The truth about jobs — a hot-button issue on the campaign trail — seems to be open to interpretation.
Donald Trump says foreign labor is killing the job market; Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration has turned around the private sector.
So who’s right? According to a Pew Research Center report released today, they both are.
Of the more than 5,000 Americans surveyed by Pew, 80% say outsourcing hurts American workers. On the other hand, most Americans’ also think their job security has improved since the Great Recession — 60% believe it is “not at all likely” that they will lose their job or be laid off in the next 12 months.
Pew teamed up with the Markle foundation for the report released on Wednesday. Here are some noteworthy tidbits:
- Most American workers are happy with their jobs: 49% of American workers say they are very satisfied with their current job, while three-in-ten are somewhat satisfied. Likewise, 60% of employed Americans feel their jobs are secure.
- 80% of respondents say outsourcing hurts American workers, and 77% say the same about more foreign-made products being sold in the U.S. 57% cite the increased use of contract and temporary workers and 49% cite the decline of union membership as the greatest harm to U.S. workers.
- Workers believe “new skills and training” will propel them to success. In the survey, 54% of working adults say it will be “essential for them to get training and develop new skills throughout their work life in order to keep up with changes in the workplace.” Of the respondents, 45% have taken a class or received training in the past year to “learn, maintain or improve their work skills.”
- Earnings have stagnated since 1980, falling behind gains in labor productivity. Less workers received health or retirement benefits from their employers in 2015 than did in 1980.
- The number of workers in occupations requiring average to above-average education, training and experience increased 68% from 1980 to 2015 — far outpacing the 31% increase in employment in jobs requiring below-average education, training and experience.