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Should just being “employed” make people/workers happy?
On one level, any job is better than no job. But we also derive much of our identities and self-esteem from our work.
If you aren’t happy with it, you’re probably not happy generally.
Unhappy people can still vote and are often easy marks for shameless politicians to manipulate. Their spending patterns change, too.
Everyone - Everything
So it ends up affecting everyone and everything.
There’s this plight of people who, while not necessarily poor, aren’t where they think they should be—and perhaps once were.
Disappointment - Minds - Economy - Job - Odds
This disappointment isn’t just in their minds; the economy really has changed. Yes, you can probably get a job if you are physically able, but the odds it will support you and a family, if you have one, are lower than they once were.
The US Private Sector Job Quality Index aims to give data on this… distinguishing between low-wage, often part-time service jobs and higher-wage career positions.
What they have found so far isn’t encouraging.
Looking at “Production & Non-Supervisory” positions (essentially middle-class jobs), the inflation-adjusted wage gap between low-wage/low-hours jobs and high-wage/high-hours jobs widened almost fourfold between 1990 and 2018.
Jobs - Number - Half - % - High-wage
Worse, the good jobs are shrinking in number. In 1990, almost half (47%) were in the “high-wage” category. In 2018, it was only 37%.
Much of the wage gap came not from the hourly rates, but from the number of hours worked.
Labor - Market - Categories
The labor market has basically split in two categories with little in between.
There are low-wage service jobs in which you get paid only when the employer really needs you, and higher-wage jobs that pay steady wages.
Number - People - Gig - Economy - Jobs
The number of young people working in the so-called gig economy, working multiple part-time jobs, is growing....
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