Robert Reich has posted The Big Story On Jobs.
The big story on jobs (hardly mentioned in today’s job report for June) is America is in the midst of a massive shift to part-time work. Part-time jobs accounted for 2/3 of all new jobs in June. Most people don’t want part-time work; they need a full-time job. But corporations are shifting to part-time work because it allows them to (1) avoid paying overtime, (2) avoid paying health insurance (evidence suggests Obamacare’s employer mandate, although delayed, is adding to the part-time shift), (3) more cheaply respond to ups and downs in customer demand, and (4) keep workers obedient and docile (and punish anyone trying to unionize) because workers need whatever hours they can get. So when you hear that the U.S. economy is creating lots of new jobs (288,000 jobs in June), be skeptical. Most are part-time.
I have read that others are wondering how the job numbers can be so good and yet people’s experience working and finding work can be so bad. I think Robert Reich has the answer to that question.
When the kinds of work weren’t shifting so rapidly, it used to be enough to just quote the number of jobs created. In this context kinds of work refers to full-time/part-time and level of pay and benefits, not the type of work a person does on the job. Now that we are undergoing such a shift, it won’t be enough to just quote numbers.