This morning’s Times story on an airline pilot who was busted down from captain to first officer so ExpressJet Airlines could pay him less draws a connection between his sad case and a “steep decline” in total weekly pay for production workers. The numbers are a little abstruse there. But another Times story hits the working-for-less point harder: While New York has more jobs under Bloomberg than before — 131,000 of them — a depressing number of them are low-income, “in sectors like retail, food service and home health care.”
Meanwhile we’re hemorrhaging jobs in the finance, insurance and construction industries. The Center for an Urban Future predicts that the most available jobs between now and 2014 will be retail salesperson (annual average pay: $20,690) and cashier ($16,800)…
Even the business-friendly Crain’s sees this — though maybe because they talk to some of the same sources: “Nearly 62,000 manufacturing jobs have been shed during the mayor’s two terms, in line with a national trend,” they write. “They’ve been replaced with generally low-paying retail and hospitality jobs.”
As the Center for an Urban Future has also determined that to qualify as middle-class in New York requires $123,322 a year and unemployment is at 10.3 percent, it looks like the city is producing more new members of the underclass than anything else. Well, at least we’ll all have plenty of company.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 14, 2009