The state of the American worker
Share Now on:
TEXT OF STORY
Scott Jagow: This being Labor Day, we decided to take a look at the state of the American worker. What’s happening with wages, insurance and buying power? Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: Workers’ wages are a mixed bag. Cornell labor relations professor Harry Katz says, skilled workers are making good money.
Harry Katz: Workers who know how to make us of computers or help build those Boeing planes that are selling so well.
But low-skilled workers are finding their hours cut. Rising gas and food prices further erode their salaries. Economist Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute, says these workers are spending less. Retailers then have to tighten their belts.
Heidi Shierholz: They’ll hire fewer workers, who’ll then become people who are spending a lot less, and you start to see this downward spiral.
As for insurance, the Census Bureau is reporting that the number of uninsured Americans actually fell last year, although that was only because more were insured through government programs. The Economic Policy Institute says the share of Americans with insurance coverage through an employer fell in 2007, for the seventh straight year.
In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.