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Low Wages With High Stakes

by David Victor

When it comes to money, we must use and manage it properly. It is something we also have to save efficiently, especially if we don’t have a lot of it. There are times when we want to use it to go out somewhere, like a festival, carnival, or an amusement park, and we aren’t able to do so. Even though there are some who would like to do some of these activities, they have to administrate their income for other things. Even if there are several who have a steady job, the income coming from those occupations doesn’t provide enough for a more comfortable financial status. Several have the perception that there is currently a lack of employment for many citizens. Although this is true to some degree, we have seen an improvement from earlier years. The unemployment rate in the U.S. showed a downward trend in April of 2010 after the 2008 economic crisis, and the rate dropped to 4.9 percent in 2016. These stats are courtesy of the Monthly Labor Review in the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite this there are some who don’t see much of an improvement.

“I would think right now it’s an issue of wages. The unemployment rate is pretty low right now, I don’t know if there’s enough good paying jobs.”

This is Robert McCarthy, who is a 3rd grade teacher in Stockton who has just graduated from college. He states that there’s a lack of employment, although the main issue is the low wages provided in these occupations. Stats from the U.S Census Bureau state that about 40.6 million citizens lived under the poverty level in 2016, the same year the unemployment rate had dropped to 4.9 percent. Out of those 40.6 million, there were 7.6 million who were in poverty even though they were employed. McCarthy isn’t in any situation where money is an issue, though he did admit that he has trouble saving cash.

“It just kind of makes you realize when you get your paycheck how quickly rent and utilities, gas, how quickly the money you wanted to save disappears.”

With a rising cost of utilities like power and gas, it’s gotten hard to save money. As costs get higher, it gets less likely for some to save efficiently and use part of their finances for things they would like to acquire. Employment has increased in the past couple of years. The question is, how much income do these jobs provide for their employees? The fact of the matter is, not every occupation guarantees a stable financial situation.

For more stories, stay tuned to 93.5 KWDC Delta College radio, and visit


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