Job growth is up in the U.S. over the past seven years – that’s an undisputed fact that monthly statistics prove. But that doesn’t mean workers are feeling secure about their employment futures.
A new report by the Pew Research Center shows that while the overwhelming majority of workers are satisfied with their jobs, that doesn’t mean they are confident they will keep them. In fact, 63 percent said they believe their jobs are less secure than in the past.
Part of the reason is the threat caused by job outsourcing. Eighty percent of adults surveyed said shipping jobs overseas in hurting American workers, while nearly the same amount of people found that having more foreign-made products sold in this country has been harmful. A significant percentage also cited declines in union membership as well as the increased use of temporary workers as causing anxiety in the workforce.
Those polled also recognized the need for additional education on the job. More than half of those in the labor force said learning additional skills is essential for them to keep up with changes in the workplace. And 35 percent of workers said they don’t have the education or training needed to advance beyond where they are today.
The Teamsters sounded off about all of these issues in its “Let’s Get America Working” platform released last year. In it, the union stressed the need to keep jobs in this country by investing in infrastructure investment, increase union density and improve vocational education, among other things.
A significant concern, the report said, is that wages and benefits have increased little in the past quarter century. It notes that average hourly wage, when adjusted for inflation, has only grown from $19 an hour to $22 an hour – or 16 percent. Meanwhile, a plurality states that employer benefits are not as generous as they once were.
Workers need to vote their values this year. If union membership, good jobs and higher pay are a priority to everyday Americans, then a reality star in the White House just won’t do.