A new report released by the Economic Policy Institute says the economy is likely to stay relatively stagnant for at least the next 8 years.
Specifically what that means is that competition for jobs will continue to be fierce, and the jobs that are available are likely to pay less and have fewer benefits.
Orange County Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Vincent Howard knows that in the immediate implosion of the housing market and the subsequent economic downturn, many people took on these lower-tier positions just to stay afloat. Many anticipated these would be temporary.
It now appears that won't be the case.
This is all worth noting because many of these same people also took out loans and credit cards to help cover medical bills, divorce expenses, tuition and every-day expenses - all with the anticipation that when the economy shifted, they would get a better job and pay it all down.
However, we now know those higher-paying positions aren't likely to crop up again anytime soon. It's time to give serious consideration to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which will allow you to unshackle yourself from that debt, and start fresh, based on your current budget.
Every situation is different, but in many cases, you can still keep your house and your vehicle.
Specifically what this study says is that in 2010, about 28 percent of workers held low-paying jobs. In 2020, it's expected to be the same.
What exactly is a low-paying job? For purposes of their research, the EPI defines it as those positions in which the wages are either at or below what a 40-hour-per-week worker would have to earn to be above the poverty level for a family of four people. Last year, that was about $11 and hour, or slightly more than $23,000 annually.
It may not seem like news that higher-paying jobs are going to go to those with more credentials and skills, but the current rates of tuition are such that many more people aren't able to afford the same level of education they were able to previously.
We also know that the number of lower-paying jobs expanded by nearly 3.5 percent in just the last year alone. That's according to the National Employment Law Project. For the most part, this increase is attributable to the growing number of positions for cashiers, food preparation workers, retail sales and store and office clerks. This might seem like a silver lining, but the truth is, those jobs on average pay somewhere between $7.50 and $13.50 an hour.
As of Jan. 1, 2012, the minimum wage in California is $8.00 per hour. That breaks down to about $1,280 a month, or $15,360 a year - far below the poverty line if you have a spouse and two children. In fact, the poverty threshold for two people is $15,130 annually.
But we also know that the rising costs of food, gas and basic medical care is enough to push anyone below the poverty line.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn't always strike people as an ideal option because of the effects to your credit. But if you are in position of constantly borrowing money for basic necessities anyway and your job prospects aren't improving anywhere in the next decade, it can be of the smartest choices you make.
Orange County Bankruptcy Attorney Vincent Howard at Howard Law can help. Call us toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 or send us a message online.
Falling behind? 5 warning signs, By Rick Newman, U.S. News & World Report