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Those With Jobs See Average Pay Go Up; If You’re Out Of Work, You’re In Trouble

As if to add insult to injury for those unemployed, the New York Times reports that wage growth has picked up again in the past few months, even as unemployment continues to rise. Too, churn, or turnover, has slowed, making the number of people out of work long-term the highest it’s been in six decades.

But on the flip side, if you still have a job, you’re likely to keep it.

David Leonhardt writes:

Try thinking of it this way: All of the unemployed people in the country are gathered in a huge gymnasium that’s been turned into a job search center. The fact that this recession is the worst in a generation means that there are many, many people in the gym. The fact that the economy is churning so slowly means that there is not much traffic into and out of the gym.

If you’re inside, you will have a hard time getting out. Yet if you’re lucky enough to be outside the gym, you will probably be able to stay there. The consequences of a job loss are terribly high, but…the odds of job loss are surprisingly low.

These two stories are related—as is our old piece about cutting hours. Companies aren’t cutting pay (unless you’re talking about a newspaper, har dee har har) as much because it’s a way of spreading the pain around. Rather, they’re resorting to layoffs as a way to concentrate the pain. Sucks for the “people inside the gym,” but keeps everyone else (mostly) happy.

The moral of the story only applies to the 90% of you with jobs, even if they’re not jobs you like:

“If you’re one of those fortunate enough to be outside the metaphorical gymnasium and still working, the economy surely doesn’t feel healthy right now. But just imagine how it feels to everybody who has borne the brunt of the recession.”

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