Re: [OPE-L] Retraining Laid-Off Workers, but for What? By LOUIS UCHITELLE

From: Alejandro Valle Baeza (valle@SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX)
Date: Sun Mar 26 2006 - 12:41:27 EST

Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> So the demand for jobs is considerably greater than the supply, and
> the supply is not what the reigning theory says it is. Most of the
> unfilled jobs pay low wages and require relatively little skill, often
> less than the jobholder has. From the spring of 2003 to the spring of
> 2004, for example, more than 55 percent of the hiring was at wages of
> $13.25 an hour or less: hotel and restaurant workers, health care
> employees, temporary replacements and the like.
> That trend is likely to continue. Seven of the 10 occupations expected
> to grow the fastest from 2002 through 2012, according to the Labor
> Department, pay less than $13.25 an hour, on average: retail
> salesclerks, customer service representatives, food service workers,
> cashiers, janitors, nurse's aides and hospital orderlies.
> The $13.25 threshold is important. More than 45 percent of the
> nation's workers, whatever their skills, earned less than $13.25 an
> hour in 2004, or $27,600 a year for a full-time worker. That is
> roughly the income that a family of four must have in many parts of
> the country to maintain a standard of living minimally above the
> poverty level. Surely lack of skill and education does not hold down
> the wages of nearly half the work force.
> Something quite different seems to be true: the oversupply of skilled
> workers is driving people into jobs beneath their skills and driving
> down the pay of jobs equal to their skills. Both happened to the
> aircraft mechanics laid off by United.
>     *
Rakesh, thank you for this interesting article. It is in the same vein
that Michael Yates book: Naming the System, Monthly Review Press, 2003.
There is a section entitled:
"The work we do: plenty of bad jobs in the rich nations."

Muchos saludos


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