Last Updated Sep 1, 2008 2:28 PM EDT
Labor could use a hug, generally. It's not the force it was when my grandfather was a lineworker at an automaker. But it may be showing signs of life, according to the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations issued a National Labor Scorecard (Note: this is a PDF that requires download).
Many of the findings show challenges:
â€¢ More than 10 percent of Americans are unemployed, discouraged from seeking work, or underemployed, up almost 25 percent from a year ago.
â€¢ The percent of workers who are working part time but would like full-time work has increased more than 72 percent in the last eight years
â€¢ Median weekly earnings are flat in real terms since 2000.
â€¢ Pay inequality continues to increase, though wealth inequality is fairly stable.
On the plus side:
â€¢ Mass layoffs are down from five and ten years ago.
â€¢ On-the-job injuries, including fatalities, continue to decline.
â€¢ The percentage of workers represented by unions is up slightly, after decades of decline.
â€¢ The number of workers who say they are "completely satisfied" with their jobs is up over the last year, and the last decade. It's now at 48 percent.
Here's a link to the Associated Press story on the scorecard. Major papers didn't seem to give it much mind. Me, I've got to get back to work.