Thursday, April 21, 2011

EconomicsUSA: Labor: Trading down -- taking a paycut after a layoff

HuffPo (Apr21,2k11)

refWrite editorial: This is a sobering article of "HuffPost readers' stories" about staying in the workforce on a discounted income (how's that for a neck-jerking factoid of rhetoric?).  I strongly recommend you read the Huffington Post article in its entirety (excerpted below).  And, for reformational Christian readers, I recommend you investigate the Christian Labor Association (USA), founded in 1931 and open to all.  Organized labor of other persuasions are not helping workers make adjustments and holding employers to their responsiblities, at the same time.  Strike-maniacal labor movements, stoking the already-existing of down-employed workers, carefully atuning wage and benefit requirements at negotiating time, are not the answer for most workers.  That's another, in many case even a new, reason why CLA-USA needs to experience growth and development, spreading as well to new industries, in these difficult times.  CLA-USA does not fan the flames of social unrest, calculatedly seeks the best possible negotiating package, and seeks as longterm pluralization of labor relations and workers representation so you never have to be a member of a union you don't approve of.

-- Lawt

Trading Down: 

Taking a paycut after a layoff

The general heading at the above link includes several articles.  Here's Huffington Post's  key report of a painful trend of retrenchment for workers regarding the downsizing of their income (if they get re-employment at all), in the bundle of articles:

Laid-off Americans increasingly 

taking paycuts - and kissing 

their old lives goodbye

NEW YORK -- Susan Goscewski spent 30 years climbing the professional ladder. It took little over two years of unemployment for her to tumble back down.
Cast out of the workforce in December 2008 following the financial meltdown, Goscewski, 59, never expected to go for so long without a job. She had three decades of steady employment history and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon, one of America's top business schools. Her last position, as director of development for a nonprofit, paid $90,000 a year.
Last month, she finally found a new job: as a classroom tutor at a bookkeeping training center, working 20 hours a week for $15 per hour. Even if she works 50 of 52 weeks at that rate, she'll make just one-sixth of her 2008 salary.
"In this field, in this particular organization, I will never see what I've made before," Goscewski said quietly. "And I -- have I accepted that? I'm quite angry about it."
The U.S. economy added 216,000 new jobs in March, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, appearing to bolster claims that the labor market recovery is "gaining traction". But Goscewski and many others lucky enough to find work, any work, still find their old standards of living painfully out of reach.
"It makes me feel good that people are giving me work today. It means they trust me, they believe in me," Goscewski said. "But it still seems like a demotion, like I'm back in kindergarten again. What am I doing? I'm really starting all over again."
While the recovery of the labor market and the broader U.S. economy depend critically on job growth, equally important is the quality of those jobs. During the economic downturn, 40 percent of the jobs lost came from high-wage industries -- yet high-wage industries accounted for only 14 percent of the new positions created in the first year of post-downturn job growth, according to a report released in February by the National Employment Law Project.

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