Today in the newspaper there was this column with the following points to be made about Wisconsin Governor Walker’s hopes for creating 250,000 jobs in the next four years.
Still, figures released by the Department of Workforce Development last week showed Wisconsin added 9,800 private sector jobs in March, including 2,800 manufacturing jobs.
And of the 9,800 new jobs, more than half were in the “service sector” which tend to be lower-paying than manufacturing or construction. Walker has not talked about wages or incomes in his “Open for Business” campaign, rather just jobs at any pay level.
I think we all agree that while a pay check is important, it must be one that can help lift the economy with sales of new cars, refrigerators, and trips to restaurants. Meaningful employment is more than just a job, it must be attached to a living wage.
Too often I fear Governor Walker has forgotten that point, and hopes that others will too as time goes on. While the national economy improves there will be doubtless new jobs created, and Walker may well get some credit for some of the job numbers just because he is the person in the right spot at the right time to claim credit. But unless the jobs created are high-paying ones they provide less of an impact on the economy, and can not be touted as a success.
So it was interesting to read today that McDonald’s is hiring 50,000 new workers in an attempt to show they are a “decent employer.”
While many may think that a place like McDonald’s is where a teenager can work to gain some spending money while in high school or college the following fact floored me when I read it today.
The average age of a fast-food worker today is 29.5, up from 22 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That is not a good sign for this nation, or the hope of digging ourself out of the economic stew we are currently in.
I can only imagine what the same statistic for Japan would be….