Tag Archives: minimum wage

Job and Career News of Note

Your High School GPA May be an Indicator of Earnings Potential

Your high school GPA is strongly correlated with how much you’ll earn as a worker, a new study found. For a one-point increase in a person’s high school GPA, average annual earnings in adulthood increased by about 12 percent for men and about 14 percent for women. Men who were born between 1960 and 1964 and graduated from college earned a median of $802,000 in cumulative earnings by the time they were in their mid 40s. Meanwhile, median earnings for high school graduates fell from $435,000 to $243,000 over that same time period.  (WashingtonPost.com)

Best Apps for Job Hunting

Jobr: is trying to be the Tinder for job hunting. Fill out a résumé and job openings that match your profile will pop up one by one. You swipe to the right to register interest, and if the hiring party likes you too, Jobr sets up a phone chat (Free, iOS only).

Job Interview Q&A: offers just what the name says. It poses common interview questions to which you respond. It also explains in each case what managers are hoping to learn (Free, Android only).

Job Compass: lists jobs by ZIP code and covers dozens of countries–in case your up for a big change (Free, iOS only).

Job Search: from JobandTalent, improves on the average job-search engine with a beautifully designed interface that helps you sort through and stay up on the openings that interest you. (Free, Android or iOS)

Best Companies to Work For

When it comes to attracting workers, tech companies are tops. A new report from Glassdoor used employee feedback to rank the top 25 employers, with firms like Google, Facebook, and Adobe leading the way thanks to pay and perks (FastCompany.com).

Why College Degrees Are Losing Value

Congratulations, graduates–your diploma may be worthless, said Richard K. Vedder in BloombergView.com. “American institutions will confer about 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees this year,” and while many of those grads will land solid, well-paying jobs, many more “face an uncertain future.”  In fact, “many will end up taking jobs historically done by those with high school diplomas or even less.” Surely, the financial crisis, enduring recession, and sluggish recovery are partly to blame. But there is a longer-term problem at work: “There are simply more college graduates than jobs requiring college degrees.” And it’s getting worse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a gain of more than 15 million jobs by 2022, but less than a third of them will require a college education. Of course, “as word spreads that college degrees do not guarantee vocational success,” many students may choose to skip college–and student debt–altogether. But “solving the problem will be very difficult so long as politicians find it expedient to dole out aid and cheap loans” to students who won’t benefit from college at all. The bottom line is that unless we overhaul how we finance higher education, we will continue to have “a lot of graduates with low paying jobs, big debts, and unfulfilled expectations.”

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About the November U.S. Jobs Numbers…

minimum wageThe November jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 203,000 new jobs were created. That figure is higher than what experts had predicted, leading every cable news talking head to exclaim, “more proof the economy is improving.” Really? Let’s look at those numbers more closely.

Most of us who worked in fast-food/minimum-wage jobs in our youth (minimum wage was $1.65 when I was in high school) recognized those jobs as part-time in nature, providing us with employment on our journey to something bigger and better. In fact, that is the business model of the fast-food industry and many others that pay minimum wage is the recognition that such jobs are transient by design, usually less than 40 hours per week, and function as transitions to better paying jobs with more of a future for advancement. Let’s be clear: there never was any thought or intent by anyone using the minimum-wage business model of creating a position for someone as VP of French Fries or Hot Apple Pie Division Manager.

Yet, the unfortunate result of the recent recession has forced many older workers or overqualified workers who have been unemployed for many months into the fast-food/minimum wage environment. Jobs are slowly returning, yet for many, rebounding back to where they where before being laid off is difficult if not impossible. For most, those professional positions are gone, having either been eliminated or filled by someone else. So, today we hear the demand for a “living wage” from fast-food/minimum-wage workers–and yet 60% of all minimum-wage workers are students. Nearly doubling the minimum wage to $15 an hour means your Big Mac will cost you $8 or $10; your grande skinny latte may run you $9 to $10 or more; and “Big Gulp” is more a reaction than an oversized fountain drink. When you refuse to shell out that much money for these items, businesses will close down; people will get laid off.

Attention fast food/minimum wage workers: Your positions were never meant to be career positions where you can eventually earn five or six-figure incomes. You have to escape the fast food/minimum wage mindset and jobs by getting an education (community college, four-year college, trade or business school)–that’s how you earn a living wage.

So who do you think is to blame? The small business owners who employ most people? Republicans? Democrats? The fast-food/minimum-wage business model? Even President Obama is calling for an increase in the minimum wage, so what’s the story?

Virtually every major initiative of the Obama administration – from taxation and regulation to monetary policy and (especially) Obamacare–oops, I mean the “Affordable Care Act” – has been promulgated with little concern for small business. Not surprisingly, 60 percent of business owners surveyed by Gallup expressed opposition to the administration. Small firms represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and have generated most net new jobs over the past 15 years, according to the Small Business Administration. The Affordable Care Act has forced many employers to cut back on hours of employees, creating a part-time workforce so they can afford to stay in business. Nearly everyone will agree that part-time hours is better than NO hours.  Small business owners–the McDonalds/Burger King/Kentucky Fried Chicken/Starbucks franchise owners–provide from 60 to 70 percent of all new jobs, but tax and monetary policies and federal regulation prevent the job conveyer belt from helping people move onward and upward who are stuck in fast-food/minimum-wage jobs.

Forbes reports that although the unemployment rate has steadily dropped since of the beginning of the year, “the decline hasn’t been solely driven by the creation of high-paying full-time jobs.” That affirms the premise that more people are being compressed into the part-time minimum-wage job market/conveyer belt, adding to poverty levels. Businesses are sitting on large piles of cash waiting for government tax/economic policies to ease so they can expand, upgrade infrastructure, and hire people for full-time higher paying jobs.

The job ceiling has been lowered for these people by the actions of the current administration, which are really regressive policies by an administration that sees itself as Progressive. I find it ironic that the President is supporting the call for raising the minimum wage, which will only stuff more minimum-wage workers into an already over-crowded room.

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