Coming ‘Labor Shortage’ In America Is Great News For Workers

BUSINESS INSIDER | By Josh Barro | July 10, 2018: The article highlights that for now, the coming “labor shortage” is good news for workers in the United States. And that Americans should root for it to continue. It’s undoubtedly a headache for some owners and managers, said the article, but it’s one they should, hopefully, be made to live with for a few years.

“America’s labor shortage is approaching epidemic proportions, and it could be employers who end up paying,” CNBC reported this week. That was before yet another monthly jobs report showing solid growth in jobs and wages.

I always find this framing to be backward. A “labor shortage” is good news: It means it’s easier for unemployed people to find jobs, more appealing for people who quit the workforce out of frustration to get back in, and likelier that companies will decide they must pay higher wages to attract talent.

In theory, we could reach a point where upward wage pressure led to an inflationary spiral, with companies raising prices so they can afford to pay higher wages, and those higher prices eating up much of the wage increases. But we’re far from that point, with corporate profits still high as a share of the economy.

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Older immigrants ‘crowding out’ U.S. teens for summer jobs

WASHINGTON EXAMINER | By Paul Bedard | July 10, 2018: The article highlights that both legal and illegal immigrants are “crowding out” American teens looking for summer jobs, and the impact of higher teen unemployment could be a drag on them for years, according to a new analysis of the seasonal workforce.

The article cited that the Center for Immigration Studies found that as the number of U.S. teens with summer jobs has dropped significantly, employment of immigrants has doubled.

“Immigrants — legal and illegal — are crowding out U.S.-born teenagers in the labor market,” according to the report from Steven A. Camarota, director of research at CIS, and demographer Karen Zeigler.

In his analysis, Camarota found that employers are seizing on older immigrants, often over 20 and with some working experience, instead of U.S. teens to fill summer jobs. And another driving factor, he said, may be that immigrants are willing to work for a lower wage.

While this trend is good for immigrants, he cited research that it can be devastating for U.S. teens. Shut out of a summer job, they often have difficulty in the workforce for years.

“Teens employed in high school earn more than teens who did not work in the first year after graduation, with wage differences tending to increase over time. Also, teens who were employed in high school are more likely to be employed and work more hours during the year, with a significant relationship between hours worked in high school and subsequent hours worked and wages earned,” said the report.

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Workers’ Rights & Richard Wolff

RT AMERICA – July 10, 2018: Jesse Ventura and Brigida Santos discuss the erosion of workers’ rights in America and how our debt-based economy leads to greater inequality. Professor Richard Wolff talks about his book, “Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism,” and how employment cooperatives may improve the economy.

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Chicago Could Soon Test Universal Basic Income Program In America

THE INTERCEPT – July 17, 2018: Chicago’s Alderman, Ameya Pawar is worried about the future. Pointing to investments in autonomous vehicles by companies like Tesla, Amazon, and Uber, Pawar observed that long-haul trucking jobs, historically a source of middle-class employment, may become obsolete. More people out of work means more political polarization, says Pawar.”We have to start talking about race and class and geography, but also start talking about the future of work as it relates to automation. All of this stuff is intertwined.”

Pawar thinks that one way to battle racial resentment is to address the economic precarity that politicians have used to stoke it. He has decided to endorse the universal basic income — an idea that has been picking up steam across the world.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans don’t have $1,000 in the bank for an emergency,” Pawar told The Intercept. “UBI could be an incredible benefit for people who are working and are having a tough time making ends meet or putting food on the table at the end of the month. … It’s time to start thinking about direct cash transfers to people so that they can start making plans about how they’re going to get by.”

“This looks like a UBI pilot program, which is a good idea, just to study its effects and produce data that can help guide other UBI efforts,” he told The Intercept.

“Our hope, that I know will be born out in this pilot, is that it will show that when we smooth out the EITC, and we provide a monthly basic income to 1,000 families, that they will be able to plan for expenses, they can make decisions about savings, they can make decisions about investing, they could make decisions about how they could deal with a financial emergency, just like all families do,” Pawar told us. “And once implemented, we’ll be able to hopefully scale it.”

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