MORE JOBS, LESS SECURITY

#jobs #security #parttimejobs
The United States is gaining jobs, but more of them are part time, pay less than the ones lost and employees haven’t had raises in years.
Sure, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and other companies have announced employee raises with great fanfare recently, but many of those who work there can’t make a decent living on what they earn.
Associated Press reporters Josh Boak and Christopher S. Rugaber tackled this issue in an article published June 14, 2015 in the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. In that same Tennessean edition, Paul Davidson of USA Today said many who are working part time are doing so reluctantly.
If you grew up in the 1950s or 1960s, you are at or near retirement. Hopefully, you retired, or will retire, on your own terms. Many have not. If you are currently in your 20s, looking for steady work, perhaps you are cobbling together an income, however inadequate, with one or more part-time jobs. If you are doing that, what are the prospects of you getting the full-time job you need? Are you still living at home with Mom and Dad, and don’t really want to, but can’t afford not to?
The Associated Press article quotes Lena Allison, 54, of Los Angeles. She lost her job as a kindergarten teacher and has worked temporary jobs since. “More people may be working jobs, but they’re like these serial part-time jobs,” the article quotes her.
The AP reporters also point out that hiring has surged in the health care, retail, construction and hospitality and leisure industries. Rick Rieder, a Black Rock investment officer quoted in the AP article, says the country is beginning to see the start of broad-based wage growth. That opinion would surprise many Americans, the reporters say.
But here’s what could trigger wage growth: lower productivity. In the first three months of 2015, productivity dropped 3.1 percent after a 2.3 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2014, the AP reporters say. Productivity had expanded 2.1 percent annually, on average, since 2000, they add. Companies have been slow to invest in equipment and other assets that might make their workers produce more. Therefore, hiring more workers in the short run could combat that, the AP reporters say.
Still, most workers are collecting no benefits or vacation time with their jobs.
Let’s face it. For most people who have lost jobs in the last few years, the ones they’ve gotten to replace them, if they’ve been so lucky, pay less than the jobs they lost. For those fortunate enough to survive the downsizings, most are working harder and probably haven’t had a raise in quite some time. Fortunately for those employers, these employees probably have no better place to go.
What’s an employee to do in these situations? First, if you have a job you like that pays well, don’t let it go. But, don’t presume it will always be there. Most people are one reorganization, or one bad manager, away from an untenable employment situation. Look for a Plan B that can help you make an extra income while you work, so, if the worst case happens, you can leave your job with a smile.
If you are in need of something to relieve an immediate income problem, the same solution could apply. There are lots of great ways to make extra income outside the traditional employment arena. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Don’t let the numbers fool you. Things may appear to be getting better as far as economic numbers go, but little has trickled down to the average person. With very few ways to get meaningful help from this situation, decide today to help yourself. Save more. Spend less. Look for a Plan B. Don’t waste energy complaining about what is. Use that energy to look for, and find, what can be.
Peter

RAZING THE IDEA OF ANNUAL RAISE

#annualraises

“Better not start spending that big raise you might be expecting this year,” says Doug Carroll, a reporter for USA Today.
For the last few years, a raise has been hard to come by. In fact, a job was not easy to come by, so one may not have expected a raise. A steady paycheck was good enough.
But Carroll, whose article was published April 27, 2014, in the Tennessean newspaper of Nashville, says eight of 10 businesses say they expect subdued wage growth in the next three years. By subdued, they mean 0 to 3 percent, adjusted for inflation, Carroll quotes a survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).
We can probably hear each other thinking the same thing: our cost of living goes up, but our paychecks don’t. And, if they do, they don’t go up enough to cover those extra costs.
Let’s put this in perspective. A salary was never designed to cover OUR costs. A salary is something an employer gave a person for work he does. What’s done with the money is the worker’s decision. In decades past, a worker figured out how to make a life with his given salary, and regular, if not annual, increases helped him better his life as time passed.
Combine the extra salary with the worker’s life efficiencies, such as paying off a mortgage, having children grow and leave the house etc. Now, examine today’s world. Raises are smaller. Those life efficiencies are getting fewer. Mortgages are more difficult to pay off because houses likely have dropped in value. In fact, foreclosures have skyrocketed in the last few years.
Children that grow into adults are leaving home later, if at all. Those adult children may be finding it difficult to support themselves, perhaps because they have lost a job and are having trouble finding another. If they do find another job, it is often for less money than they were making, compounding the difficulty of independence.
Financial upward mobility is more difficult to achieve because employment that may have been secure decades ago is far from secure now. We have to find multiple sources of income so that we are not so dependent on one job, or one employer.
The good news is there are many such income sources out there. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You’ll find financial assistance in two ways: spending less and earning more.
It’s logical that high unemployment keeps wages down. It’s also logical that as employers’ non-wage costs rise – 31% of those surveyed by NABE reported rising material costs, Carroll reports – employees will pay for it with flat wages.
We can curse out our employers for not paying us enough. One might argue that we almost never get paid enough working for someone else. But cursing or blaming your employer wastes energy.
We have to manage our own financial situations ourselves. We have to continually look for jobs or other income that will better our lives. We also have to spend what we have wisely.
In fact, living BELOW one’s means may be the first step toward financial independence. If one lives below one’s means long enough, and invests wisely what he is not spending, eventually he can live better, if not the way he wants, regardless of his employment situation.
So, to paraphrase Chik-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, earn your money, however much or little, honestly. Spend it wisely. And, if you are fortunate enough, give the rest away to worthy causes.
Peter