If you've been waiting for a fatter paycheck to find you in 2015, so far the news has been discouraging. Unemployment rates are down, which is exciting news, but we still haven't seen an improvement in wages. Here's why a lower unemployment rate hasn't translated to higher pay -- yet.
In 20 states and the District of Columbia, the New Year meant higher wages for the lowest-paid workers. For states like Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, Nebraska, South Dakota, and West Virginia, the hike means that minimum-wage employees will make more than the federally mandated minimum of $7.25 an hour for the first time ever.
Possibly the only upside to being unemployed, as long as it doesn't go on too long, is finally having enough time to take care of your living space and spend time with your children, if you have them. But as The Upshot's Josh Katz recently discovered, even unemployment looks different, depending on whether you're a man or a woman.
Out with the old, and in with the new! While some industries are thriving in 2015, and anticipating further growth, other professions are struggling to stay relevant. Growth in the tech industry, for example, has been easy to understand and anticipate. But, other industries are paying a price for the changes technology has brought.
The labor movement has given the American worker benefits that today are often taken for granted, such as overtime laws, child labor laws, and minimum wages. The right to bargain collectively gives employees the power to demand reasonable treatment without the threat of being replaced by somebody less noisy. However, unions are far from perfect.
For better or worse, Black Friday, the informal commercial holiday that follows the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day, has been a widely accepted fact of life for retail workers, and shoppers, for decades now. However, in the last few years, an effort by brick-and-mortar stores to compete with online retailers has led to earlier and earlier kickoffs to the official start of the holiday shopping season. Many stores now open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. This practice, along with other demands placed on retail workers by their employers during the holiday season, has serious consequences for these employees, and many are saying that enough is enough.