While the economy has seen decent job growth in recent months, the jobs being created may not pay very well. A new report has found that about half of the jobs created in the last three years have been low-paying, reports the Huffington Post’s Mark Gongloff:
Nearly all of the 6.2 million jobs created since the job market first started its historically lousy recovery in the spring of 2010 (nearly a full year after the recession ended) have been in the private services sector, according to RBS. And of the roughly 160,000 jobs per month created in that sector, about 80,000 of them have been “low-paying,” according to RBS. “High-paying” and “average-paying” jobs account for about 40,000 jobs each, according to RBS.
Previous research has found that the majority of the jobs added to the economy since the end of the recession pay low wages. Middle-wage and high-wage jobs haven’t seen nearly the same rate of growth, meaning that the economy has traded comfortable jobs for those that merely allow workers to scrape by.
Private sector companies aren’t the only culprit, however. A recent study by Demos found that tax dollars, through government contracting, health care spending, Small Business Administration loans, federal construction grants, and maintenance on buildings leased by the federal government pay two million workers $12 or less per hour, wages too low to support a family. That figure is more than the number of low-wage workers at Walmart and McDonalds combined.
President Obama has recently pushed his proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 from the current $7.25, which hasn’t been raised in nearly five years. But to raise it to the buying power of the minimum wage in 1968, it would need to be $10.55 an hour. Meanwhile, pay at the top of the economic ladder has far outpaced growth at the bottom: CEO pay increased 127 times faster than worker pay over the past three decades.