In case you needed confirmation: wages and sick time.......
Source Mike Ballard
Date 04/04/27/16:34

APRIL 23, 2004:

The 34 million workers who earn less than $8.70 per
hour are falling  behind in their standard of living
because of "myopic" business cost-cutting, government
deregulation, and technological changes, according to
the authors of:  "Low-Wage America:  How Employers are
Reshaping Opportunity in the Workplace"  by Eileen
Appelbaum, a professor and director of the Center for
Women and Work at Rutgers University,
and others. Funded by the Russell Save and Rockefeller
Foundations and published in December 2003, the study
surveyed some 10,000 workers and managers in 25
predominantly low-wage industries, and dozens of case
studies of companies and industries were developed.
"Structural changes in the U.S. economy have increased
the pressures faced by employers, and their responses
have worsened labor market outcomes for high school
educated workers," the study said.  "These changes are
so profound that even the extremely tight 1990s labor
markets, which resulted in the lowest unemployment
rates in 30 years, did not allow the real earnings of
male high school graduates to return to their 1970
levels."  Of the 277,000 workers that the Department
of Labor reported were added to private payrolls in
March, two-thirds were in low wage industries, such as
retail trade, food and drink establishments,
janitorial services, home health nursing, repair, and
maintenance, Appelbaum said.  The study found that
many of the cost-cutting strategies used by employers
disproportionately affected low-wage workers.  Rather
than innovate their services, improve quality, and
train and empower workers, many have cut costs by
freezing or lowering wages, reducing benefits,
increasing workloads, subcontracting, using temporary
workers, automating and moving or outsourcing
low-skill jobs to low-wage areas here and in other
countries, it said.  The real value of the minimum
wage has decreased
to  40 percent below its 1968 level, the study said.
If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, it
would be $8.46 today instead of $5.15.
The problem is expected to persist.  Of the 10
occupations that the Bureau of Labor Statistics
estimates will have the greatest job growth between
now and 2012, seven pay below-average wages (under
$41,820 per year), including five that pay "very low"
wages, Appelbaum said (Daily Labor Report).

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