Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

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Job creation in the United States now comes in the form of a $34-million yacht.

That’s how much billionaire Dennis M. Jones spent on D’Natalin IV, a 164-foot tri-deck custom series luxury motor yacht built by Christensen Shipyards and maintained by a full-time crew of ten.

After intensive sea trials in the Pacific Northwest, the lastest Christensen 160’ Custom Series was christened D’NATALIN IV by her owners in a ceremony at Gig Harbor Yacht Club. With a distinctive dark blue hull, and exterior styling from the boards of Christensen’s in-house naval architecture team, she is at once modern and classic, featuring a mascluline reverse-shear bow seamlessly tied to more classic elements through the mid and stern sections. Both hull and superstructure are of composite contruction using the shipyard’s proprietary vacuum infusion techniques.

The strength and grace of luxury yacht D’Natalin IV which define her exterior styling are expanded upon in the interior where Carol Williamson and the owners created a transitional interior design combining traditional raised-panel millwork with furniture and fabrics that are more contemorary. The result is a timeless and elegant design which will never go out of fashion. The majestic and glamourous D’Natalin IV was built with the exceptional attention to detail and focus on in-house craftsmanship that has become synonomous with the Christensen name.

“We are so happy to have D’Natalin IV be the first Christensen Shipyard Custom Series Yacht delivered since the 2011 launch of Remember When. This magnificent yacht with its bold red, white and blue exterior motif symbolizes American strength and perserverance, both halmarks of the Christensen brand. The owners of D’Natalin IV were wonderful to work with and are true American patriots for investing in such a beautiful Christensen yacht. We truly appreciate where we are today, because of our valued customers.” Joe Foggia Christensen Shipyards, Ltd.

Comment from the owner – “Christensen outdid themselves in delivering the most advanced yacht in their history!” “My family and our project lead, Christian Bakewell, worked very hard with the designers and engineers to get the details right. I could not be more pleased with the results. The layout of her four spacious decks make D’Natalin IV the most comfortable yacht I have ever owned, and I never get tired of staring at her beautiful blue hull”.

“From the outset this was to be a family yacht, so it was only fitting that the owner and his entire family were involved in every important design decision. Because they are such gracious and appreciative people, there was this very real sense among the entire build team that everyone just wanted to work that much harder for them. Seeing the broad smiles on the faces of the whole family as we walked through the finished product together for the first time was a very gratifiying experience for me.” Christian Bakewell, Merle Wood and Associates

“There was this great collaborative experience in meetings with the owners which allowed us to integrate their love of the traditional with more contemporary styling cues…the final design is elegant, yet inviting and comfortable.” Carol Williamson, Carol Williamson & Associates

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An arts degree costs $120,000 but the typical artist only makes $25,000 a year.

That’s one of the many facts about the situation and composition of artists in New York City generated by the collective BFAMFAPhD (which includes my friend Susan Jahoda) [ht: ja].

Here are some others:

  • Only 15 percent of the people in New York with an art degree actually make a living as artists. The rest? 16 percent work in sales and other office occupations, 15 percent work in various professional fields, 11 percent are educators, 10 percent are managers, 10 percent work in service jobs, 9 percent have not worked in the last five years, 5 percent are working in business and finance, 3 percent work in various blue collar occupations, 3 percent now work in science, technology, or engineering, and 2 percent now work in medicine. (See this chart.)
  • As it turns out, while the poverty rate in New York City is 20.8 percent (and the national rate is 14.9 percent), 10.1 percent of people with an art degree live at or below the official poverty line. (See this chart.)
  • New York City’s population is 33 percent white non-Hispanic, but 74 percent of people in the city with arts degrees are white non-Hispanic and 74 percent of people who make a living as artists are white non-Hispanic.
  • New York City’s population is 23 percent black non-Hispanic, but only 6 percent of people in the city with arts degrees are black non-Hispanic, and only 7 percent of people who make a living as artists are black non-Hispanic.
  • New York City’s population is 29 percent Hispanic (of any race), but only 8 percent of people in the city with arts degrees are Hispanic, and only 10 percent of people who make a living as artists are hispanic.
  • New York City’s population is 13 percent Asian non-Hispanic, but only 10 percent of people in the city with arts degrees are Asian non-Hispanic, and 8 percent of people who make a living as artists are Asian non-Hispanic.
  • Of the people who identified their primary occupation as artist in the 2010-2012 American Community Survey in New York City, 55 percent were male, even though only 42 percent of people with art degrees are men.

The portrait that emerges is an artist (or someone with an art degree) who, demographically (in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender), does not represent the larger New York City population and who mostly has to earn a living doing something other than creating art.

As A. O. Scott recently observed,

Nobody would argue against the idea that art has a social value, and yet almost nobody will assert that society therefore has an obligation to protect that value by acknowledging, and compensating, the labor of the people who produce it.

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The top-of-the-page articles today (e.g., in the New York Times) are all about strong job growth, lower unemployment, and higher wages.

All true. But, as Neil Irwin cautions, we should hold the fireworks. His view is not there is a “soft underbelly,” but that “this halting, sluggish recovery has taught us anything, it is to not let our assessments of the economy be driven by hope, but rather by sustained and credible improvement in a wide range of economic data.”

My view is that—notwithstanding recent job growth, falling unemployment, and higher wages—there is still an enormous gap (as reflected in the chart above) between the wealth workers are producing and what they’re receiving in compensation.

That’s why the stock market continues to soar (this morning, the Dow broke 17,000 for the first time ever), benefiting a tiny minority at the top, while the 99 percent continue to fall further and further beyond.

 

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With 217,000 new jobs created in May, the U.S. economy is finally—finally, after 50 months!—back to the pre-recession employment level.

Except it isn’t. Not by a long shot. Not when we consider the “jobs gap”—which we can calculate in one of two ways: by the amount of time it will take at this rate to get back to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month (4 years) or by the difference between payroll employment and the number of jobs needed to keep up with the growth in the potential labor force (6.9 million jobs).

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And that’s not even considering the kinds of jobs that have been created or the pay for those jobs or the percentage of the unemployed who have been without a job for 27 weeks or more.

Or, for that matter, the fact that all those how have been lucky enough to keep their jobs or to get a new job are forced to have the freedom to work for a small number of employers who are able to capture and do what they will with the profits their workers create.

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The argument behind our course, A Tale of Two Depressions, was not that the depression of the 1930s and the one today are exactly the same but, instead, that we might learn a lot more about each depression by comparing it to the other.

David Cay Johnston offers a different perspective. In his view, the majority of Americans actually fared better in the midst of the First Great Depression than they’re doing today.

Indeed, coming out of the Great Depression eight decades ago, the vast majority fared vastly better than most people have coming out of the Great Recession, which officially ended on June 30 six years ago.

It may be jarring to hear that the vast majority of Americans, the 90 percent, enjoyed bigger income gains in the 1930s than in recent years, but that is what the data show.

The data also indicate tandem increases in both want and wealth, with the vast majority worse off in 2013 than in 2009, while those at the apex of the economy are enjoying a much larger — and growing — share of national income.

Read the rest of Johnston’s essay for his survey of the data on jobs, earnings, and inequality in comparing the two eras.

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