Challenges of Working Families

Challenges of Working Families

Identifying the Issue

In an effort of attaining economic prosperity, households in the United States are encountering several concerns even as they engage in hard work. According to statistical data obtained from the Bureau of Labor, many working parents are stretched for time. Today, the economy is characterized by a dynamic workforce that is guided by three main pillars that seek to provide stability to the lives of workers. The first central component is the rising economic security over an individual’s lifetime. The second main pillar is the attaining a balance between family and work life (Shiva 35). The last component is the establishment of the labor force that is safe and fair for all individuals, which is the ongoing debate.

Rhetorical Situation

It is imperative to note that many families in the United States are currently facing uniquely tough times. Perhaps this was caused during the 1980s and 1990s when real wage fell through, and an average value was not recovered immediately (Shiva 33). Working families are interested in these economic changes as they have impacts in the provision of basic needs such as food, shelter, health care as well as a secure retirement plan. The current discussion concerns recession, which has recently gripped the labor market, resulting in a payroll reduction of about 600,000 (Shiva 41). Besides, compensation in the labor market is steadily lagging inflation while unemployment is rising sharply.


Present Job Market

According to statistics, employment has steadily contracted to an overall number of about 605,000 while the private sector the number has gone down by about 700,000 (Mitchell and Ream 67). The figures suggest that families are experiencing a rising unemployment rate, which has increased by about 2% since early 2007. The scenario also includes underemployment, which is a more comprehensive measure of the degree through which potential workers and working families are underutilized (Mitchell and Ream 72). The number is already higher when compared to the last recession or the recovery job process that ensued after that.

The most critical symptom of the current weakening job market, in tandem with the current commodity-driven acceleration in inflation, has been established to be reduced earnings. It is worth noting that families have been experiencing inflation-adjusted earnings, which includes both weekly and hourly earnings for non-supervisory and production workers. This is in addition to the average compensation as well as wages and benefits (Mitchell and Ream 72). In the last few quarters, these three measures have been declining with the average hourly compensation falling most frequently. Moreover, statistics have indicated that weekly earnings fall rapidly when compared to hourly earnings. This is due to the recent decline in the average working hours in the United States.


Weakening Job, Income and Wage Growth in High Productivity Economy

Current business cycle indicates that families have been experiencing unrewarding work life despite their substantial contributions towards productivity in the United States. Statistics suggest that the real median income of each household’s working age of individuals aged less than 65 years old has fallen to about $2000 after adjusting inflation. This was between the years of 2000 and 2007 previously indicating $58,000 (John and World Bank 43).

One main reason behind such indications is the historical weak job growth during business cycles from 2000 (John and World Bank 43). Additionally, it is also a critical source of working families’ insecurities regarding their employment status. It is worth pointing out that when job growth is weak; there is a general trend of less pressure in the job market. This may include employers need to bid wage or job offers high in an attempt to keep up with the needs of the workers. This means that working families face the challenge of gaining or exercising their bargaining power (John and World Bank 49). As a result, they experience not only weak wage but also weak income growth despite their strong productivity levels and unemployment that is relatively small.

A major indicator of a weak job growth is the fact that there are high unemployment spells whenever working families lose their current jobs (John and World Bank, 51). This is also seen as a contributing factor towards the challenge of a weak income growth as well as the insecurities felt by working families in regards to their jobs. This tendency is also heightened by the issue of aging in the workforce and in particular, the working families. This is because individuals aged above sixty-five years old tend to be choosier when gaining employment meaning that longer spells of unemployment often characterize them.

Labor Policies in the United States

Energy systems are crucial tools for addressing jobs, wage growth as well as inequality in the labor market. For instance, working families experienced a worsened distribution of outcomes after changes were enacted in the Federal Tax Code in 2001 (Abramson 88). This is primarily because results indicated that wealthier families received disproportionate lower tax liabilities relative to low income earning families. It is imperative to note that such tax policies, which are regressive, tend to hurt low-income working for families either indirectly or directly. In this context, the fiscal policies tend to exacerbate the existing inequalities when it comes to the market outcomes (Abramson 89).

On the other hand, such tax laws indirectly negatively affect working families as they end up diminishing revenues (Abramson 94). The scenario occurs where the Federal State government ultimately fails to perform, its expected function without taking loans. This means that a weak policy disproportionally enhances the lives of working families, who are least well off economically (Abramson 95). While it is inherently right to measure the regressive tax cuts extensively, it is more important to address their indirect impacts. This is because such tax cuts defund most public services meant to boost the economic securities of low income earning families.

In addition to regressive tax policies, sins of omissions have made immense contributions towards the issue of inequality among working families (Abramson 99). This is because the concerned stakeholders have failed to strengthen the work forces’ legal ability to gut investments as well as organizing their specific training and skills. On the contrary, such is under-invested in the United States’ infrastructure of the employer-based systems in regards to pension and health coverage of working families.

Personal Interest and Position

I believe that the challenges experienced by most working families will be addressed significantly by the current growth in technology. This means that most working families will commence using both internet and technological devices in the workplace. As a result, more work functions will be performed using technology. Moreover, the influence of technology is more likely to shift beyond growth in technology or quick communications. Most working families are better positioned to redefine and reorganize their skills. Today, a rising global competition is increasingly affecting the work performed by many Americans in the United States. This is resulting in lessening demand for low-skilled jobs and consequently increasing the demand for high skilled jobs.

Works Cited

Abramson, C. M. “This is How We Live, This is How We Die: ” Social Stratification, Aging, and Health in Urban America. 2012.

Mitchell, D. E., and R. K. In Ream. Professional Responsibility: The Fundamental Issue in Education and Health Care Reform. Springer International Publishing, 2015.

John, P., and World Bank. The urban unbanked in Mexico and the United States. World Bank, 2006.

Shiva, A., et al. How to dance in Ohio. 2015.

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