Archive for February 17th, 2010

A Truly Great Depression Among the Nation’s Low Income Workers Amidst Full Employment Among the Most Affluent

by JC

This graph pretty well speaks for itself:


This is taken from a study just released by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston:

At the end of calendar year 2009, as the national economy was recovering from the recession of 2007-2009, workers in different segments of the income distribution clearly found themselves in radically different labor market conditions. A true labor market depression faced those in the bottom two deciles of the income distribution, a deep labor market recession prevailed among those in the middle of the distribution, and close to a full employment environment prevailed at the top. There was no labor market recession for America’s affluent.

In testifying before a Congressional committee in the late 1960s on the need for a sub-employment index to capture the high variations in labor market conditions in different neighborhoods and local labor markets, Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz was asked how workers were doing on “on average”. He reportedly replied, “When you have your head in the freezer and your feet in the oven, on average you are doing Ok.” Similar remarks apply to the state of American labor markets today. Who will tell the people? Does anybody care?

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