Thursday, August 22, 2013

U.S. workers have endured "a decade of flat wages," study says

More than 1,500 people stood in line at the carpenters union in New York City just for a chance to land an apprenticeship. Some of the applicants were in line a week for jobs that start at $45 an hour.

"You're not going to be a doctor or a scientist; you can't beat this blue-collar job," said one job-seeker named James. "You know, this is a great job, and that's why there's lots and lots of people here because, you know, they just don't hand out jobs like this every day."

A majority of U.S. workers have experienced a decade of flat wages, according to new research by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. It found the median weekly wage last year was $768. That's the same as 12 years earlier when adjusted for inflation. Over that same period, wages fell for 70 percent of workers.

Economists place much of the blame on a labor market that hasn't recovered from the Great Recession. "I've had friends that went to four years of college, did four years of college, and graduated and waited years to even get a job," Craig Carr said. Read more >>
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