Recently, I read an article that was published by Reade Pickert of Bloomberg News detailing how 44 percent of Americans are low-wage workers. With an unemployment rate near a five-decade low, and with a strong workforce with abundant jobs to work in this headline caught my attention.
Despite our nation’s wealth many people are skimming along earning low wages and living paycheck to paycheck while struggling with healthcare costs and student loans.
Personally, I feel this topic needs more attention, and most of all it needs a fix.
The article goes on to state that an estimated 53 million Americans are earning low wages, which according to the study conducted is $10.22 an hour, with an annual pay of just under $18,000. With many in our country benefiting from a strong demand for labor, the data from this study shows not all jobs are good, high-paying positions.
Many find themselves holding a job(s) offered at part-time status with little, or no benefits. I understand that this makes sense from a business standpoint. However, how is one to support themselves, let alone a family, within this earning situation?
Also, according to the study millions of Americans in low-wage jobs are likely to stay in those jobs. Workers who make $10 to $15 an hour have a 52 percent chance of remaining in that wage bracket when they switch jobs.
So in other words, one gets stuck in the same earning bracket. Now couple that with the fact that everything in price goes up. How does one stay above water financially?
Now if this isn’t bad enough, there is the fact that women and minorities are more likely to earn lower wages than males and whites. In my opinion, how is this even allowed?
The news article ends stating nearly half of low-wage workers are concentrated in occupations like cooks, cleaners, construction and retail sales. This study hits home to me, as I can personally relate to the financial struggles many face. Yes, I personally chose my career. However shouldn’t all of us have the same shot at the so-called American dream?
It would be very welcoming if we could put aside all of our differences and focus on solving real issues at hand, like low wage earnings, student loan debt and a broken health care system that can leave the average person broken and beat. Personally, I’m discouraged at the rate and approach of how issues are handled within our country. It would be refreshing if our government could find real solutions to real problems.
Often I feel that our government is spinning its wheels with no solution in sight, all while people within communities like ours suffer to make ends meet week after week. I personally would like to see action, not stagnation, of our nation’s progress. Many may feel that the current state of our country only continues to divide and many people continue to feel broken and forgotten.
Yet, with patience, resolve and continued faith we can achieve success by continually pushing forward everyday. Each of us may not have the power to change the world, but we each possess the power to create change.
As we all enter the holiday season let’s focus on the good and try all to be a bit more kind to all.