View Full Version : Overworked America: 12 Charts that Will Make Your Blood Boil

Magda Hassan
06-26-2011, 04:36 AM
Overworked America: 12 Charts that Will Make Your Blood Boil

http://mjcdn.motherjones.com/preset_12/speedupcharts_425x320.jpg Illustration: Mark Matcho; Chart Artwork: Jeff Berlin
Why "efficiency" and "productivity" really mean more profits for corporations and less sanity for you.
— By Dave Gilson (http://motherjones.com/authors/dave-gilson)

July/August 2011 Issue (http://motherjones.com/toc/2011/07)
In the past 20 years, the US economy has grown nearly 60 percent. This huge increase in productivity is partly due to automation, the internet, and other improvements in efficiency. But it's also the result of Americans working harder—often without a big boost to their bottom lines. Oh, and meanwhile, corporate profits are up 20 percent. (Also read our essay on the great speedup (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speed-up-american-workers-long-hours) and harrowing first-person tales of overwork (http://mojo.ly/mjakId).)
You have nothing to lose but your gains

Productivity has surged, but income and wages have stagnated for most Americans. If the median household income had kept pace with the economy since 1970, it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000.

Growth is back...

...But jobs aren't

Sorry, not hiring

The sectors that have contributed the most to the country's overall economic growth have lagged when it comes to creating jobs.

The wage freeze

Increase in real value of the minimum wage since 1990: 21%
Increase in cost of living since 1990: 67%
One year's earnings at the minimum wage: $15,080
Income required for a single worker to have real economic security: $30,000

Working 9 to 7

For Americans as a whole, the length of a typical workweek hasn't changed much in years. But for many middle-class workers, job obligations are creeping into free time and family time. For low-income workers, hours have declined due to a shrinking job market, causing underemployment.

Labor pains

Median yearly earnings of:
Union workers: $47,684
Non-union workers: $37,284

Dude, Where's My Job?

More and more, US multinationals are laying off workers at home and hiring overseas.

Proud to be an American

The US is part of a very small club of nations that don't require...

Digital overtime

A survey of employed email users finds:
22% are expected to respond to work email when they're not at work.
50% check work email on the weekends.
46% check work email on sick days.
34% check work email while on vacation.

The second shift

Productivity/income: Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/lpc/), Congressional Budget Office (http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/tax/2010/average_before-tax_income.pdf) (PDF), Economic Policy Institute (http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/201), Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/historical/household/H05_2009.xls) (Excel)

GDP/jobs: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Stephen Gordon, Université Laval

Sector growth: Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_data_industry_out_and_emp.htm)

Minimum Wage: Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=100&year1=1990&year2=2010), Economic Policy Institute (http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/42), Wider Opportunities for Women (http://www.wowonline.org/documents/BESTIndexforTheUnitedStates2010.pdf) (PDF)

50 hours: Center for American Progress (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/01/pdf/threefaces.pdf) (PDF)

Unions: Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/union2_01212011.htm), Economic Policy Institute (http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/43)
Benefits maps: McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy (http://raisingtheglobalfloor.org/index.php)

Email: Pew Internet & American Life Project (http://www.pewinternet.org/%7E/media//Files/Reports/2008/PIP_Networked_Workers_FINAL.pdf.pdf) (PDF)

Second shift: Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF)

Housework: Michigan Institute for Social Research (http://ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=6452)

Also read: First-person stories from the front lines of overworked America (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/stories-overworked-americans) and The Speedup: Corporate profits are booming. So why are you being worked to the bone? (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/06/speed-up-american-workers-long-hours)
More Mother Jones charty goodness: It's the inequality, stupid (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph); Only little people pay taxes; (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/taxes-richest-americans-charts-graph) How the rich get richer (http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/05/look-numbers-how-rich-get-richer); how the poor get poorer (http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/07/poor-losers); who owns Congress? (http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/09/congress-corporate-sponsors)
Dave Gilson is a senior editor at Mother Jones. Read more of his stories (http://www.motherjones.com/authors/dave-gilson), follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#%21/daudig), or contact him at dgilson (at) motherjones (dot) com. Get Dave Gilson's RSS feed (http://motherjones.com/rss/authors/714).

Peter Lemkin
06-26-2011, 05:04 AM
Ah, Yes, That's the Amerika I know!.....squeezing the last drop of work out of everyone for the least remuneration - which all goes to the Oligarchs.....and in my life, as with any American my age, have seen it get worse. Our dear corporate would be overlords have 'outsourced' most of the good jobs; busted up the unions; forced everyone to compete against the other for less and less; robbed us blind with taxes and bankster scams; refused to give workers in the USA the due benefits given to others in 'developed' nations. It was all well planned and the plans well carried out. I don't understand why the sheeple put up with it....but they do...they groan and they suffer; but they don't fight back - and the keep re-electing the same tweedledee-tweedledum politicians that promise to only tighten the screws further. :mexican: