11:48 am

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
OP-ED: Middle-wage jobs disappearing
August 14, 2014, 05:00 AM Imperial Valley Press

In the United States, every job lost — numerically — during the recession that peaked in 2007 has been replaced, but according to an analysis released Monday these new jobs pay an average of 23 percent less than before they were lost.

What has comprised of the middle class, or wage earners generally making between $15 an hour on the low end and $30 an hour on the upper end, is growing at the slower, almost fractional rate. In California, middle wage-earning jobs and job creation have all but come to a standstill.

In California, the erosion of the middle class is the worst in the nation, which is revealed in part by the faster-paced employment growth in the state, which is made up of high-wage growth through corporate consolidation and bonuses and explosive growth in the low-end jobs between minimum wage and $14 an hour. Those jobs are mainly in customer service, hospitality and low-end health care.

The problem is more pronounced in our state than any other, not just causing a wealth and money-earning imbalance, but setting up a system that may ultimately effect the growth of the economy in the state, affecting housing markets, consumer confidence and the gradual slip of a former middle class that sinks into the class of the working poor.

It’s almost as if what is happening in California isn’t really happening in California. By that we mean, the jobs growth, the economic rebound, they are missing the component that will see a system-wide economic recovery be stable and long-lasting — the strengthening and rise of the middle class.

Various reports related to this fact have begun to emerge ever since the Census Bureau released numbers earlier this month showing the widening chasm between the highest-paid and the lowest-paid in California.

This state has seen some of the best strides in the country in terms of the housing market returning, for instance, but as prices climb the people who can afford to buy will ultimately tap out as middle-class purchasers of single-family homes shrink in numbers.

It is a dangerous predicament to be in in California. At some point, it begins to appear that the growth in this state is happening on a wobbly foundation.

Unfortunately there does not appear to be an immediate solution. Job creation, an economy on the mend, not just in California but in the nation, has required the bar to be moved. Consolidation, automation in middle-level positions and lowering pay that was substantially higher before the layoffs occurred were part of the path to improve our outlook.

Where this goes from here will be interesting, and potentially painful for hundreds of thousands of families who sink further toward poverty. We hope solutions are on the way, that a reliable middle-wage sector emerges for all of the nation’s workers.



Tags: middle, california, class, growth, state, between,

Other stories from today:

Letter: Thank you Robin Williams
OP-ED: Middle-wage jobs disappearing
Face time

Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
What do you think of the judge's decision to throw out Tom Brady's four-game suspension for the "Deflategate" incident?

It's good, let Tom play
Brady and the Patriots got away with cheating
It's still not over
Weird it went before a judge
Can't wait to see the artist's sketch


US employers added 173K jobs in Aug.; rate falls to 5.1 pct.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low in August as employers added a mo..
With clerk jailed, gay Kentucky couple gets marriage license
MOREHEAD, Ky. — A gay couple emerged from a Kentucky county clerk's office with a marriage license..
Benghazi panel interviews more of Clinton's inner circle
WASHINGTON — The chairman of a congressional panel investigating the deadly Benghazi attacks said ..
More >>  
©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County order to show cause