Fewer jobs, lower wages the focus this Labor Day (video)

As one political convention ends and another is set to begin, there’s plenty of talk about the American spirit and the value of hard work. But getting lost in that rhetoric is the reality facing many working families in North Carolina this Labor Day.

Data released this week by the NC Budget & Tax Center found fewer jobs at the end of the last decade than at the beginning. The research also points to an acceleration away from high-wage industries like manufacturing and toward low-wage industries like food services. Here’s an excerpt from the BTC:

‘From 2001 to 2011, the state shed almost 380,000 jobs, almost 75 percent of which were concentrated in industries with average wages above the Living Income Standard, a market-based measure of how much a family must earn in order to meet basic expenses. In 2010, the North Carolina Living Income Standard for a family of four was $23.47 an hour.

North Carolina’s job gains during that decade were almost entirely concentrated in low-wage industries. More than 83 percent of the state’s job growth occurred in industries paying average wages below the Living Income Standard.’

NC State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan joins us this weekend on News & Views to talk about the state of work in North Carolina. McMillan weighs in on anti-union rhetoric, as well as the need for collective bargaining and more jobs that pay a living wage. For a preview of her radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:

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6 Comments

  1. Doug

    August 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Isn’t that the Obama plan ? Everyone works for the government.

  2. [...] Click here for a preview of MaryBe’s interview. [...]

  3. Juan Gonza

    September 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    While a majority of jobs lost during the downturn were in the middle range of wages, a majority of those added during the recovery have been low paying, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project.

    The disappearance of midwage, midskill jobs is part of a longer-term trend that some refer to as a hollowing out of the work force, though it has probably been accelerated by government layoffs.

    “The overarching message here is we don’t just have a jobs deficit; we have a ‘good jobs’ deficit,” said Annette Bernhardt, the report’s author and a policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project, a liberal research and advocacy group. This report further confirms that any Obama job creation has only been on the low-end service jobs. This will definitely not put us on the road to recovery !

  4. david esmay

    September 4, 2012 at 8:42 am

    A permanent underclass of uneducated under paid workers has always been the dream of the GOP. They fight every effort to improve the economy because the corporations that own them use the unemployed as leverage in order to keep wages low.

  5. Adam Searing

    September 4, 2012 at 11:41 am

    By the way, “Juan” and “Doug” are the same false persona – no use listening to them! They cower behind their curtain of anonymity while the rest of us actually have a real discussion.

  6. Doug

    September 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Adam hates to hear the truth and loves to attack the messenger as most Dims do ! My grandmother used to say it took a small person to call other people names.