Underemployment. What does that word really mean? For Jason Lamb of Mahomet Illinois, it means working hard every day to keep his family going, getting a much sought after education and still not seeing a benefit. And how much does his life and his story reflect the new reality for many American workers? The truth is, we really don’t know.
We do know that the current unemployment statistics show about a 7.4 percent rate, but that number is very misleading on many levels. Certain parts of the country far exceed that level with double digit unemployment being the long-term norm. And even with a constant barrage of new jobs supposedly being created, most of those jobs are low wage, low skill, part-time and or temporary. The age of a decent paying job with benefits for people with a bachelors degree seems to be slipping away faster and faster. And education is no longer the key to success it once was. Fields that once required a BS, now want a Masters, but actually pay the same or less; not more. And fields that once wanted an MS, now want extended training, a PhD or lengthy oversight training such as in social work where you could easily be 30 years old before you could practice independently in many states.
At the heart of this issue are the so-called job creators and their greed. Large companies now use Obamacare as an excuse to not give benefits and constantly complain about how workers don’t have the skills they’re looking for. In the meantime, stock dividends and executive salaries have been climbing steadily while jobs disappear and the wages of middle range workers stagnate. What business and government leaders simply must realize and publicly admit is that without a strong and growing middle class, this country cannot go on for much longer. Unless we want to turn into another third world country with a first world military (like the USSR before communism fell), then we must begin to create good jobs that last. If we become a nation of Jason Lambs, then we all lose. And Mr. Lamb should be the picture of success, considering how hard he works.
To read the complete story, please click here.
Image courtesy of julliengordon.com.