Monday, December 05, 2005

So much for the American worker...

The Center for American Progress published this analysis of the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Inflation-adjusted weekly earnings in October were 0.7 percent lower than in March 2001. Today's figures from the BLS show wages continued to be flat or even lower than at the start of the business cycle in November. ...for production, non-supervisory workers, the vast majority of workers, ...weekly earnings actually fell by 0.1 percent, before the effects of inflation are even taken into account.

Importantly, without stronger, prolonged, broad based employment growth and a clear turn around in wages, middle-class families will continue to struggle under a mountain of debt amassed over the past few years. In the second quarter of 2005, the last period for which data are available, households had to spend a record 13.6 percent of their disposable income to service their outstanding debt. In the third quarter of 2005, all banks reported that the ratio of consumer loans, including credit card debt and other consumer loans, that were in default rose to over 3 percent for the first time in more than two years.
I don't know about you, but pretty much everybody I know is worse off than they were when Bush took office. Even though I now work for a major aerospace firm, I spent 18 months on the street looking for a full-time job between 2001 and 2003 and had no choice but to take the salary they offered me. I won't catch up to my pre-Bush salary for another couple of years at least.

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