The Economic Collapse Blog – April 8, 2011
Do you need a good job? If so, there are millions of other Americans that are just like you. Unfortunately, most of the jobs that are available in America today are either part-time jobs, temp jobs or are “independent contractor” jobs. The “full-time job with benefits” is a dying breed. There are so many desperate unemployed workers in America today that companies don’t have to roll out the red carpet anymore. Instead, they can just hire a horde of inexpensive part-timers and temps that they don’t have to give any benefits to. But isn’t the employment situation supposed to be getting better? No, it really is not. Yes, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs in March. However, the truth is that approximately 290,000 part-time jobs were created and about 80,000 full-time jobs were actually lost. This is all part of a long-term trend in America. Good jobs are rapidly disappearing and they are being replaced by low paying service jobs that do not pay a living wage. In many American households today, both parents have multiple jobs. Yet a large percentage of those same households can’t even pay the mortgage and are drowning in debt.
Whenever a new government jobs report comes out from now on, try to find out how many of the jobs that were created were actually part-time jobs. Most Americans that only have part-time jobs are living around or below the poverty line. The truth is that it is really hard to get by if you are only making a couple hundred bucks a week.
As mentioned above, the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs last month. The Obama administration and the mainstream media heralded that figure as evidence that the U.S. economy is recovering nicely.
But is that really accurate?
Rebel Cole, a professor at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, says that when you take the time to do a closer examination of the employment numbers they don’t look so good….
“If you look deeper in the report, there were 290,000 new part-time workers, which means that there were 80,000 fewer full-time workers, that’s not a good sign. Things are getting worse, not getting better.”
Unless you are a teen or a college student or a retired person, most likely you would prefer to be working a full-time job. Most people do not actually have the goal of working part-time. Most part-time jobs pay very poorly and offer very few benefits.
Unfortunately, that is why so many big companies like part-time workers and temp workers. There are so many more rules, regulations and laws that pertain to full-time workers.
Hiring a bunch of part-time workers is so much easier and so much cheaper. Without a doubt it is definitely more profitable in most situations.
Today, there are millions of Americans that have part-time jobs that would love to have full-time jobs. In fact, the government says that there are about 8 million Americans that are currently working part-time jobs for “economic reasons”.
One such worker named “John” recently left a comment on another article I did entitled “How To Find A Job: Just Be Willing To Flip Burgers And Work For Minimum Wage“. John says that the restaurant chain that he works for has implemented a “part-time only policy”….
“Could your family survive on $505 a week?”
If only I could make HALF that much! The dirty secret is McDonalds needs to add 50,000 workers to increase the headcount in every store. The goal is to have no full-time employees who qualify for health benefits. So these 50,000 jobs will pay $174 a week BEFORE taxes, and have no benefits, no vacation days, no holidays off, call in sick and get fired, but they will have 52 mandatory weekends each year.
And how do I know this? I work for a national restaurant chain that already has gone to a part-time only policy. I am scheduled for 23 hours next week. The threshold for benefits is 26 hrs.
Of course I would assume that there are perhaps a couple of full-time workers at the restaurant that John works at (such as the manager). But the reality is that we are seeing this kind of thing more and more around the nation. Companies are being careful to keep hours low enough so that the majority of their employees do not qualify for expensive “full-time benefits”.
Another commenter on that same article said that it is possible to get by on a low wage but that doesn’t mean that it is easy….
I make about $400 a week; my wife nothing. Rent is $500 a month. Credit card bills (run up back when I made about $1200/week) run about $200 a month. Other expenses run us another few hundred dollars. We quit tv. We’re a litte cold. We eat ok. Try to fill the gas tank just once a month. We’re getting by, but able to save nothing, nor do we go out and have fun. Well, fun has become walks on Saturday morning. Those are free. And, as we’ve learned, rather nice.
$10 an hour stinks, but it is livable if you don’t mind admitting that you are poor. I know I’m poor now. It’s just the way it is. If I tried to keep living as i did when I was a middle class manager, I’d be extremely unhappy. I cant say I’m happy about being poor, but my wife and i are finding that happiness isn’t about having “stuff.”
This is the new “American Dream” for millions of American families. They are learning to scratch and claw to get by on what they have.
As I have written about previously, the standard of living of the middle class is being pushed down to third world levels. We have been merged into a “global labor pool”, and what that means is that the standard of living of all workers all over the world is going to be slowly equalized over time.
Translation: your standard of living and the standard of living of virtually everyone that you know is slated to go way down.
Right now America is rapidly losing high paying jobs and they are being replaced by low paying jobs. According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth. Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.
So yes, jobs are being created, but most of them are jobs that none of us would really want under normal circumstances.
Unfortunately, times are not normal and millions of desperate people are having to take whatever they can get.
What makes things even worse is that really bad inflation is coming. There are less good jobs for American families and at the same time the cost of basic necessities is going up.
Have you been to the gas pump lately?
As I wrote about yesterday, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States is now $3.70.
A year ago it was just $2.83.
For average American families on a tight budget that is a huge difference.
Food inflation is already here as well.
During the month of February, the price of food in the U.S. increased at the fastest rate in 36 years.
Are you starting to understand why so many American families are feeling squeezed right now?
Times are tough and they are going to get tougher. If you still have a good full-time job you should be very thankful, because there are millions and millions of people that would love to trade places with you.