The New Ranks of $100,000-a-Year Jobs: Veterinarians, Physician Assistants, Actuaries – By JOSH ZUMBRUN Apr 6, 2017 11:53 am ET

Over the past decade, about three dozen occupations have seen average wages climb above $100,000

A veterinarian operates on a critically endangered sea turtle in Florida. The occupation is one that has seen its average wages climb above $100,000 a year.

  A veterinarian operates on a critically endangered sea turtle in Florida. The occupation is one that has seen its average wages climb above $100,000 a year. PHOTO: PABLO COZZAGLIO/AFP/GETTY IMAGEAbout three dozen jobs in the last decade crossed the threshold to now pay an average of $100,000 a year, nearly doubling the number of occupations where average salaries are so high.

Credit a combination of inflation and real wage growth for many technically difficult professions since 2007. Indeed, a handful of medical jobs crossed another line: They now pay an average of over $200,000 a year.

The new data comes from the Labor Department’s Occupational Employment Statistics program, which tracks salaries and wages for hundreds of different job categories. The data provides an annual glimpse into the earnings of specific occupations, greater detail than the broader averages for industry groups provided by the monthly jobs report.

Article continues:


Voter Discord Isn’t Over Wages – By JOSH ZUMBRUN Updated Aug. 7, 2016 1:50 p.m. ET

Divide between income gains and sentiment among voters underscores anxieties that remain since financial crisis

Voters in the U.S. are deeply unhappy, but wage and income gains have improved significantly since the last presidential election, suggesting the roots of their concerns aren’t economic.

Voters in the U.S. are deeply unhappy, but wage and income gains have improved significantly since the last presidential election, suggesting the roots of their concerns aren’t economic. Photo: Gerry Broome/Associated Press

It’s becoming harder to find signs of discontent among voters by looking in their pocketbooks.

Wage and income gains in the U.S. have improved significantly since the last presidential election, yet voters remain deeply unhappy. The divide underscores the scars and anxieties that remain top of mind even as the severe 2007-09 recession fades into the background.

It isn’t just measures of American households’ net worth and the stock market reaching new highs this year. Nor is it just the latest monthly jobs report showing wage growth picking up last month.

Those figures mostly capture averages. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta also track how individuals’ wages have changed over time. They found that median wage growth has climbed from less than 2% in 2012, to 3.6% over the past year. That means half of workers received a raise above that level and half below. Thanks largely to falling gas prices in recent years, those pay increases are well above inflation.

One of the most stubborn measures depicting stagnation has been the Census Bureau’s annual figure on median household income. The latest reading was nearly $4,000 lower than in 2007, adjusted for inflation.

Young people work to survive, not play – by Haya El Nasser February 15, 2016 5:00AM ET

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at Feb 15, 2016 2.11

LOS ANGELES — Yoshawn Smith is 25 and the father of a 3-year-old boy. He has been working since he was 18 as a dishwasher. His wife, Guadalupe, also 25, works in food and safety at a grocery company.

They both earn the $10-an-hour minimum wage rate in California and are struggling to make ends meet.

“It’s very difficult because every check goes to pay bills and rent,” said Smith, who lives in south central Los Angeles.

The plight of low-wage workers has been well documented but research by the University of California Los Angeles Labor Center is putting the spotlight on the challenges that young workers face, whether they’re working fulltime or part-time while in college.

As of January 2016, the national unemployment rate for all workers is 4.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But for 16-19 year olds, it’s a staggering 16 percent and 8.2 percent for 20-24 year olds.

“Jobs today for young people are not to just supplement their lives,” said Saba Waheed, research director at the UCLA Labor Center who spearheaded the survey of 559 workers aged 18 to 29. “They pay rent, they pay for food and they help their families. Then you put in the skyrocketing cost of education.”

Since the decline in manufacturing jobs, the young work primarily in retail and food service and have seen their wages drop 15.8 percent since 2000.

A third of young workers contribute financially to their households and 16.5 percent are parents. More than 12 percent live below the poverty level.

Two in five unemployed workers in Los Angeles County are young and unemployment rates in that age group is much higher than the labor force as a whole. In 2013, the rate was 9.2 percent for workers older than 29 and 16.8 percent for the young.

The Economic policy Institute Class of 2015 reports that for college graduates, the unemployment rate has risen from 5.5 percent in 2007 to 7.2 percent. The underemployment rate went from 9.6 percent to 14.9 percent.

For young high school graduates, the unemployment rate is 19.5 percent, up from 15.9 percent in 2007, and the underemployment rate is 37 percent, up from 26.8 percent.

Policies are working out of the old paradigm that young workers work to pay for fun social activities or clothes and iPhones, Waheed said.

Article continues:

Inequality – By Gideon Rose January/February 2016 Issue

What’s Inside

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at Dec 21, 2015 9.47

Back in 1980, Irving Kristol, the “godfather of neoconservatism,” wrote an essay mocking the left’s obsession with income inequality: “The intensity with which economists work out their Gini coefficients, and the subtlety with which they measure income trends in the quintiles or deciles of the population, is matched—so far as I can see—by the utter lack of interest of the average American in their findings.” Having been impressed at the time by what seemed his cool logic, I checked back recently to see how the piece held up in the Age of Piketty. In retrospect, what was most striking was the setup: “It is my understanding, from surveying various studies of trends in income distribution in the United States over the past three decades, that economists have found very little significant change to have taken place.”

That was then; this is now. Were Irving still around to chime in, he would probably continue to mock. But ever the empiricist, he would have to concede that the objective realities of the situation had changed dramatically. Over the intervening years, real incomes and wealth have stagnated for the vast majority of Americans, even as they have skyrocketed for those at the very top. With some national variations, moreover, something similar has happened across the developed world.

These trends are starting to define our era. But what is driving them? What is the significance of the economic inequality that has resulted? And what can or should be done about it?

Article continues:

Is the American Dream Failing Us? – By Lindsey Cook Dec. 3, 2015 | 12:01 a.m. EST

Recent data show Americans are better educated, but also poorer.

If college is supposed to lead to the American Dream, why is the poverty rate still increasing?

If college is supposed to lead to the American Dream, why is the poverty rate still increasing?

Americans are more educated than they’ve ever been, according to new census data.

The U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday released its American Community Survey, which provides county-by-county tallies for demographics, education, employment and other statistics every five years. The most recent data runs from 2010 to 2014.

Here are the most important takeaways:

Americans are more educated.

While some have said the increase in graduation rates won’t be sustainable for much longer, Americans for now are still graduating from college at higher rates than ever before. In the 3,142 U.S. counties, the percentage of people 25 or older who had a bachelor ‘s degree increased in 1,000 counties between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. It only decreased in 60 counties.

The change in the percentage of Americans with a bachelor's degree per county

The share of Americans graduating high school or higher and the share of Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher both increased.

The percentage of Americans with a bachelor's degree per county

More Americans are below the poverty line. 

In the 2005-2009 survey, 13.5 percent of Americans were below the poverty line. In 2014, 15.6 percent were.

The share of Americans in poverty grew in more than 1,000 counties and decreased in 136. Of the 119 counties where 30 percent or more of residents had income below the poverty threshold, 93 were in the South.

The change in the percentage of Americans in poverty
Article continues: