Good news, right?
Well, a little yes and a lot no.
Of those 202,000, over 50% were part-time jobs and minimum wage jobs in the restaurant, entertainment and retail industries. In fact, in the manufacturing industry, once a bastion of the American economy, over 60,000 jobs were lost.
Now I’m going to do a little math for you, so hang with me for a second so we can get a better perspective of this economic news.
Minimum wage in Washington State, where I live, is $9.19 per hour. Let’s say you get a part-time job working for a convenience store and you work 25 hours per week….let’s see, that comes to $229.75 per week, or $919.00 per month. Are you with me so far?
An average one bedroom home in Olympia rents for a little over $800 per month; an average studio apartment for slightly more than $610 per month.
My question is this: how is it good news that most jobs being added to the economy are part-time, minimum wage jobs?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a pretty positive human being, and I’ve got my rose-colored glasses on now as I type this, but still…….
There was another interesting statistic that came out last week. 36% of the age group between 18-32 in the United States still live at home with their parents. Oh my God! I guess there is no danger of anyone suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome in the good old U.S. of A. now is there?
So here is my main point: times are tough regardless of what the government would want us to believe. Statistics are black and white numbers on a page. Human beings are flesh and blood and feelings and pain and happiness and….well, people that I know and you know.
Bev and I are getting by. We won’t be flying off to jolly old England anytime soon for a vacation, but we manage to get the bills paid monthly. I have friends, however, who are scrambling big time to keep from losing their homes, cars and other possessions, and in fact are having a hard time paying for groceries.
As you go about your day today, try to be a tad bit more empathetic and compassionate to others. The person you smile at today might just be the person who smiles at you when your days darken.