March 25, 2005 – With a recession looming and gas prices at record highs, an utter lack of “good jobs” has left a staggering number of working families without the resources to attain a middle class standard of living. The lack of good jobs is especially prevalent among workers without a high school diploma or without specialized job training.
A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Movin’ On Up: Reforming America’s Social Contract to Provide a Bridge to the Middle Class, found that only one in four people in working families have a “good job”, which is described as a job that contains decent wages, offers employer-sponsored health insurance and offers an employer-sponsored retirement plan. As a result, one in five Americans in working families are lacking the resources and budget to attain a middle class standard of living.
Only four percent of workers without a high school diploma and 14 percent of workers with just a high school diploma have a “good job”, according to CEPR. The lack of good jobs for workers without specialized training reinforces the need for alternate forms of post-secondary education such as apprenticeships, high-tech institutes and community college courses.
In order to increase “good jobs” and accessibility to the middle class, the study stresses the importance strengthening the collective bargaining rights of workers, further increasing the minimum wage and offering greater access to benefits such as paid sick days, paid family and medical leave and paid vacation time.