Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

Posts Tagged ‘Employment’

May 19, 2015

Who Makes Less Than $15 An Hour?

42% of the US workforce is the startling answer according to this chart from Fortune.workers-by-demographic-group

May 31, 2014

Yes, HS Grades DO Matter

The Washington Post cites a U. of Miami study showing the relationship between HS GPA and annual adult earnings. Each added point of GPA by itself translates into a 12-14% greater annual salary, regardless of higher education. Of course, a higher GPA also means a far greater likelihood of graduating college with even further earnings potential. (Lastly, the large disparity in this study between men and women’s earnings is unmistakeable)

Average earnings in adulthood vs. high school GPA

May 23, 2014

What Happens When One Spouse Wants To Retire, The Other Doesn’t?

This is becoming a common challenge as boomers age and spouses find they have different trajectories imagined for their later years.  A client forwards this excellent discussion of the issues that arise from the NY Times. A short list:

  • Different daily schedules
  • Different abilities to travel
  • Different priorities around discretionary spending
  • Whose money is it when only one is still earning?
  • The “leap” when starting to dip into retirement assets can be a bit scary.

These are only some of the challenges and many couple do not even have the basic conversation about how they are going to cope. The situation can be unexpectedly stressful on a marriage. For anyone in, or considering, an extended period where one spouse has left work but the other has not, I strongly recommend the Times article. And making time to discuss and negotiate how to accommodate each person’s wishes.

November 25, 2013

Quick – where in the US can you find a 0.6% unemployment rate?

N Dakota employment


Williams Co, North Dakota, thank you very much. And that is point 6 percent, not six point zero percent. This is all due to mining employment and the new petroleum fracturing production technologies that have created an “Oil Rush” in the region. Unemployment is down dramatically across the entire state. According to 361 Capital, Williams County had a per capita personal income of $116,978 in 2012, versus $39,523 in 2007.

May 13, 2013

Sticking with the Careers Theme

For those entering college and thinking about a major, and for those about to depart and considering a career path, I am a big fan of local Bay-Area career coach Marty Nemko.  Nemko has an on-air career advice call-in show on KALW radio and is the author of Cool Careers for Dummies. See also my earlier post on the highest paying starting salaries.  No longer finance.  Think engineering.

May 12, 2013

How To Get Well Paid Right Out of College, 2013 Edition

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

top paying.png.CROP.article568-large

And what a relief to see that finance (the art of moving a dollar from one pocket to another) is no longer the star attraction that it once was.

January 7, 2013

All Job Growth Since 2007 is in the 55+ Age Demographic

This startling assertion is put forth by Mish Shedlock and supported by this graph from raw BLS data below. Note the red line, of over-55 workers in the labor force, is the only one rising.

In my October client letter, I had discussed how more and more Americans were delaying retirement, by choice or necessity, causing the over-65 demographic to be the fastest growing segment of the labor force.

But this new set of data is remarkable and speaks to the true depth of the persistence of the unemployment problem for the majority of those in labor force, whether they are just getting out of school or are in mid-career.

November 28, 2011

We are closer to the 1930s than most of us realize

More than 16 million children are now living in poverty and, for many of them, a proper home is elusive. Some cash-strapped families stay with relatives; others move into motels or homeless shelters. But, sometimes those options run out, leaving an even more desperate choice: living in their cars.

This from a segment on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” last night.  That able-bodied Americans are having to live in parking lots, with their families, is appalling.

September 14, 2011

The World’s Largest Employers

Per The Economist, the US Department of Defense, followed by the People’s Liberation Army, with WalMart coming up third.

h/t Felix Salmon

August 11, 2011

What I learned from Costi

Yesterday, in the midst of the market’s mayhem (and in the midst of a family vacation), we had to call AAA for a battery jump.  The driver who arrived was named Costi, an immigrant from Roumania.  Costi’s story went a long ways to help me put our current financial and political challenges  in perspective.

An electrical engineer, Costi came to the US, five years ago at age 50 and speaking no English. He supported himself cleaning carpets while he learned English on tape and eventually landed his current, better, job as a driver for triple A.

Costi is a remarkably cheerful guy under circumstances that would have the average American bemoaning his fate.  Jailed for 18 months as a college student under Ceausescu, Costi lived through both good periods and bad under the Soviets and then independence.  At one point, his family received government rations of only a loaf of bread and 10 eggs a week for a family of four. He insisted that “Americans have no idea how lucky they are.  Here I am free and I can work.”  He added that his favorite thing was skiing and he settled at lake Tahoe so he could do just that.

“Everything’s going to be ok” were his parting words.

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