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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's Your Labor Worth? For Most of Us, Less Than It Was in 2000

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A confused man, holding a pen, sitting amidst piles of binders

A confused man, holding a pen, sitting amidst piles of binders
Historically, Labor Day is a day for celebrating America's workers -- a factor that influenced everything from its founding to the date on which it was placed. Coming roughly midway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving, it was intended to give workers a respite to break up the long holiday-free stretch in the latter half of the year.

(Of course, since Labor Day is a national holiday, the makes the first Monday in September a prime date for merchants hoping to attract customers -- a factor that doesn't work out all that well for the estimated 11 percent of American workers employed in retail sales.)
So, as we honor America's workers, we're taking a peek at some of the factors, good and bad, affecting American labor.

First the good news: Unemployment is currently at 7.4 percent, almost 10 percent lower than it was last August (8.1 percent) and 22 percent lower than it was three years ago (when the rate was 9.5 percent). In fact, unemployment is currently the lowest that it's been since December 2008, almost at the beginning of the Great Recession.

And that's not all. Underemployment -- the percentage of people who are unemployed, the jobless who have quit looking, those who are temping, and those working part-time when they'd rather have full-time jobs -- has dropped to 14.3 percent, almost a 15 percent decrease from its 2010 high. In fact, the underemployment measure is at the lowest level since 2009.
But as...
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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.