At first glance, the U.S job picture continues to improve with the U.S. economy generating an average of 222,000 new private sector jobs a month in the first half of 2014. But as Daniel Alpert, a founding member of the World Economic Roundtable, explains in his latest review of America’s job market there is a more sobering reality behind these headline numbers.
Among Alpert’s findings are the following more worrying trends: - Some 56 percent of the jobs created in the first half of 2014 paid wages or offered hours that were so low as to produce average weekly gross pay of only $614—a sum well below what we would normally consider a good full-time job. - Overall, real wages fell modestly in the first half of 2014, with compensation in high wage jobs declining by an average of 0.16 percent relative to inflation while compensation for low-wage jobs rose modestly. - The labor participation rate ended the first half of 2014 at levels not seen since the mid-1970s before the entry of large number s of women into the workforce.
As Alpert notes in conclusion, “the ‘dreams that we dare to dream’ about a normalized labor picture in the U.S. have yet to come true."