This is a must-read article by the Washington Post. It’s focused on the US but applies to Europe too. Check it out!
The Washington Post article highlights how jobs are now increasing in the US but wage rates are still flat-lining – no raises.
This is important for Europe too. Firstly, Europe, especially Southern Europe, is still way behind in creating jobs – record numbers of young people are facing a desperate, uncharted, future on falling benefits. Wage and salary levels are are stagnant or falling in real terms.
In Europe, with the Euro, individual countries cannot devalue their currencies to create growth, so the only solution is to reduce real wages and salaries. This is a particularly painful process for families involved.
When Germany is looking for structural reforms to labor markets, especially in Southern Europe, she is looking for the rest of Europe to follow her lead following the collapse of the Berlin wall. In Germany, it became popular for people to have multiple jobs to keep up their living standards – the Forbes article talks about multiple jobs in the US.
Of course, Germany has a point too. Too many industries in Europe, like the public sector, are protected by restricted practices and powerful trade-unions. In particular, the public sector typically has much more attractive pensions than the private sector these days.
Let me ask an open question:
Is there a place for trade-unions in the world of multiple jobs?