Report: Obama’s Economy Converts Middle-Class Jobs Into Low-Wage Jobs

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Nearly half of the new jobs created since 2008 are low-wage jobs, while 80 percent of the jobs destroyed in the government-inflated real-estate bubble were high-wage or medium-wage jobs, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project.

In effect, almost 2 million well-paid middle-class jobs have been converted into low-wage blue-collar jobs since January 2008, through the five years of President Barack Obama’s economy, according to the report, titled “The Low-Wage Recovery: Industry Employment and Wages Four Years into the Recovery.”

Forty-four percent of the new jobs pay less than $13.33 per hour, while only 30 percent pay more than $20 per hour, said the report, which was produced by a left-wing group, the National Employment Law Project. The remaining 26 percent of new jobs are middle-wage jobs, says the report, which is based on government data.

“Service-providing industries such as food services and drinking places, administrative and support services, and retail trade have led private sector job growth,” says the report, which does not mention Obama or his policies.

“These industries, which pay relatively low wages, accounted for 39 percent of the private sector employment increase over the past four years,” said report, which adds to a recent series of studies and polls showing a steep drop in the number of people who believe they are middle-class.

After four years of slow growth, the number of jobs has returned to the 2008 level, even as the U.S. population grew from 303 million in 2008 to 318 million in 2014, largely because of immigration.

Obama and some GOP leaders are now working to increase the supply of low-wage workers via increased immigration. In Korea last week, at an citizenship event for U.S.soldiers and spouses, Obama threatened to keep pushing for more immigration into his stalled economy, partly by providing a multi-stage amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants. Most of the illegals are unskilled.

“We’ve got to fix our broken immigration system and pass common-sense immigration reform… I’m going to keep on pushing to get this done this year,” Obama said April 26.

In the last few days, top GOP leaders such as Texas Rep. Joe Barton and Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers have urged passage of bill that would increase legal immigration and boost the supply of agricultural workers in their states. Also, Speaker of the House John Boehner used a public speech in Ohio to ridicule opposition from most GOP legislators to an immigration increase.

Advocates for greater immigration, such as billionaire Steve Case, say extra immigration will partly offset future losses of middle-class jobs from high-tech automation.

If the Senate’s June 2013 immigration rewrite becomes law, it will effectively allow 40 million new legal immigrants and guest workers to compete for jobs against the 40 million Americans who will graduate from schools and colleges during the same period.

The increased supply of workers will reduce the share of the nation’s wealth that is paid to workers, and increase the share that will go to investors, according to a June 2013 report by the Congressional Budget Office. In the Obama economy, the share of annual national income paid to workers is at a 63-year low, and the percentage that is paid to investors is at a 85-year high.

Each year, the federal government awards Green Cards to roughly 1 million immigrants, and temporary work-permits to 650,000 non-agricultural workers.

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