World Economy

Pie of Good Jobs Shrinking in America

Pie of Good Jobs Shrinking in America   Pie of Good Jobs Shrinking in America

The US economy is becoming lethal to the less fortunate, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which reported recently that death rates in the country have risen for the first time in a decade, Journal Pioneer reported.

The death rate rose to 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014. Especially noticeable is the rising mortality among working-class whites, particularly those with no more than a high school education. Some of this is due to drug use and suicide.

Carol Graham, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, recently analyzed data on life satisfaction and found that when it comes to their outlook on the future, the most desperate groups are poor and near-poor whites.

There is “a shrinking pie of good jobs for low-skill/blue collar workers,” Graham told the Washington Post.

So while the unemployment rate is falling and some wages are rising, for many that progress isn’t being felt.

Typical is a city like Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where manufacturing has collapsed in the face of foreign competition. Since 1950, the number of jobs in Pottstown has fallen from 12,287 to 9,434, even as the population has held steady at just over 22,000.

  Economy Losing Steam

The economy has been growing for 84 months, but the pace of this recovery has been the slowest since the Second World War, with average annual growth of about 2.1%. And wages remain stagnant.

In 2007, about 88% of men between the ages of 25 and 54 were working. Now, roughly 85% of such men are working. That’s a difference of about two million men, and most would undoubtedly like jobs.

The National Bureau of Economic Research dates the beginning of the recession as December 2007. According to the Department of Labor, roughly 8.7 million jobs were shed from February 2008 to February 2010, and GDP contracted by 5.1%, making the Great Recession the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment rose from 4.7% in November 2007 to peak at 10% in October of 2009.

The explanation, according to New York Times economics writer Binyamin Appelbaum: Job growth is slowing because the economy is losing steam.

“We’ve come a long way from the bottom of 2009,” remarked David Shulman, an economist at the University of California’s Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles.

“But compared to the historical growth track, we’re so far below it that it’s staggering, and that’s the unease the public feels about the economy.”