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Obamanomics: Income Inequality, Part-Time Work, And Long-Term Joblessness

- September 3, 2013

“Income Inequality In The United States Has Been Growing For Decades, But The Trend Appears To Have Accelerated During The Obama Administration.” (Anna Bernasek, “Income Gap Grows Wider (And Faster),” The New York Times, 8/31/13)

 

From 2009 Through 2011, The Ratio Of Average To Median Annual Wages Increased 1.14 Percentage Points Annually, Four Times As Fast As The Eight Preceding Years, Which “Means That Lower Earners Are Falling Further Behind Those At The Top.” “The median wage is straightforward: it’s the midpoint of everyone’s wages. Interpreting the average, though, can be tricky. If the income of a handful of people soars while everyone else’s remains the same, the entire group’s average may still rise substantially. So when average wages grow faster than the median, as happened from 2009 through 2011, it means that lower earners are falling further behind those at the top. One way to see the acceleration in inequality is to look at the ratio of average to median annual wages. From 2001 through 2008, during the George W. Bush administration, that ratio grew at 0.28 percentage point per year. From 2009 through 2011, the latest year for which the data is available, the ratio increased 1.14 percentage points annually, or roughly four times faster.” (Anna Bernasek, “Income Gap Grows Wider (And Faster),” The New York Times, 8/31/13)

  • Yes, The Nation Has Had A Big Recession, But Recessions Typically Tend To Lessen Inequality Rather Than Increase It.” (Anna Bernasek, “Income Gap Grows Wider (And Faster),” The New York Times, 8/31/13)

“The Number Of Temporary Workers Nationwide Has Risen More Than 50 Percent To 2.7 Million — The Most On Record — Since The Recession Ended In June 2009.” “While the U.S. economy stumbles along, hiring is igniting in one segment of the labor market — temporary work. The number of temporary workers nationwide has risen more than 50 percent to 2.7 million — the most on record — since the recession ended in June 2009, the Labor Department reported. The trend is likely to intensify, workplace experts say.” (Carol Hazard, “Hiring Explodes In Part-Time And Contract Work,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/2/13)

  • “The Rise In The Number Of Temporary Workers Is Being Driven By Two Factors — Uncertainty About The Economy, And Companies Cutting Employee Hours Because Of Costs Associated With The Affordable Care Act, Workforce Experts Say.” (Carol Hazard, “Hiring Explodes In Part-Time And Contract Work,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/2/13)

The Wall Street Journal Headline: “Long-Term Jobless Left Out Of The Recovery” (Ben Casselman, “Long-Term Jobless Left Out Of The Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/2/13)

  • “For Those Left Behind By The Long, Slow Economic Recovery, Time Is Running Out. More Than Four Years After The Recession Officially Ended, 11.5 Million Americans Are Unemployed, Many Of Them For Years.” (Ben Casselman, “Long-Term Jobless Left Out Of The Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/2/13)
  • “Millions More Have Abandoned Their Job Searches, Hiding From The Economic Storm In School Or Turning To Government Programs For Support.” “Millions more have abandoned their job searches, hiding from the economic storm in school or turning to government programs for support. A growing body of economic research suggests that the longer they remain on the sidelines, the less likely they will be to work again; for many, it may already be too late.” (Ben Casselman, “Long-Term Jobless Left Out Of The Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/2/13)
  • “For Those Without A High-School Diploma, The Unemployment Rate In July Was 11%. For African-Americans, It Was 12.6%. For Teenagers, 23.7%.”  “But the recovery isn't reaching many of the most vulnerable. For those without a high-school diploma, the unemployment rate in July was 11%. For African-Americans, it was 12.6%. For teenagers, 23.7%.” (Ben Casselman, “Long-Term Jobless Left Out Of The Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/2/13)
  • “The Share Of The Population That Is Working Or Looking For Work—A Measure Known As The Participation Rate—Stands Near A Three-Decade Low.” “Many have given up applying. Nearly seven million people say they want a job but aren't actively looking for work. The share of the population that is working or looking for work—a measure known as the participation rate—stands near a three-decade low.” (Ben Casselman, “Long-Term Jobless Left Out Of The Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/2/13)
  • “More Than 8.9 Million Americans Were Receiving Federal Disability Payments In August, 1.8 Million More Than When The Recession Began.” “More than 8.9 million Americans were receiving federal disability payments in August, 1.8 million more than when the recession began. Experts suspect many of the new recipients would have kept working in a healthier economy; research has found that once people begin receiving disability payments, relatively few return to work.” (Ben Casselman, “Long-Term Jobless Left Out Of The Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/2/13)

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