For years, many Americans followed a single career path: Get a job with a modest salary, gain experience and eventually leave for another job with better pay.
Workers benefited and so did retail businesses with low wages as Wal-Mart: When your staff is going to better paying jobs, they could spend more in their stores. And the US economy also benefited because the largest incentivized consumer spending growth.
But things are not exactly so. Since the Great Recession that began in late 2007, that path has been reduced because many of the stations have ceased to exist rise. That means more low-wage workers have to stay where they are. The stagnation that has occurred is contributing to widening the gap between rich Americans and everyone else.
“Some people accepted these jobs because they were the only ones available and could not find a solution,” admitted Bill Simon, CEO of Wal-Mart US, in an interview with The Associated Press.
If Wal-Mart “can go to another company to another job with better pay and progress, would be better,” Simon said. “It would be better for the economy. It would be better for us as a business, in all honesty, that continue to improve their economic life.”
But for now, the low-wage jobs that once were seen as stepping stones to something better are held for periods longer for older workers, better educated and more experienced.
The trend goes beyond Wal-Mart, the largest employer in the United States, and the same is heard in all sectors of the national economy. And it is one reason why the average income adjusted for inflation has dropped 9% to 40% of families with less income since 2007, although revenue by 5% wealthiest exceed the level at which They were when the recession at the end of that year, according to the Census Bureau began.
A research shows that the jobs that once helped people to emerge from minimum wage jobs to the middle class have disappeared during the three recessions that have occurred since 1991.
In that category jobs such as accountants and executive secretaries, who earned an average of $ 16.54 an hour, according to the Labor Department they are included. Since the mid-1980s, the economy has lost those middle-class jobs, a trend that appears more pronounced in the process of recovery following the recession, according to research by Henry Siu, an economist at the University of British Columbia, and Nir Jaimovich, an economist at Duke University.
That leaves many workers in jobs with an average salary cashier of $ 9.79 an hour or sales to about $ 10.50 an hour, jobs that used to be passengers. Wal-Mart pays an average of $ 8.90 per hour, according to Glassdoor.com site. (Wal-Mart contends that figure and says the average is $ 11.83 per hour).
Since the most recent recession, the proportion of Americans employed by the retail giant and restaurants sector has increased from 16.5% to 17.1%.
The change has injected new pressures to the economy. Older workers and education working in sales and restaurants have expressed more strongly protests by low wages. Trade unions have contributed to the protests last year against employers like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and Burger King.
Fewer teens get jobs as cashiers , food preparation or surtiendo products on shelves , according to government information. These posts are occupied by adults, many of whom are struggling to pay the debts of their university studies , or raising children . Some already line the retirement age.
Last year , 17.4 million Americans aged 25 to 64 earned less than $ 10.10 an hour, which is proposed by President Barack Obama minimum wage (the current federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 ) .
Almost a third of workers with low wages last year had some form of university study .
By JOSH BOAK Associated Press