Friday, December 30, 2011

Oregon's Pay Differential and Creative Millennials

Yesterday Oregon Public Broadcasting reported on the difference in median wages between men and women. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that nationwide, women earned $669 per week, compared to the median wage of $824 per week for men.

Oregon matches the national trend, with median weekly earnings of $659 per week for women, and $828 for men. BLS representative Todd Johnson explained that a number of factors influence the trend. Among these factors are the tendency of men to occupy more highly-paid positions, and the influence of family changes on women's career paths.

Shifting to younger workers, a USA Today story highlights some of the creative ways that Millennial (born between 1980 and the mid-to-late 1990s) make a living in a tough job market. For example, one young woman once used a fishing pole and a magnet to retrieve a stranger's keys from a sewer. She earned $80 for the task. A recent study by MetLife shows that Millennials were 8 percent more likely than the general population to be working extra hours at their job, taking second jobs, or freelancing.

The article describes a lack of job opportunity that is leading Millennials to become a transient workforce, taking any job, or jobs, they can to pay the bills. The MetLife data show that at least 40 percent of Millennials would take a job where they're overqualified, take additional job training, relocate, or go back to school to better position themselves for success in this tough job market. Get more details in the full story.

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