The Purple Needle

I finally have a blog! This is my place to discuss my job search, my stitching, my addiction to the internet and whatever else crosses my mind! So stay, read, stitch and chat with me :)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A point for John Kerry

OK, I can't believe I'm going to say this, in public no less, but John Kerry finally said something I can give him credit for. At least partial credit anyway. It's no secret that both campaigns are spinning the numbers and the statistics to suit them. Statistics are really easy to manipulate that way and I tend to take them all with several grains of salt. But I think he is right on one point despite whatever numbers he attaches to it - the jobs that are being created in America do not pay as well as the jobs we're losing to overseas outsourcing.

Speaking as someone who has been mostly out of work for well over a year, and someone who is trying to make enough to support herself in Los Angeles, it is very hard to find work, especially relatively entry level work, that pays over $10/hr. That's not to say there aren't jobs out there - there's lots of jobs. Retail jobs. Part time jobs. Security jobs. Fast food jobs. But they all pay minimum wage or only slightly better. I can't live on that. On the other hand, I see lots of jobs that pay quite well too. The problem for someone like me, with only 3 or so years of work experience, is that I don't have the experience they want. I don't have the skills they want. They're all executive level jobs. There's very little in between these 2 extremes. The jobs in between are the ones going overseas.

For instance, I was working for a law firm last winter doing some legal coding and data entry. This firm has a department devoted to this, and takes in work from other firms as well as internal work. They charge $1.70 per document. The work is dwindling because those firms can send them to India and get it done for $.40 per document. The pay for coders is low because there's just not enough work and therefore enough money to pay more. Outsourcing is definitely a problem. If those coding jobs were staying here in America, who knows, I might have a job I could actually support myself on!


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