Times are tough for most people in America today, as huge corporations such as Walmart wield inordinate power over their workers. With that power comes union-busting, low wages and dangerous workplaces.
In other words, there are hardly any good jobs.
We bring you some numbers that illustrate the state of working America today, with special thanks to David Cay Johnstone at The National Memo, Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute and Paul Buchheit at Common Dreams.
- The labor participation rate -- the percentage of adult Americans with a job or seeking one — is at 63.2 percent, the lowest in 35 years.
- There are an average of three unemployed people for each job opening.
- The unemployment rate is between 1.5 and 1.8 times as high now as it was six years ago for all groups.
- Two-thirds of taxpayers with jobs saved nothing in retirement plans in 2010.
- 3.8 million fewer people had jobs in 2010 than in 2008
- Only a third of workers in their twenties have any form of retirement plan at work, compared to 62 percent of workers in their fifties.
- 75 percent of Americans near retirement in 2010 had an average of less than $30,000 saved for retirement.
- Among all adult workers, only 43 percent say they have a vested right to either their own money they saved or money their employer set aside for them.
- Since June 2009, the public sector has lost 754,000 jobs.
- One out of every five American children now lives in poverty.
- Nearly half the births in the United States are paid for by Medicaid.
- The number of college grads working for minimum wage has doubled in just five years.
- College tuition has risen 10 times faster than the median family income in the U.S.
- The percentage of Americans aged 75 to 84 falling into poverty for the first time doubled from 2005 to 2009.
- Workers have 30 percent less buying power today than they had in 1968.
- Since the 2008 recession, only about one-fifth of new jobs are going to women.