Yep...This Recovery is the Pits

Charles Payne
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Posted: Aug 14, 2014 12:01 AM
Yep...This Recovery is the Pits

There are a lot of ways to measure the economic rebound, but nothing is more important than having "good" paying jobs. On that note, a lot has been written about the quality of the jobs currently being produced to replace the jobs lost during the recession. However, by the end of the first quarter of 2014 (more than six years after the Great Recession began), the recovery has officially erased the 8,710,000 jobs lost.

Still, the compositions of those new jobs are vastly different, with a wage gap of $14,466 or 23% less.

Pre-Recession Average Job Wage $61,637

Top Five Occupations Lost Wage

Manufacturing

$63,215

Construction

$57,536

Retail

$29,322

Administrative

$37,084

Wholesale Trade

$71,417

Recovery Average Job Wage $47,171

Top Five Occupations Lost Wage

Accommodation & Food

$20,955

Healthcare

$47,013

Administrative

$37,084

Retail

$29,322

Professional & Scientific

$87,397

The difference to the economy adds up to $93 billion per year, which would be one heck of a stimulus; a real stimulus with no strings or taxes attached.

Nevertheless, the lure of big city jobs is making matters worse. With 73% of metro areas sporting an average wage of less than $35,000, big city jobs have turned more into an urban legend.

So, not only is this a jobless recovery, but it is also wage-bound as well. The notion that we can engineer the recovery to look better is a farce, though it makes for good politics and good fodder for a demagogue’s success, or even an inherently evil economic system.

Second Half Recovery?

With this grim economic reality, coupled with the recent spike in savings, how can the economy pop in the second half of the year? Yesterday, the JOLTS report showed a jump in professional and business jobs, but there are far too many people languishing in low- paying ones. There will be wage growth, and it will start at the top where skills are in high demand. The question is, will the masses feel confident enough in the idea that the same tide that did them harm, will eventually lift their boats, allowing them to begin spending money they may not even have to spend.

The nation is on the cusp of the second, most important shopping season of the year: Back-to-School Season. Back-to-School spending should be around $75 billion, according to the National Federation of Retailers, but the lead up is ominous.

People have been reluctant to use credit debt since the Great Recession began, and recent increases have quickly faded. It is not surprising that retail sales have plunged as well.

In the near- term, we need to see signs that the economic recovery is gaining traction; longer term, we need solutions that can only be found in smart and rigorous education for real high-paying jobs, instead of paying people $15.00 to flip burgers.