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Many US employees feel devalued even in a booming job market

Michelle Smith, Providence, Rhode Island, correspondent, documented how the kinds of jobs Americans long enjoyed – permanent positions with stability, bonuses, pensions, benefits and opportunities to move up – have become rarer, which is why many don’t feel much like beneficiaries of what’s now the longest economic expansion on record. Drawing on economic research, government data and interviews with workers, Smith sketched a picture of lagging wages, eroding benefits and demands that employees do more without more pay. Her reporting concluded that the loyalty and security many say they once felt from their employers have diminished, and with it a measure of their satisfaction. Smith’s story generated a wave of positive reaction, including from David Weil, dean of the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a former Obama Labor Department administrator who was quoted in Smith’s story. Weil tweeted: “Can we stop talking about the #futureofwork and focus on the challenges of the #presentofwork? This excellent article by Michelle Smith @AP lays out key issues.”

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