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就业报告假强劲 美国工人仍在苦苦挣扎

2019年11月19日 13:23 来源:未知 手机版


近日,康奈尔大学法学院(Cornell Law School)的金融宏观经济学高级研究员Daniel Alpert通过金融博客The Hill发文称,尽管就业报告“强劲”,但美国工人仍在苦苦挣扎。他指出,事实上,在美国许多城镇中,数以百万计的美国人靠在路边商城内和购物中心的零售工作维生,拿着时薪,入不敷出,更不用说获得经济保障或健全的医疗保障了。

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多年来,权威人士和政策制定者一直声称美国工人比以往任何时候都更好。他们指出,低消费价格、低失业率、廉价信贷的存在,甚至还有繁荣的股市。他们对工资停滞的担忧不屑一顾,因为美国人现在比以往任何时候都要购买更多的平面电视和手机。For years, pundits and policymakers have claimed that America’s workers are doing better than ever. They point to low consumer prices, low unemployment, the availability of cheap credit and even a booming stock market. And they dismiss concerns about wage stagnation — since Americans are buying more flat-screen TVs and cellphones than ever. 但这并不能解释全国许多城镇所发生的情况。数以百万计的美国人靠在路边商城内和购物中心的零售工作维生。他们拿的是时薪,入不敷出,更不用说获得经济保障或健全的医疗保障了。But that doesn’t account for what’s happening in many cities and towns throughout the nation. Millions of Americans are subsisting on retail work in strip malls and shopping centers. They’re earning hourly wages, and they can’t make ends meet, much less obtain financial security or robust health care.坊间有大量证据表明,美国工人正在落后。但是现在,一组研究人员和经济学家已经发现了问题的一个关键部分——美国劳动力越来越多的工作种类。正如美国私营部门就业质量指数(JQI)所显示的那样,他们的发现令人担忧。There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that America’s workers are being left behind. But now a group of researchers and economists have identified a key part of the problem — the kinds of jobs increasingly available to America’s workforce. And what they’ve found, as illustrated in a new U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI), is troubling.自1990年以来,美国一直在创造大量的低质量服务岗位。事实上,在过去的30年里,63%的生产性和非管理性岗位都是低工资的岗位。这与20世纪90年代初形成了鲜明的对比,当时几乎一半的工作(47%)是高工资的。Since 1990, the United States has been creating an overabundance of low-quality service jobs. In fact, 63 percent of the production and nonsupervisory jobs created over the past 30 years have been in low-wage positions. That’s a marked contrast from the start of the 1990s, when almost half of these jobs (47 percent) were high-wage.一年多来,康奈尔大学(Cornell University)、美国繁荣联盟(Coalition For a Prosperity America)、密苏里大学(University of Missouri)、堪萨斯城(Kansas City)和全球可持续繁荣研究所(Global Institute For Sustainable Prosperity)的经济学家们一直在筛选私营部门的就业数据,以编制美国私营部门就业质量指数(JQI)I。他们发现,在过去三十年里,美国经济越来越依赖于工作时间更少、相对工资更低的工作。For more than a year, economists from Cornell University, the Coalition for a Prosperous America, the University of Missouri, Kansas City and the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity have been sifting through private sector jobs data to develop the JQI. And they’ve found that, in the past three decades, the U.S. economy has become increasingly dependent on jobs that offer fewer hours of work and at lower relative wages.这些低工时、低工资的工作到底是什么样子的?它们可能是休闲和住宿业近1500万个非管理类工作岗位中的一个。他们平均每周工作24.6小时,每小时14.65美元。如此一来,一周就是360美元。What exactly do these low-hour, low-wage positions look like? They could be one of the almost 15 million nonmanagement jobs in leisure and hospitality. These offer an average of 24.6 hours of work per week at $14.65 an hour. That’s $360 a week. 他们也可以成为1350万个零售工作岗位中的一员,每周工作30.3小时,每小时16.73美元。如此,每周就挣506美元。Or they could be one of 13.5 million retail jobs offering 30.3 hours a week at $16.73 an hour. That’s $506 weekly. 目前美国约有1.05亿个生产性和非管理类岗位,占私营部门岗位的83%。其中超过一半(5800万人)的工资低于美国平均每周793美元的工资。这些工作中有许多不提供医疗保健或其他福利。There are now roughly 105 million production and nonsupervisory jobs in the U.S. That’s 83 percent of all private sector jobs. And more than half of them — 58 million — pay less than the average weekly U.S. wage of $793. Many of these jobs don’t offer health care or other benefits. 这些是许多美国人能找到的最好的工作,也是他们所能得到的最多的工作时间。These are the best jobs that many Americans can find and the most hours they can get. 具有讽刺意味的是,所有这些低工资的工作都产生了一个所谓的“好处”——停滞的价格通胀。消费价格保持平稳,部分原因是家庭收入趋平。随着越来越多的美国人每周工作时间不足30小时,收入水平也在下降。这降低了整体购买力。而且情况变得越来越糟。自1999年以来,低薪工作的工时实际上平均每周减少了一个小时。Ironically, all of this low-wage work is yielding one supposed “benefit” — stagnant price inflation. Consumer prices remain flat, in part because household earnings have flatlined. With more Americans earning low wages while working less than 30 hours per week, income levels have fallen. That has reduced overall purchasing power. And the situation is growing worse. Since 1999, low-wage employment has actually shrunk by an average of one hour per week.所有这些都与不断扩大的高管薪酬差距形成了鲜明对比。自大衰退以来,经通胀调整的高收入工作的收入增长已经超过了普通工人的收入增长。这导致了人们对整个就业市场的错误印象。All of this contrasts markedly with the widening gap for executive-level pay. Since the Great Recession, inflation-adjusted income growth for higher-tier jobs has climbed away from the average worker’s earnings. And that has driven a misleading impression of the overall job market. 那么,是什么推动了这一更广泛的趋势呢?So what’s driving the wider trend?从2000年到2010年,美国失去了500多万个制造业工作岗位。这是美国中产阶级劳动力的重要组成部分,这意味着数以百万计的美国人工资水平下降,尽管美国的劳动力总数在不断扩大。简单地说,高薪的制造业工作被低工资的工作所取代。From 2000 to 2010, the United States lost more than 5 million manufacturing jobs. That was a significant chunk of the nation’s middle-class workforce, and it meant millions of Americans tumbling down the wage scale — even as the total U.S. workforce kept expanding. Simply put, high-paying manufacturing jobs were replaced with lower-wage work. 值得注意的是,“技术变革”并不是导致失业的主要因素。否则,美国人的运输和仓储工作也会出现类似的下降。但拥有高度自动化仓库的亚马逊已经扩大了就业。其他服务行业也出现了类似的就业增长。What’s noteworthy is that “technological change” isn’t the dominant factor in such job loss. Otherwise, Americans would see similar declines in transportation and warehouse work. But Amazon — with its highly automated warehouses — has expanded employment. And other service sectors are seeing similar job growth. 真正伤害美国劳动力的是一项考虑不周的贸易政策,该政策允许自助进口取代关键产业。而又未能维护好国内基础设施,剥夺了其他制造业和建筑业的机会。What really hurt America’s workforce was a poorly conceived trade policy that allowed subsidized imports to displace vital industries. And a failure to maintain domestic infrastructure deprived the economy of other manufacturing and construction opportunities. 要解决这个问题并不容易。但当务之急应该是恢复能够创造财富的行业,包括能够刺激中产阶级就业增长的制造业。There’s no easy fix for this. But the priority should be to restore wealth-generating industries, including manufacturing, that can spur middle-class job growth.任何振兴制造业的努力都需要解决与中国的激进贸易,以及人为抬高出口成本、被高估的美元。这些都是阻止中产阶级工作流失的重要步骤和必要措施。Any effort to revitalize manufacturing will need to tackle predatory trade with China as well as an overvalued U.S. dollar that artificially inflates export costs. These are important steps and necessary to halt a greater hemorrhaging of middle-class jobs.(完)

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