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» Where Dem' Jobs Go? from amcgltd
The Skeptical Optimist has the answer. Hint: Folks on the left side of the peanut gallery and Jeff rabid Bush haters ... ahem... pessimists probably won't much like what he finds, even though more rational people will. I especially... [Read More]


A weighted average of the 2 manufacturing categories gives an average wage of $17.29/hour. This puts it in the bottom 3rd of the categories.

Why is it a problem if we lose low-wage jobs like these?



If they are replaced with higher earning jobs that the people doing them are qualified for or if they can realistically get qualified, there is no problem.

I'm not sure if 17.29 qualifies as a low wage. That's roughly 35K/year...in line with some teacher's salaries.

Of all the great work Steve does this illustration is my least favorite.

Steve, here is the latest I am hearing from those who focus on bad news (perhaps inspired by Sicko):

"The economy is growing and creating jobs and wages are rising, but health care costs are out of control. Less and less Americans are able to afford health care (rising at double the rate of inflation), what good is a better economy if people are unhealthy?"

Bob wrote:
"I'm not sure if 17.29 qualifies as a low wage. That's roughly 35K/year...in line with some teacher's salaries."

Look at the chart again. It has wages for all those jobs. $17.29 would be in the bottom 3rd.


It is really not that hard to see some less than exciting news in the job statistics.

Leisure and Hospitality, the single largest percentage of wage growth area (at 6.9%) and second in overall raw numbers job growth (at 481.5k representing nearly 30% of the TOTAL job growth during the period) is, at $10.29, the LOWEST average pay area. Since even after this increase it is still the wage rate that companies like McDonald's have to pay to get people to stand at their counters to serve the public, I don't consider that a great economic boom.

The largest growth area (Education and Health Services) had a lower than average (3.4% vs. 3.6%)wage growth rate. It does have an average pay of $17.91, which is just above the average of wage ranges, but is still below the wages of those jobs lost in Durable Goods Manufacturing. For teachers, this means that people who typically have Master's degrees are earning ~$37K annually (assuming 2080hrs).

It is, however, good to see Professional and Business Services area increasing, and surprising to see that it had the second highest raw number job growth of any area. That is good news.

Overall the Wage increase as a percentage is 3.9%, which while may be keeping up with the overall Inflation Rate (which "Inflation Rate" would you chose?), it has hardly kept up with the cost of living that most people have the least control over, energy.

"Once again, as both graphics show, the jobs that disappeared ...replaced by higher paying jobs in information, wholesale trade, and business services (not to mention the other categories)."

I am quite certain that the people in those lower paid construction fields are the ones that moved to the higher paying areas you mentioned. When you define it that narrowly, you prove that what trumps accuracy is spin, exactly what you have chosen to use here to prove your point.

I love your review of the timeline. Yeah, that's the ticket!

If IT wages are increasing which I haven't seen if anything they have gone down, it is because of all of the H1Bs that have been trained in India due to companies going off shore. Those trained employees, trained at our expense are coming on shore to demand more money now.

Coporations are killing the Golden IT goose. Thanks to Bill G. and Larry E.

IBM just transferred the work my group was doing to Rome and layed us off.


Absolute or relative. That was my point.

Whatever. Depending on one's bias, either way, the data can be interpreted to support the bias.

One has to be careful how you interpret the graphs. Steve is showing three sectors that have higher wages and more jobs than the three that decreased. Therefore, all the other jobs, even if they were all lower paying jobs, are more jobs and more income than existed before. The country is better off overall.

Some people just won't believe that which is contrary to their bias even when the facts are presented before them.

"There are none more blind than those that WILL NOT SEE."

Aren't manufacturing jobs being displaced by automation? In that sense, aren't they like farming jobs 150 years ago. If you free up workers due to automation, aren't you making the labor force bigger and increasing productivity? Could it be that the loss of manufacturing jobs is actually a good thing?

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