Bloomberg (02/12/15) Peter Coy
The U.S. economic expansion finally is benefiting workers on the bottom of the ladder, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 6% increase in employment of people without a high school diploma in January on a year-to-year basis, an 18% jump in employment of black teens, and a 20% surge in employment of the disabled. In addition, average hourly earnings climbed 3.4% in the leisure and hospitality sector, compared with an overall labor force gain of 2.2%.
However, experts point out that wages are not growing fast enough, with “usual” weekly earnings up just 0.5% from late 2013 to late 2014 for workers at the bottom of all incomes, compared with a mere 0.4% increase for workers near the top. Experts indicate that employers need to pay more to secure workers for lower-wage jobs.