Thursday, April 21, 2016

COLLEGE STUDENTS: Check out your future.

  Access to a reasonable level of security through basic wages and opportunities for advancement, benefits, and labor protections is being chipped away. Corporate profits may have skyrocketed in recent years, but wages have hardly budged. 

Between 1973 - 2014, national productivity grew at a rate of 7.8 times that of employee compensation. 

At the same time, benefits have been slashed. 

Take pensions, for example: a mainstay fixture in yesteryear America, pensions, which guaranteed employers would provide for employees in retirement, comprised 62 percent of retirement plans in 1979 but were a mere seven 7 percent in 2011. 

401(k)s were used to shift the responsibility of saving for retirement from employers to employees, and the result has been disastrous.

The median working-age family now holds a mere $5,000 in its retirement accounts.

Grimmer still are the prospects of part-time, contract, and temporary workers to whom no benefits are offered, who have no picket line. 

These workers often independently shoulder the burden of protecting themselves from misfortune, financing their own health insurance and retirement with no paid medical leave, no workers’ compensation, and no unemployment benefits

Meanwhile, several recent local and state initiatives to boost earnings for low-wage workers have been tied to the employee-employer relationship, excluding those with less traditional (though increasingly common) work arrangements. Consequently, such initiatives were antiquated at inception. This has long been a method by which corporations shirk responsibility for the well-being of their workers—that is, never technically employing them in the first place.

Clipped from New America Foundation at