Information and Resources related to Bait and Switch and Nickel and Dimed
Center for Economic and Policy Research, October 18, 2005
The facts on the U.S. economy and the jobs it generates:
- Over 500,000 Americans have dropped out of the labor market because they have given up on job searches
- 20% of currently unemployed people have been out of a job for over 6 months. This is double the historical average in periods with similar unemployment rates.
- Percentage of eligible workers participating in the labor force is at 66%. This is a fifteen year low.
- Median family income has declined since 2000. Median hourly wages are the same as they were in November 2001 when the recovery began.
- 60% of small businesses are forced to attempt to constrain health-care costs, most by raising co-payments. 14% offer incentives for employees to decline health care.
- 1.33 jobs are posted on-line for every 100 job seekers posting resumes on-line.
- In 2004, 3.6 million workers ran through all their unemployment benefits without finding a new job.
- Between 2001 and 2004, 44% of the unemployed were white collar workers.
The Corporate Welfare State
After lobbying by the pharmaceutical and high tech industries and with bipartisan support, Congress passed a corporate “tax holiday” under the heading of the American Jobs Creation Act that allows corporations to repatriate overseas profits kept in tax havens at a greatly reduced – up to 85% lower – tax rate.
- Hewlett Packard will save $4.2 billion in taxes under this holiday, well over the $1 billion in charges it is accruing to cover the cost of laying off 14,500 of its employees.
- Pfizer will repatriate $36.9 billion from overseas affiliates. Instead of investing in job creation, it will lay off up to 10,000 workers and buy back billions of dollars in its stock to increase the wealth of shareholders.
- PepsiCo is repatriating $7.5 billion in income and will also use a large chunk for stock buybacks.
- Eli Lilly announced it would repatriate $8 billion to boost R&D spending. Year to date, it has increased R&D spending by 10% - only $134 million.
- Ford Motor Company has announced that it will cut 8% of its white collar workforce in 2005
Through July of 2005, U.S. companies have announced 641,245 job cuts, nearly 100,000 more than the equivalent period in 2004. If the present trend continues, 2005 will be the fifth consecutive year that U.S. companies have trimmed more than a million jobs.
- PFRM -- personal blog about poverty, economic inequality, and union decline
Reading and resources on wage and equality issues:
Nickel and Dimed Media Coverage
Online Interviews with Barbara:
Online Reviews for Nickel and Dimed:
- Nickel and Dimed won a 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the "current interest" category