Workers doing better on unemployment benefits than on the job need raises

The $600 weekly payment is in addition to the unemployment benefits states already provide, which vary widely.

“Qualified workers will receive the government payout every week through July, and in most cases, the combined $978 weekly payout amounts to better pay than what many workers received before the crisis hit,” the Journal reported Tuesday. “Labor Department statistics show half of full-time workers earned $957 or less a week in the first quarter of 2020.”

Michael Linden, executive director of the Groundwork Collective, said in response to the analysis that “if $600 a week is a big raise, that’s because workers were undervalued.”

Three previous takes of mine on low wage jobs: 

A Brookings Institution report released in November noted in its analysis that 53 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 qualify as “low-wage.” That is 44% of all workers. Their median hourly wage? $10.22. Median annual earnings? About $18,000. Well above the $7.25 federal minimum that hasn’t changed in a decade, and is now worth $6.05, which in no way is a living wage in many parts of the country. One positive factor for low-wage earners is that their wages are rising faster than the average for all workers. (Note that the linked article is talking about nominal, not inflation-adjusted, wages.)



“We should be asking ourselves why underpaid workers are being expected to labor for too little money in the first place.” ~~Michele Evermore, National Employment Law Project (2020)




At Daily Kos on this date in 2018—Government workers are falling out of the middle class; is that really what America wants?

Every generation has to decide anew what it wants “America” to be. For the most part, each generation has wanted the same thing: a decent and stable income, a safe and attractive place to live, and the ability to someday retire to a life of modest comforts after working most of a lifetime to earn those things. We call this the middle class; the great American dream is, for the majority of Americans, to be in the middle class. […]

It was a simple calculation: We made those good jobs with decent incomes, and in exchange Americans who desired middle-class stability and were committed enough to stick with the grind of public duties signed up for the long haul. Somewhere along the line Republicans, and by this I primarily mean the very, very wealthy patrons of Republicans who have funded the modern incarnation of the party for the last half-century, began telling Americans that this was all a big grift. Wealthy business owners were slashing factory wages, and customer service wages, and the wages in every other profession—due, largely, to relentless attacks on worker unions—so why are these government workers getting decent wages and decent pensions? It’s unfair, they said. They think they’re better than you. It’s time to put them in their place.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: The exciting conclusion of the story of how NY (initially) & the WH (always) did everything exactly wrong! Twitter pal Asparagus Zucchini (@asp_zuc) & Speaker Pelosi agree: It’s (past) time to think about UBI. Excess deaths finally getting attention here in the US.

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