June 30, 2004

June 30, 2004 | News Releases on Jobs, Jobs and Labor Policy

Job Growth Not Fueled by "Burger Flipping," Analyst Shows

WASHINGTON, JUNE 30, 2004-Our economy has added 1.4 million jobs over the last nine months. But some observers try to counter the good news by saying that the growth is fueled by the addition of "McJobs"-low-quality, dead-end service employment that pays little and holds even less promise of advancement.

The facts show otherwise. According to a new paper from The Heritage Foundation, these new jobs pay well, offer plenty of opportunity for advancement and figure to keep coming in even larger numbers.

Tim Kane, an economist with The Heritage Foundation and author of the paper, cites government data that shows household income has risen 7.5 percent and wages 2.4 percent since January 2001. Moreover, government figures indicate the economy will add 21 million "good" jobs-those in high-growth, high-pay sectors such as health, education, retail and technology-over the next decade, and that so-called "burger-flipper jobs" will experience zero growth, relative to the overall labor force, through 2012.

"But the real story is not in the spinning political duel over data but in a much broader understanding of the new economy," Kane says. "Put simply, the modern workplace is empowering individuals to work for themselves, enjoy flexible hours and pursue dreams rather than survival-and to shatter the traditional definitions of employment in the process."

In addition to the 7.5 percent increase in real disposable income, annual real income per capita-which Kane calls a broader measure of quality of life-is up 5.2 percent ($1,819 per family) over the same period.

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