Friday, 12 April 2013

The Temporary Work Revolution: The Shift from Jobs that Solve Poverty to Jobs that Make Poverty

an article by David G. Van Arsdale (no affiliation(s) provided) published in WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor & Society Volume 16 Issue 1 (March 2013)


The creation of new jobs will not fix the problem of growing poverty in this era, now at record highs according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Today, nearly half of all jobs created are the source of poverty, the consequence of a shift to temporary employment standards, a trend beginning in the early 1970s and growing exponentially since the 2008 recession. In the immediate years following the recession, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 90 percent of all work created was temporary, increasing the scope, revenue, and capital investments in the U.S. staffing industry.

Numerous studies have shown the jobs of this industry to be insecure by design and primarily low-wage (Dietz ; Theodore and Peck ; Van Arsdale ). This article explains just how significant the shift to temporary work has been and why temporary staffing, a form of outsourcing labour by the staffing industry, is producing poverty for millions and stagnating wages for everyone, especially in this post-recession reconstruction.

The temporary work revolution marks a radical shift away from the post-World War II logic that dedication to a job can and should solve poverty.

Today, unfortunately, for most workers in the U.S., dedication to one’s job cannot resolve one’s economic woes. Most new jobs are simply too temporary, part-time, and low paying.

Hazel’s comment:
OK, this is all about the USA but …

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