ERIC Number: ED311271
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Joblessness and the Pauperization of Work in America. Background Paper.
Morehouse, Ward; Dembo, David
In September 1988, 13.1 million people in the United States wanted jobs, a jobless rate more than twice the official unemployment rate. The official rate does not count the people who have stopped looking for work because they believe that none is available. However, joblessness is only part of the problem. Also important is the phenomenon of the pauperization of work--replacement of higher-paying jobs by those at or close to the minimum wage, often part time, and below the poverty line. The manufacturing sector of the economy peaked in 1979 and fell back by September 1988, to a net loss of 824,000 jobs. A large number of persons formerly in higher-paying manufacturing jobs have been forced into lower-paying service sector jobs. In fact, the discrepancy between the wages for service jobs and manufacturing jobs is increasing. These pauperizing trends in wages now affect an increasing proportion of the labor force--and those sectors that are growing the fastest--whereas the proportion of workers in the high wage sectors is either flat or declining. Millions of full-time year-round workers had incomes below the poverty level. The result has been a sharp and increasing inequity in income distribution. In addition, poverty rates are still higher than they were in the 1970s. The two appendices contain "Adjustment in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment Rate to Determine the Jobless Rate," and "Explanation of Method Used to Determine Full-Time Equivalent Employment." (Seven statistical tables and two figures are included in the report.) (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council on International and Public Affairs, New York, NY.