Here we go again; July goes down in the history books as another month of hiring that won't even cover the number of people graduating from school! The "official" rate is now at 8.3% while the "unofficial" rate is claimed to be closer to 23%. Going by personal experience alone, I tend to believe the higher numbers are a lot more realistic than anyone really cares to acknowledge. Too many people I know are either unemployed, discouraged, or working at a job that pays less just to have employment of some kind. I've got kids who joined the military just to have a job. It is sad that the reason behind putting on a uniform is a paycheck instead of protecting our country, but sadly, it is a common theme amongst our new recruits. It's pretty bad when you have to put your life on the line just to have a job that pays so little.
What does this translate into for the future? Not a very good outlook I'm afraid. As more young people enter the job market they are lowering the wage bar for the older employees looking to change jobs or careers; and in some cases, forcing them into early retirement. Supposedly the national average wage has risen by two cents per hour to $23.32. Somehow I believe that rise can be attributed to greater CEO compensation than to worker compensation going up. Face it, if you aren't running things or working for yourself, wage stagnation and inflation are what you are most likely seeing. Factor in a couple of things like rising fuel costs, a nationwide drought, and increases in food costs, and you are likely banking a lot less than you did ten years ago--and probably won't for ten more years!
The uncertainty has certainly taken its toll on many businesses including some very prominent household names like Pontiac and House and Garden. Sears is on the ropes as is Sony Erickson and Nokia. These were all once very large companies with thousands of employees. Now they are but ghosts of their former selves. Even as these big giants of industry tumble, small business starts have been troubled by bankers sitting on their money instead of lending it. These two combined poses a very bleak outlook for the future job market. luckily for the current Administration, the Holiday Hiring Season is around the corner--just in time for a false-rosy outlook on the economy to bloom as hiring goes up temporarily to fill those Holiday gift purchases...or will it?
No matter which side of the Political Spectrum you find yourself supporting, I think we can ALL agree that job creation has not been a priority really for either side so far. I offer as evidence the fact that no meaningful legislation has been forthcoming from either side with any modicum of likelihood of passage. Both sides know exactly what will cause their proposals to fall flat, and yet they ensure that each and every proposed bill has something the other side will NOT pass! This is obviously all about generating opportunities to point fingers at the Opposition instead of finding a meaningful way to encourage businesses to hire. Calls for massive overhaul of our crumbling infrastructure lands on deaf ears as tax cuts or social welfare expansions are bundled into the proposals virtually gauranteeing its demise before it even has a chance to be put to a vote. The only logical conclusion I can reach is that the Corporate Puppets we call Congress are being told to crash the economy in hopes of forcing Americans to accept lower wages across the board (with the exception of CEO's of course) in order to stop the hemoragh of jobs to overseas marketplaces. Fine! I can go with that. Let's start by slashing prices by half as well as my debt I owe by half, and then I'll be glad to take a pay cut!
You first Mr. CEO...