Before the recession a growing economy meant more jobs for the middle class; but that hasn’t proven true in post-recession America. Economic experts tell us that the economy is growing, albeit slowly; but the workers on Main Street are having a hard time seeing any progress. In today’s new world order, economic growth is not being translated into jobs for unemployed middle-class American workers as it did in previous generations. Nor is it putting more money in the pockets of those who are employed. As Washington Post reporter Jim Tankersley recently pointed out,
“There are two kinds of middle-class Americans struggling today. Some can’t find work or can’t work as many hours as they’d like. Others are full-time workers who can’t seem to get ahead.”
Starting in the early 1990s, there’s been a growing disconnect in the historic relationship between job growth and economic growth. As Tankersley reports, economists trace workers’ changing job health to:
- the greater competition that accompanied the opening of global markets,
- industry deregulation which led to a less dependent employer-employee relationship, and
- increasing emphasis on executive pay packages at the expense of worker wages.
Unfortunately for middle class workers, there don’t seem to be any easy solutions. Stimulus programs have prodded the economy into action, but haven’t had the expected effect on job creation. President Obama’s State of the Union call to raise the minimum wage recognized the need to increase people’s buying power; but many fear the added payroll expense will result in another job market contraction.
Neither the economists nor the government seem to have any new ideas on how to get the job market moving again. Middle class workers could be stuck in economic doldrums for some time. To get and job or get ahead financially, Americans may have to resurrect their Horatio Alger roots and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Zoondy gives workers a platform for doing that by providing an online employment marketplace where people can sell their skills and reap the monetary rewards of their labor without sharing the profits with a middleman employer.