National

Jan 10, 2010 10:18 AM by Associated Press

For the unemployed, new job often means a pay cut

Even as some of the nation's millions of unemployed start to find jobs, they're facing a stark reality -- the likelihood of accepting jobs with drastically lower salaries.

A Columbia University economics professor says the first jobs to emerge from a recession generally aren't well-paying ones. Till Marco von Wachter says companies delay hiring for higher-paying jobs until they're confident the recovery will last.

And, as the unemployed compete for the few job openings available, employers face no pressure to raise wages.

An economic researcher says millions of unemployed workers' accepting wage cuts will likely stifle income growth for years. He calls such wage depression the economic "scarring" of the labor
force.

A Columbia University study on the early 1980s recession suggests those hired at lower wages in a tight job market tend to lag behind their peers for years.

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