Jobs are growing, but not wages

The unemployment rate in San Mateo County is among the lowest of all California counties, but this good news masks two persistent problems facing working families. The fastest growing job sectors — retail, service, and health care — are among the lowest paying, and the real wages for workers — that is their purchasing power when adjusted for the rising cost of living — continues to fall.

A report from the National Employment Law Project found that since the “Great Recession” of 2008, low-wage jobs have replaced disappearing middle-wage jobs, and workers in these jobs have experienced the greatest decline in their real wages. Salespeople and fast-food workers, janitors and home health aides — all occupations projected to grow over the next decade — have seen their real wages drop over the past five years.

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