Wednesday, November 25, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search

Lost & Found

Lost: Small black male dog, white on chest, has Harley Davidson collar, answers to Spaz, last seen Nov. 10 on corner of Eagle Ridge/Hwy. 181. Call/text 210-723-5893.

VideoFOUND: DACHSHUND on Church Rd in New Berlin. Call 830-556-2545 to identify.
REWARD!! 2 catahoula female hog dogs with neon collars lost around cr 132 & hwy 97 west & cr 221 on San Antonio River call 210-779-6614 or 210-815-2709
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Hiring lawn maintenance crew leader and laborers, transportation needed to get to Elmendorf yard, experience of 4+years is mandatory, must have clean record, work available year round, great pay. Call for phone interview, 512-359-2640.
Tile company in La Vernia looking for helpers, no experience necessary, will train. Call 210-275-9378.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos

Video Vault ›


The Economist: Services Stigma

E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or
Dr. M. Ray Perryman
August 23, 2012 | 1,371 views | 1 comment

The economy -- whether you look at the data from a national, state, or local viewpoint -- is becoming increasingly services oriented. This simple statement is amazingly powerful in its ability to generate strong reactions. Some people have a perception that this is an inherently bad thing which will, over time, erode the competitiveness and sustainability of the United States. Others perceive that services sector jobs are of poor quality, with low pay and few benefits. The reality is quite different.

The phrase “services sector” is actually often misunderstood. If you ask 10 people what’s included, you’ll likely get 10 different answers. First of all, it’s important to remember that we are talking about an industry group, not an occupation. At the broadest level, the economy can be broken down into goods-producing sectors (mining, construction, and manufacturing) and essentially everything else (except for agriculture, which is often separated in discussions of employment). This broad definition thus places everything from utilities to transportation to financial activities to health care to government under the umbrella of services. Under this definition, only about 17.7 million jobs (in 2010) in the US were goods producing of a total non-agriculture wage and salary employment figure of 130.4 million.

When economists talk about the services sector, however, we have a somewhat narrower scope in mind. In my forecasts, for instance, the subsets of the services category include things like professional services firms (like accounting or law firms), hospitals, museums, food services (restaurants), and others. Clearly, adding jobs in many of these areas is desirable and good for the economy.

There is certainly a range of average pay within the services segment, and some industry groups tend to fall at the lower end of the scale. In leisure and hospitality, for example, average hourly earnings were $13.38. However, professional and business services paid an average of $28.15 per hour, and education and health services paid $24.12.

Even for the lower-end industry groups, however, typical pay is significantly higher than the Federal minimum wage. If you really dive into what a minimum wage (or worse) job tends to look like, you’ll find that they’re actually not very common; most workers are doing much better than that, regardless of the industry they’re employed within.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a study earlier this year describing the characteristics of minimum wage workers in 2011. The BLS found that in 2011, 73.9 million American workers age 16 or older were paid at hourly rates (that’s more than 59% of all wage and salary workers). Of those, just 1.7 million were paid minimum wage, with another 2.2 million paid below the minimum. (There are legal exemptions from paying minimum wage in certain circumstances.)

Minimum wage workers tend to be young; 23% of employed teenagers earned minimum wage compared to just 3% of workers age 25 or over. Part-time workers were also far more likely to be paid the minimum (13% compared to 2% of full-time workers). The industry with the highest proportion of workers paid minimum wage was leisure and hospitality, where 22% of workers earned that level of pay. In fact, about half of all minimum wage workers were employed in this industry group, primarily in restaurants and other food services. (However, it is important to note that these pay scales do not include tips, which can be a substantial component of overall earnings.)

The study also found that the share of workers paid minimum wage is dropping, down from 6.0% in 2010 to 5.2% in 2011. Moreover, this is far less than the 13.4% estimate from 1979, when regular collection of minimum wage data began.

The shift toward a higher proportion of people working in service-producing industries is a natural continuation of a trend which began with the Industrial Revolution, when machines enabled more output to be produced with fewer laborers. While it is true that keeping a strong and vital base of manufacturing can enhance long-term prosperity, it is simply wrong to imply that growth in services industries is somehow undesirable. When it comes down to it, some of the highest-profile, best-paid, and most-prestigious jobs are services positions including doctors, lawyers, college professors, engineers, architects, and many others. Many of them also export their talents around the world and thus become a source of international payments to the United States (we actually consistently run a surplus in the balance of payments for services) -- just another sign of the changing times.

Dr. M. Ray Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group ( He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.
‹ Previous Blog Entry

Your Opinions and Comments

Elaine K.  
August 23, 2012 2:33pm
New post.

Share your comment or opinion on this story!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Commentaries Archives

Commentaries page
Commentaries who represents me?
Clarity WellDrama KidsTriple R DC Expertsauto chooserVoncille Bielefeld homeHeavenly Touch homeAllstate & McBride Realty

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.