LINCOLN, Neb. — Roberto Rodriguez works at a meat-packing company in Nebraska’s capital. For years, most of his colleagues were fellow Mexicans and Central Americans. These days, the men standing by his side increasingly are Middle Easterners.“We communicate through hand signals,” said Rodriguez, who came here from his native state of Zacatecas. “Working with Arabs is something I never thought I’d be doing. I thought the pipeline of Mexicans was forever.”Several times a day, his Muslim colleagues pause to pray. He finds the breaks a bit odd, even annoying, but he’s willing to cut his co-workers some slack.“I think we Mexicans pray all the time too, especially when you work in the meat industry,” he said as he made the sign of the cross. “I try to be as welcoming as possible because I think we understand rejection.”In Lincoln, the face of immigrant labor is changing. Workers are harder to come by, and immigrant … [Read more...] about Even as Trump tightens immigration, the U.S. labor shortage is becoming a crisis
Retirement age u s
MORGANTOWN — Mark Cappellini grinned when he saw the festooned mail truck. “Is today it?” he asked. “Are you really doing it, this time?” “Sure am,” Patty Cress said. “I’ve got the signs to prove it.” One of her granddaughters hand-lettered the signs, which were affixed to the U.S. Postal Service vehicle. “Finally, my retirement has been delivered,” read the one in front. “Patty’s Farewell Tour,” announced the other from the back. “Well, you know we’re gonna miss you,” Brenda Cappellini said. The husband and wife are on Cress’ mail route in the Suncrest area. Cress has run the route for more than 20 years. The Cappellinis have lived on the route for more than 20 years. “She watched our kids grow up,” Brenda Cappellini said. “She’s seen our cars when they had dents in the fenders after our kids started learning how to drive.” “Yeah, and … [Read more...] about Patricia Cress retires from U.S. Postal Service
Kermit Klatt settled into a weathered green recliner one Friday and prepared to hibernate. The 81-year-old sat still and stiff on this late March day, at peace with the world and whatever might pop up on TV for the next six hours. "I probably won't move until 7 p.m.," Klatt said around 12:30 p.m. that day in his western Jefferson City home. "I've got to save up my energy for 1 p.m." That was when the full-time employee would report for work in the plumbing department at Lowe's home improvement store. These days, millions of people work past retirement age as health care costs rise and some struggle to save for retirement. Many, like Klatt, work for economic reasons. Others work to give back to their communities and to avoid slowing down. Klatt's duties at Lowe's include selling water heaters, water softeners and kitchen faucets. At work, he replaces the walker he uses to get around his home with a silver shopping cart. Customers and associates know him for the way he smiles and … [Read more...] about Health care costs, desire to keep active cited as reasons for working past retirement age
Last Updated Jun 14, 2011 5:51 PM EDT One proposal for cutting the federal deficit that has received support from Republicans and Democrats alike is raising the retirement age. Sen. Richard Shelby, R.-Ala., even favors periodically increasing it "every few years." Labor economist Teresa Ghilarducci argues persuasively that this is a terrible idea:Raising retirement ages is not a good policy and support for it is based on two wrong assumptions: one, that people can and should work longer and, that two, society cannot afford to pay for retirement because pensions and health care spending for the elderly take too many resources away from younger people. She also makes this vital point in rebutting the blithe assertion that, with people living longer, it's only natural that people put off retirement: Shrinking pensions and patchy health care coverage is already forcing people to retire later. Research suggests that employees who earned between $31,200 and $72,500 will have to work to age … [Read more...] about Why Raising the Retirement Age Is a Lousy Idea
America lags behind more than a dozen and a half countries when it comes to ensuring Americans a financially comfortable retirement. The U.S. ranks No. 19 in a new global ranking for retirement security by Natixis Global Asset Management, which is based in Paris and Boston. The money management firm noted that while the U.S. has held the 19th spot on the list for its third consecutive year, the country's position is "fragile" given some negative trends. Those include widening income inequality, a rapidly aging population, and a shift toward a retirement system that requires workers to become their own chief investment officers through self-directed 401(k)s and IRAs, rather than the traditional pension-based system. On top of that, the U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, yet medical care doesn't reach all citizens thanks to the large gap in earnings between the top and the poorest. "We're seeing that individuals will have to shoulder more of the financial burden … [Read more...] about Where does the U.S. rank when it comes to retirement security?