Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

For 23 Million Americans, Labor Day Isn’t a Holiday

Updated Sept. 5, 2016

There are few reasons, if any, to celebrate Labor Day as a holiday for millions of American workers — they’re hardly laboring — if they’re laboring at all.

Life for many American workers is dim. The Q2 gross domestic product growth was only 1.1 percent. For the past year, it’s been less than one percent.

Many can’t get insurance. Aetna and and other insurance companies are exiting the disastrous ObamaCare.

Their outlook hasn’t improved since a Gallup Poll revealed just 42 percent of full-time employees work 40 hours a weekin 2014.

Federal data shows the unemployment has dropped to 4.9 percent, but the average American worker workweek is only 34.6 hours and increasing numbers of people have given up looking for a job.

ID-10050387 nuttakitIronically, the first Monday in September “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers,” says the U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) Web site.

New York City celebrated the first Labor Day holiday back on Sept. 5, 1882. During the ensuing 12 years, 23 other states began observing Labor Day.

On June 28, 1894, it was made a national holiday by Congress.

“It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country,” adds the DOL.

But wait, published data shows there are 23 million Americans who are unemployed or under-employed.

The U.S. is not strong economically, nor is there enough prosperity even though the NBER says the Great Recession ended in 2009.

Family wage jobs

Another reason to worry about the economy: Study after study shows most jobs added since the Great Recession are indeed low paying – even though the majority of lost jobs were at family wage levels.

That’s right – the good jobs have not returned. This has been the trend for the entire 0ight-year duration of the Obama Administration.

Ironically, a liberal organization, the National Employment Law Project, released its largely ignored findings in the middle of the 2012 presidential campaign.

“The overarching message here is we don’t just have a jobs deficit; we have a ‘good jobs’ deficit,” said Annette Bernhardt, the study’s author.

The report considered 366 occupations listed by the DOL. Jobs paying $13.84 to $21.13 per hour – considered decent wages – are among the 60 percent of lost jobs. But they only constitute 22 percent of the new jobs.

Jobs deficit

Moreover, the jobs paying $7.69 to $13.83 per hour were part of the 21 percent of lost jobs. But now, they account for 58 percent of the gain in new jobs. The median pay of the 58 percent of new jobs is only $10.97 an hour.

“A part-time worker is fully employed, half the time. In other words, they are part-time unemployees.
-Jarod Kintz

The study shows most of these jobs have been filled by seasoned workers because they couldn’t find jobs that pay them as well before the recovery began. Admittedly, the high unemployment rate stems partly from deficient worker skills and education. But the sour economy weighs heavily on the unemployed.

According to a Harvard study, here’s another issue to solve: Government spending causes companies to cut back.

There was pointed criticism at the Obama Administration in 2015.

“The economy has created only about 6 million new jobs during the Bush-Obama years, whereas the comparable figure during the Reagan-Clinton period was about 40 million, wrote globally known economist Peter Morici, Ph.D. in July.

Dr. Morici’s Op Ed columns on economic analysis are published regularly here. He’s also a business professor at the University of Maryland, national columnist and five-time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster award. See his economic forecasts here.

“…the real unemployment rate among U.S. citizens and permanent residents is at least 18 percent,” Dr. Morici added.

“The reluctance of both Presidents Bush and Obama to confront Chinese protectionism and currency manipulation and open up offshore oil for development have created a huge trade deficit that sends consumer demand, growth and jobs abroad,” he stated.

He says the jobs picture is bleak as the result of Obama Administration policies.

“New business regulations, more burdensome than are necessary to accomplish legitimate consumer protection and environmental objectives, exacerbate these problems,” explained Dr. Morici.

So clearly, the nation needs a strong economic plan. Even the late Steve Jobs gave economic advice to President Obama. There was also harsh criticism from Intel’s CEO.

Only if Mr. Obama listens will we have reason to celebrate Labor Day in future years.

From the Coach’s Corner, if you’re one of the unfortunate ones looking for a job, here are some proven ideas:

Career Strategies: How to Get a C-Level Job — If you’re climbing the corporate ladder and have designs on a C-level job, a noted Stanford University professor has some excellent advice. 

Discouraged in Job Hunting? Powerful Tips for the Best Job — Whether unemployed or under-employed, a person needs two things: A sense of hope and the right tools to negotiate a job. Here are both.

Stand Out: Get a Job Interview with a Great Resume — More and more job seekers complain they don’t get acknowledgment when they apply for positions with prospective employers. It’s disappointing, especially if you’ve done your best to stand out in a crowd when jobs are scarce.

5 Tips to Shine in Your Online Job Application — To sail through the human resources filtering system, here are five online-application tips: 1. Put social media to work for you. Make certain your social media – Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – are current, professional and show maturity. Be careful what you publish – always keep in mind your career goals.

“A part-time worker is fully employed, half the time. In other words, they are part-time unemployees.
-Jarod Kintz


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Image courtesy of nuttakit at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.