This year the US added nearly 300,000 waiters and bartenders, and zero manufacturing workers. Manufacturing was once 33 percent of all jobs and now it is below 10 percent.
While the Federal Reserve now looks to have the green light on raising interest rates after many head fakes, the employment report isn’t so clear. Sure, we are adding jobs but we are adding a large number of jobs in the low wage segment of our economy. Case and point? Since the start of the year we have added nearly 300,000 waiters and bartenders and have added zero net manufacturing jobs. These service sector jobs provide little in the way of benefits and job security and many young Americans are trapped in these low wage jobs with incredibly high levels of debt. The media is tone deaf on why Americans are so frustrated this year and one reason for this is their lack of basic economic knowledge or empathy for the regular working family. For example, half the country is living paycheck to paycheck. For most Americans, their retirement plan is work until you die. This all makes perfect sense when a large portion of Americans work in low paying jobs. We have traded building cars for mixing drinks
Outsourcing American manufacturing
Before we look at the employment numbers for this year it may be worth it to put this into historical context. The US was a giant manufacturing machine for many decades. It probably comes as no surprise that the peak of our middle class coincided with the vast numbers of people working in good paying manufacturing jobs.
“(Dallas News) But U.S. manufacturing jobs have been declining since the 1930s. That decline — and the gap between manufacturing jobs and output — has accelerated in recent years by technological advancements, the increased productivity of workers and increased competition for factory locations from Asia and Latin America.
Manufacturing jobs make up less than 10 percent of the total U.S. payroll today, compared with 33 percent at the end of World War II.”
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