US govt behind nation’s wage disparity

The US government plays a major role in wage disparity in the country by contracting out federal jobs to private contractors that pay their handsomely for hiring workers at low wages and few benefits, Press TV reports from Washington.

In a new report released by public policy organization Demos, there are nearly 2 million low-paying government funded jobs across the United States through federal contracts granted to private companies.

“We know that inequality is a tremendous problem in America. We know that low-wage work is a tremendous problem in America. We have working people that can’t afford to raise their families; can’t afford to put a roof over their head… even though they go to work every day. And we’re finding here that in some way we, the American people, are their employers; they’re working for us,” said Amy Traub, senior policy analyst at Demos.

According to the organization, hundreds of billions of dollars in federal contracts, grants, loans, concession agreements and property leases go to private companies that pay low wages, provide few benefits, and offer their employees “little opportunity to work their way into the middle class.”

This is while many of these US government contractors are rewarding their executives with inflated compensation, it notes.

Demos further cites a 2009 study by the Economic Policy Institute, which concludes that “employees of federal contractors are far more likely to earn poverty-level wages than workers employed directly by the federal government.”

In response to such findings, a new organization dedicated to low wage workers’ rights called Good Jobs Nation has been launched in Washington, DC, which is reportedly most affected by the trend since it is home to many federal agencies.

Many low wage workers hope that Good Jobs Nation will be a first step into earning them living wages and better quality jobs.

However, low wages do not appear to be the only problem. Government contracting jobs can reach salaries in hundreds of thousands of dollars, prompting concerns that the federal government effectively contributes to the persisting wealth inequality in the United States.

A Congressional hearing is due to be held in upcoming weeks in a bid to address the problem low wage jobs that are funded by American tax payers.

MFB/MFB

This article originally appeared on : Press TV