More economics from the trenches

Owen Byrne owen@permafrost.net
Tue, 30 Apr 2002 06:25:23 -0300


Gordon says:
> Adam Beberg writes:
> > The Paychex CEO was on CNBC today, this is the company that actually
prints
> > the paychecks for 375,000 companies. So you could say they know exactly
how
> > many people are working and how much they are making for a significant
chunk
> > of the economy. Basicly, same-company # of paychecks is down about 4.6%,
but
> > more importantly shows no signs at all of leveling out. So basicly the
guy
> > in the trenches with hard numbers says things are still getting worse,
> > people are still losing jobs. Finally someone saying what people are
seeing.
>
> Maybe the new jobs are not occurring at Paychex's customer
> companies? Or Paychex is garnering more new customers at the
> low end of the same-company paycheck count than at the high
> end?
>
> Who's seeing things getting worse? Some regions and industries
> have hardly felt a recession at all. It sucks to be tech, and
> bay area, sure, but your localized and anecdotal experience is
> not generalizable.
>
That's because the in non-tech industries have been in recession since the
last Bush was in office. Tech was the driver of growth. One non-technical
company I worked for put a wage freeze in place for all its workers in 1984.
Its still in place. Another cut salaries by 20% twice in the 1990s. In the
United States, home of wealth and prosperity, the average salary increase
after inflation from 1980 - 1995 was 4% (I don't have a source, I heard it
on the radio). That's not annual salary increase, that's total. I think that
if you take away technology, you get the picture that most non-tech workers
will give you - their standard of living is declining everyday, and has been
for 20 years.

Owen