Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley gave Oregonians some stark news on December 4 at the Human Resources Coalition of Oregon meeting:
Sixty percent of the jobs we lost in the recession of 2008 were living-wage jobs,” he said. “Of the jobs we’ve gotten back, only 40 percent are living-wage jobs.
Oregon PolitiFact found his statements to be true, though I found their description of middle income jobs a bit disturbing:
…approaching income percentiles where you stop qualifying for assistance or safety-net programs.
That’s basing your definitions on top of the definitions supplied by those programs what qualifies you for certain programs, all of which have different requirements that may have additional modifications based on non income factors like gender and race. So is the definition based on when all Oregonians no longer for any programs? If that’s actually true then the lowest income is not all that low.
The key point here though are the numbers of jobs added that are not living wage jobs, that are then considered employment. To be a true financial contributor to the state, you either have to have a living wage, or be a dependent in the household of someone who is bringing in a living wage for a family. Without those things, you cannot pay your taxes, your necessary bills or contribute to the economy. Continue reading Far Fewer Living-wage Jobs in Oregon Come Back Than After Great Recession