Today's Hartford Courant and New Haven Register share the results of the annual Labor Day report issued by Connecticut Voices for Children, which looks at how well Connecticut's economic growth has been trickling down to wage-earners. Apparently, not very well:The state's wage earners - low, median and high - earned less in real dollars in 2006 than in 2002, the report said.
Real wages for workers in every category are either flat or have declined, the report said. In real wages, someone who earned $18.36 an hour in 2001 earned $17.75 an hour last year, the report said.
"Health care costs are consuming a larger proportion of total compensation," said Hall, citing one reason for stagnant or declining wages. "There seems to be a disconnect between an economy that's doing well and the wages people are being paid."
The gain in lower-paying service jobs has not quite compensated for the loss of higher-paying manufacturing jobs.
The state continues to keep shedding manufacturing jobs, although the rate of loss is dropping. Those traditionally well-paying jobs are being replaced by lower-paying service jobs. "That is not a positive direction for our state economy and it is not a situation that is going to right itself," he said.
Things were different in the 1980s, when hourly workers saw real wage growth of 14.9 percent; in the 1990s, low wages dropped, but median wages increased slightly and high wages jumped the most.
The articles point out that these conditions are part of a national trend, and Connecticut Voices for Children say that wage-earners would benefit from a change in priorities:
The group is urging the state's policy-makers to strive for more higher-wage jobs, provide more child care and housing subsidies for low-wage families and invest more in education.
In a separate report issued in July, The Connecticut Department of Labor stated that; "we are now just 4,900 jobs short of our all-time high of 1,700,700 reached in July 2000."
The good news is that we're gaining jobs. The bad news is that although we have just about reached the number of jobs we had six years ago, the wages paid for the jobs being produced are not keeping pace with the cost of living.
I have never claimed to be some Economics expert... But I do have some resources that are competent in this area of expertise. And I can read these tea leaves and tell that this is bad. Really bad. This national trend is the direct result of "The Great Republican Experiment" that has obviously completely failed America since the Ronny Raygun administration and their followers started pissing themselves with extremist tax and spend conservatism and fear of the rest of the world.
Live in fear and the American free market truly dies.