You’ve probably heard by now that a stunning 95 percent of the gains the United States economy has made in the years since the Great Recession have gone to the top 1 percent. What you may not know — but which plays no small role in explaining that phenomenon — is that most of the jobs created in the same time period have been low-wage, service sector gigs (or McJobs, as some people call them). In fact, according to a 2012 study from the National Employment Law Project, McJobs make up a full 58 percent of employment growth we’ve seen during the recovery.
While there’s no one, single answer for the trend, globalization and technological progress are no doubt major factors. Neither of these are reversible (and it’s highly debatable as to whether we’d want to arrest these processes, even if we could). To put it simply, Bruce Springsteen was right: “These jobs are goin’, boys, and they ain’t comin’ back.” The McJob economy is real, and it’s only going to get worse.