The U.S. continues to add lousy jobs at a fast clip. Today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed employers added 292,000 jobs in December, but the average hourly earnings from these jobs remained flat. Leading the pack was temp work, or jobs involving driving, health care, and construction. And the average workweek was only 34.5 hours. The underemployment rate – including part-time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want to work but have given up looking — held at almost 10 percent of all working-age Americans.
We’ve got in the habit of looking only at the number of jobs created, rather than what they pay or how secure they are. So today’s jobs report will be touted as showing “big gains.” But that’s untrue. Today’s report shows that low pay and growing job insecurity continue to undermine the American workforce – generating growing economic stresses for most, along with deepening frustration and anger.