"The Job Gains Have Gone To The Least Educated, And Lowest-Paid, Workers"

Tyler Durden's picture

One of the recurring themes in Obama's final State of the Union address was describing the strength of the economic recovery as witnessed by the number of job gains over the past 6 (if not exactly 7) years, clearly a purely quantitative metric. There was no discussion of the qualitative component of these job gains for one simple reason: as we have explained for years, the bulk of new labor has gone to undereducated, minimum wage (and often part-time) workers.

We have dubbed this the "waiter and bartender" recovery for a reason that becomes immediately clear when looking at the chart below.

We have also gotten tired of reiterating all of this (we do so every month when the BLS released its latest jobs data that just happens to lack the biggest missing piece in the Fed's "recovery" - wage growth).

So today we give the podium to the ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan who explains it so well even a US president would get it.

Fresh Data: Cheap Labor

from ECRI

The sustained decline in the official jobless rate – now near the Fed’s estimate of “full employment” – is a misleading indicator of labor market health.

Indeed, the stagnation in nominal wage growth is consistent with the weakness in the employment/population (E/P) ratio. After dropping to three-decade lows in the wake of the Great Recession, the E/P ratio has barely improved since the fall of 2013, reversing only a quarter of its decline from its pre-recession highs. Furthermore – as a breakdown of the E/P ratio by education level shows – even this modest improvement is illusory.

Since 2011, when the E/P ratio for those with less than a high school diploma bottomed, that metric has regained almost two-thirds of its recessionary losses (orange line in chart). But the E/P ratio for high school or college graduates – i.e., eight out of nine American adults – has not recovered any of its recessionary losses, and has barely budged in four years (purple line).

This data underscores how the jobs recovery has been spearheaded by cheap labor, with job gains going disproportionately to the least educated — and lowest-paid — workers, many of whom have to work multiple jobs to make ends meets.

This is scarcely supportive of Janet Yellen’s description of a “much healthier” consumer in justifying the Fed rate hike.

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2ndamendment's picture

Knock me over with a feather. This surpises.... exactly no one. 

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

AKA - Illegal Immigrants.  Those willing to work for nothing.  And the Wealth Gap continues to expand.  This outcome will not be good.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris Retweeted zerohedge

Finally, least educate and lowest paid is favor by economic policy! Way to run a country!

Ignatius's picture

Few gold miners struck it rich, but the guy supplying the shovels....

The last laugh belongs to the guy adjacent to the university selling popular lunches at a profit.

Arnold's picture

Chipotle called.............


They wanted to know if your produce supplier was treating you right.

Number 9's picture

Monsanto called and wanted to know if you are considering going non GMO

Stuck on Zero's picture

Welfare state in action. A hundred million people on the government dole require huge amounts of low paid services.

Arnold's picture

If I quit my three part time, minimum wage jobs I could make those numbers pop with the twenty people they would have to hire to replace me.

The Saint's picture

Exactly.  Jobs for foreigners not for Americans.  Except for a few of the overwhelming low paying part time jobs.


Good job Obama, you POS.

Number 9's picture

Obama? Who is that?/. OH Oh-- you mean that errand boy that hangs out on the golf course?

MissCellany's picture

Let's not discount the "willing to work" part of what you wrote.

TheDanimal's picture

Well, what we could do is make all immigrants ineligible for any kind of state assistance programs, maybe their children too.  Then we tax them to pay for the natural born American members of the Free Shit Army.  Then the stupid capstone class or whatever it was referred to can lord over an "empire", lazy entitled Americans can continue to overconsume, and the economy can sort of grind along powered by cheap immigrant labor.  If these immigrants want to throw themselves into the meat grinder due to silly propaganda about an American dream, let them.  We need a greater fool now more than ever.

Wulfkind's picture

Burger Flippers and Illegal Aliens.


Welcome to the Fascist Suck.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Maybe illegal burger and alien flipper is not help economy, but is make for equality, no? Beside, is all fault of George W. Bush.

edifice's picture

The alien flippers (coyotes) make quite a bit of money, under the table. I don't know about the illegal burgers, though.

Arnold's picture

Right handed muzzie flippers only.

hobopants's picture

Road to serfdom.

mastersnark's picture

See? This is why we need to import even more invader-Americans: keep the job growth growing.

tarsubil's picture

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the jobs (ie labor), says the ones that prophit.

edifice's picture

And oil magnate J. Paul Getty once said, "The meek shall inherit the earth... but NOT its mineral rights."

OregonGrown's picture

Soon everyone will realize that a Job = REAL WORK..... actually building and creating shit....with actual sweat on the brow... not the fake paper push some of us like to refer to as work.....


Time for america to come back to reality!  


oops... there goes gravity!

Dr. Engali's picture

Trickle up eCONomics.

Mark Mywords's picture
Mark Mywords (not verified) Jan 14, 2016 1:32 PM

Luckily, there's a never-ending supply of stupid to hire here in Amerikkka.

You can find them on their sofas or on a barstool every Sunday watching the NFL. Or whenever those games are being played.

Hitlery_4_Dictator's picture

Sport Dorks, NFLtards, Lowest Common Denominators, Morons, Satanists, Losers. That about sums it up.

Number 9's picture

Think how stupid the average American is, and then acknowledge that 50% are more stupid than that.

gatorengineer's picture

For a long time I have been unable to figure out what has been holding this whole thing above collapse.  I completely agree with the above, but something else must also be afoot, and I believe that to be anyone who can is working for cash, and that a fair portion of those who are "unemployed" are indeed employed, just working off the books without bennies.  This goes a long way to explaining the NINJA loans (no income no job) loans that havent defaulted..... 

Bill of Rights's picture

A democrat wet dream state, stupid and unable to think for ones self. THE UTOPIA HAS ARRIVED!

I am Jobe's picture

Wow all the so called college education parents nightmare coming true. 

Project_Engineer's picture

That's the truth! Where I work they have been taking people off the production floor and moving them into Engineering positions. It's happening with my customers too. Making life for me a real pain when I am dealing with folks who are not educated properly yet are working on Engineering Projects.

pitz's picture

Yet real engineers (ie: those that graduated from universities with engineering programs) can't find jobs.  Yet another datapoint telling us how sick the economy is, when employers would rather substitute factory workers, for qualified/trained graduates out of the nation's top universities.

robertocarlos's picture

What? My MBA from Queens? No sir, that's a mistake, I was forced to quit school after grade 10.  

Arnold's picture

There are so many MBA s floating around now that  they should be considered an ethnic, and dangerous tribe.

InflammatoryResponse's picture

if they are from harvard or PENN  they are a dangerous tribe.


Arnold's picture

How do you call an MBA?


Hey! Server! More Breadsticks!

moonmac's picture

Temp Agencies having a field day with McJob Nation!

edifice's picture

Temp agencies are killing it. Everyone in healthcare, anyway, starts as a temp, then MAYBE is hired permanently. They pay the agency $25-$100/hour, depending on what type of work the peon will do.

Jack's Raging Bile Duct's picture

That's hyperbole. People working through temp. agencies are typically just above minimum wage. Temps get hired at $12/hr, while the agency takes a $2/hr cut. Percentage wise, still extremely lucrative.

edifice's picture

I have direct experience with this. We hired "system analyst" job classification through an agency. The worker was paid around $30/hr, but the agency took in $50, total. Probably to cover benefits offered to the employee. For other classifications, you are correct. Depends on the agency and what work the employee will be performing.

pitz's picture

I'm convinced that the proliferation of temp agencies is all about getting HR directors' and executives more under-the-table bribes.  Not a legitimate pursuit of labour they can't obtain by hiring the millions of people who are unemployed.

Yen Cross's picture

  It's nice to see all those student loans being put to such good use...

Silver Bullet's picture

But I thought a minimum wage hurt low wage workers and was a form of discrimination against the least among us????

Just the bullshit fallacy of the libertarian/jeb bush/trump crowd. (Theres actually no difference......)

Bernie 2016

cpgone's picture

lots of min. wage haters here.

They would pay people in gruel if possible

Number 9's picture

Too bad ICE quit deporting the illegals. Worked out really well when you paid once a month held back the first check and then called ICE a week before payday.


No wonder companies are struggling.

Amy G. Dala's picture

Yes, pay them in gruel!  Purina makes a really nutritious famine chow, 40/30/30 balanced, no saturated fats or processed sugars, lotsa fiber!  Way cheaper and more plentiful than dog kibble. 

Way, way better than the shit they buy at walmart with food stamps.  Set up a few distrubution centers, hand out calorie-calibrated orange buckets they can haul their famine chow away in, in a perfectly allotted amount to avoid obesity.

This is called "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," after all.  The orange buckets are key.