Thursday, January 24, 2013

No Unions, No Representation, Fewer Full Time Jobs with Benefits: Welcome to the 21st Century


Share of the Work Force in a Union Falls to a 97-Year Low, 11.3% Steven Greenhouse New York Times Jan 23, 2013

[Excerpted] The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the total number of union members fell by 400,000 last year, to 14.3 million, even though the nation’s overall employment rose by 2.4 million. The percentage of workers in unions fell to 11.3 percent, down from 11.8 percent in 2011, the bureau found in its annual report on union membership. That brought unionization to its lowest level since 1916, when it was 11.2 percent, according to a study by two Rutgers economists, Leo Troy and Neil Sheflin. [end excerpt]

A Part-Time, Low-Wage Epidemic: The jobs gained recently by the U.S. economy are disproportionately low-paying, insecure ones. By Mortimer Zuckerman. The Wall Street Journal November 5, 2012   

[Excerpted] The number of Americans now working part time has soared to 8.3 million—up 313,000 in the past two months alone. With economic growth declining or stagnant for quarter after quarter, many companies feel it is too risky to take on people full time.

This has created an army of "underutilized labor." America's narrow unemployment rate is 7.9%, but it is 14.6% when accounting for involuntary part-time workers. The number of Americans working full time has declined by 5.9 million since September 2007, while the number working part time has jumped by 2.6 million....
By contrast, mid-wage occupations were 60% of recession losses but have been only 22% of recovery growth. Higher-wage occupations were 19% of jobs lost and have been 20% of jobs recovered.... [end excerpt]

Jargon, J., Radnofsky, L., & Berzon A. (2012, November 5) Health Law Spurs Shift in Hours. The Wall Street Journal, B1, B2.  

[Excerpted] Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul's requirement that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee..."   

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