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Temporary Labor and the working class

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:17 am
by callmeslick
One thing I noticed, towards the end of my working career was the rise in the US of the temporary or contract position in the labor market. More and more jobs, even professional ones, got filled via temp contracts, which don't run more than a year or so, don't pay real benefits much of the time and force the workers onto a constant cycle of searching for jobs, working and searching again. Apparently, Europe has a leg up on us in this and this article evaluates some examples:http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersa ... bfcN&pfr=1


Now what I am going to posit is that this pheonomenon is one of many factors slowly destroying the concept of a middle class. When the professionals, generally the upper middle class via the old economic norms, are now in a struggle for survival, the separation of workers from investors is nearly complete. Thoughts? Suggestions on what approach should be taken by societies to deal with this, or is it just fine with everyone that the idea of a 30 year career for a competent professional affiliated with one employer with full vested benefits might no longer exist?

Re: Temporary Labor and the working class

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:22 pm
by Reservoir_Dog
You don't see a lot of this particular trend up here in the Utopian Paradise of Canada. It does exist, but it's hardly a middle class destroying machine. As a matter of fact, I know a fair number of people who have been hired on full time after completing a temporary contract. My brother in-law included, who is an engineer at the Bruce nuclear power plant.
The preferred method up here seems to be the "buy-out". Companies will offer an employee with years of service a "buy-out" or a "package". This is usually X number of dollars for each year served. Once that employee is gone the employer will bring up a lower level employee at 2/3 the wage. Everybody makes out. The lifer gets a nice package, some young kid gets a nice promotion, and the company [in the end] saves money.

Re: Temporary Labor and the working class

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:53 pm
by callmeslick
That latter thing was exactly how I retired. 30 years in, 2 weeks pay per. And, my employer has not joined the trend of hiring temps for stuff past customer service, being a cutting edge medical laboratory. Also, the old method of hiring temps was just as you suggested. 6 months and yay or nay on permanent employment. However, over the past, say, 5 years, I am seeing close to 60% of all Professional hiring being done on contract basis through big recruiting firms. 6-12 month gigs, no real benefits, back on the treadmill. Clearly heading to the reality described in that article about Euro professionals, and more than a little discouraging. Good to hear you are further behind us, but, do you see a reason that Canadian businesses won't follow suit?

Re: Temporary Labor and the working class

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:39 pm
by Reservoir_Dog
callmeslick wrote:
Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:53 pm
Good to hear you are further behind us, but, do you see a reason that Canadian businesses won't follow suit?
An aging population would be the first metric that comes to mind. For the first time in Canadian history there are more Canadians over 60 years old than there are Canadians under 15 years old. Canadians are dying faster than Canadians are being born. Canadian companies will need to find people ... and then keep them. This will mean huge employment opportunities for Canada's young people.
It's also a contributing factor to why Canada embraces immigration so openly.

Re: Temporary Labor and the working class

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:54 pm
by callmeslick
oddly, the same factors SHOULD be in play here.

Re: Temporary Labor and the working class

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:08 pm
by callmeslick
this is a nice overview, although outdated by nearly two years, from Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofel ... f4dfa62532