooooo, why stress about it, Jesus is in control of His sheep...
 

RickyZ

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2012
8,388
196
63
#4
soooooo, why stress about it, Jesus is in control of His sheep...
Jesus is concerned about EVERYONE (not just His flock) and Jesus preaches against hording wealth and treating workers (all workers) fairly.

But if we're not to stress over what happens to others, why are so many stressing about Obama? Still?
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
21,972
366
83
#5
STRESSERS GOTTA STRESS




Sorry....... :) couldn't resist
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
21,972
366
83
#6
stressers.jpg

​...........
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
9,890
696
113
#7
For a minute I thought this was about Justin Trudeau breaking all his election promises to the middle class, about raising taxes on the rich, and cutting for the middle class.

Since he came to power in 2015, taxes have been raised for 98% of the country. I guess that includes the rich, the poor and the middle class.

If you Americans think you have issues, trying googling our drama teacher - oops, I mean Prime Minister Trudeau. Besides allowing an Immigration Minister (Muslim) who lied on her application for citizenship about where she was born, which means automatic expelling from Canada, she continues to find ways to let more Muslims into the country as a member of Trudeau’s cabinet.

Then there was his great trade trip to India, where he supported Sikh separatism and one of his guests as host was a convicted attempted murder of an Indian member of parliament. (He also tried to kill a former premier of BC)

On the other hand, the main stream media is just slaughtering him right now, the Conservatives would win if an election were held right now. About a year to go. Please make more incredibly stupid mistakes, Justiine. (Not a typo - that is what this feminist man is now known by in Canada!)
 

RickyZ

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2012
8,388
196
63
#8
They're all just stepping stones to the antichrist. Kinda makes ya wonder why we strain against the gnats ;)
 

p_rehbein

Senior Member
Sep 4, 2013
21,972
366
83
#9
Yeah, BUT........the Obama's like him!


For a minute I thought this was about Justin Trudeau breaking all his election promises to the middle class, about raising taxes on the rich, and cutting for the middle class.

Since he came to power in 2015, taxes have been raised for 98% of the country. I guess that includes the rich, the poor and the middle class.

If you Americans think you have issues, trying googling our drama teacher - oops, I mean Prime Minister Trudeau. Besides allowing an Immigration Minister (Muslim) who lied on her application for citizenship about where she was born, which means automatic expelling from Canada, she continues to find ways to let more Muslims into the country as a member of Trudeau’s cabinet.

Then there was his great trade trip to India, where he supported Sikh separatism and one of his guests as host was a convicted attempted murder of an Indian member of parliament. (He also tried to kill a former premier of BC)

On the other hand, the main stream media is just slaughtering him right now, the Conservatives would win if an election were held right now. About a year to go. Please make more incredibly stupid mistakes, Justiine. (Not a typo - that is what this feminist man is now known by in Canada!)
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
9,890
696
113
#10
Yeah, BUT........the Obama's like him!
Yes but, Obama is gone, Hilary is gone, and we have more than a year to go with this brain dead idiot. And the Quebecers love him, because he is from Quebec, and he speaks their form of patois. As for Ontario, with their gay premier who has literally destroyed the province with her green energy (largest debt now in the world!) and her pro-LBGTQ.... policies. I just heard where a Christian family had foster children taken away in Ontario because they would not tell them the Easter bunny was real. They even had an Easter hunt, just wouldn’t lie to them. Finally the Supreme Court ruled in their favour, because religion is protected in our constitution. Left wing insane social worker, who even said the kids were happy and well cared for.

Anyway, Quebec and Ontario Have more combined voters than the rest of the 8 provinces and 3 territories. So, if they love Trudeau, another 4 years we will have to suffer though. Pray, he makes more major mistakes. And be glad you have Trump, who is actually systematically fulfilling all his election promises. He is obviously not a real politician! LOL

And on it goes!
 

claysmithr

Senior Member
May 23, 2017
315
49
28
#12
It's just going to get worse the next 30 years with automation, people's jobs will be replaced by AI.

It will be so bad that people will BEG the Antichrist to give them a chip so that they may buy with it, in exchange for worship.

These are the last days.
 

RickyZ

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2012
8,388
196
63
#16
There was an article in the paper the other day that said many companies are now reneging on their $1000 employee 'tax reform' bonuses and are instead using the money to BUY BACK STOCKS.

Gee who coulda guessed THAT was going to happen?

(OH, just about every economic expert around!)
 

SpoonJuly

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2018
270
82
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#17
There are a multitude of jobs in the construction sector alone that need to be filled. Middle class pay scale.
But no one wants to do physical labor anymore. They want to sit on their butt, do work that is only marginally needed, and draw middle class pay.
The opportunity is there for those who are willing to really perform productive work.
 

RickyZ

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2012
8,388
196
63
#18
There are a multitude of jobs in the construction sector alone that need to be filled. Middle class pay scale.
But no one wants to do physical labor anymore. They want to sit on their butt, do work that is only marginally needed, and draw middle class pay.
The opportunity is there for those who are willing to really perform productive work.
I don't know where you live, but here in southern California construction jobs are all filled by low wage immigrants without benefits.

And yes, the incentive to work has been lost on many due to many things.

The problem is, in a global economy, as long as some people are willing to work as slaves, we will all work as slaves.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
11,342
375
83
#19
I don't know where you live, but here in southern California construction jobs are all filled by low wage immigrants without benefits.

And yes, the incentive to work has been lost on many due to many things.

The problem is, in a global economy, as long as some people are willing to work as slaves, we will all work as slaves.
Government is not going to fix the problem only make it worse.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 

SpoonJuly

Senior Member
Feb 16, 2018
270
82
28
#20
I don't know where you live, but here in southern California construction jobs are all filled by low wage immigrants without benefits.

And yes, the incentive to work has been lost on many due to many things.

The problem is, in a global economy, as long as some people are willing to work as slaves, we will all work as slaves.
Southern California. No way I would live there.

I live in Arkansas, and skilled construction labor is at a premium in all of the south. A skilled worker can almost name his pay and work all the hours he wants. If you want something built today, forget it, maybe next year.
My question is just what kind of quality work do you get out of that slave labor? You can hire cheap labor here, but you get what you pay for. Poor quality and slow, slow work. Will cost more it the long run.
As long as people are willing to hire the contractors that pay slave wages, the problem will continue.
That is the root of the problem. You pay more for what you need or want, but don't expect me to.