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Many American Workers are Underemployed and Underpaid                  Image

By the way, take notice of the accompanying photo: All women. All black.  

Ms. Woods’s current job has not been meeting her needs. When she began driving a passenger van last year, she earned $9 an hour and worked 40 hours a week. Then her wage was cut to $8 an hour, and her hours were drastically scaled back. Last month she earned just $233. So Ms. Woods, who said that she had been threatened with eviction for missing rent payments and had been postponing an appointment with the eye doctor because she lacks insurance, has been looking for another, better job. It has not been easy.

“I’m looking for something else, anything else,” she said. “More hours. Better pay. Actual benefits.”

And here I am complaining about the $30 a day I gross – when I do get called in to work. Two years ago, I was earning nearly $60,000 a year with excellent health care benefits, long-term disability, matched 401K, paid tuition (got me my second degree), paid vacation and personal days…all the benefits and job security one would want and expect for a decade of hard work, recognized accomplishments, and personal sacrifice.

Not so any more. Today, regardless of how many degrees or years of experience you may have, it’s a struggle to find a job that makes ends meet or find a job, period. There are millions of us out here who are chronically unemployed, homeless, and hopeless. For some of us, there seems to be a never-ending series of insurmountable walls placed in our way: 

The Unemployed Need Not Apply

Black Names? Bad News for Jobs

No Relief From High Unemployment for Blacks

Women Left Behind in Recovery

I myself have hit the holy trifecta: I’ve been unemployed for two years. I’m black. I’m a woman. God bless me.

In the meantime, the 1%ers are doing splendidly! Things couldn’t be better for them: Executive Pay Still Rising. Must be nice to be so special and be able to buy politicians who will legislate policies like “Right To Work” and fight to repeal things like the minimum wage and child labor laws.

Yes, for some of us, the state of limbo continues with no end in sight. No hope. All our dreams suspended.