Friday, July 06, 2007

Everyone is a temp now

Chicago Tribune: Layoff fears part of 'new normal' via Mish

Unemployment is lower for better-educated workers than for other workers, in good times as well as bad, federal data show. But college-educated workers lose jobs more often now than they did 20 years ago.

"It appears that there has been an upsurge in job-loss rates for more-educated workers in the early and mid-1990s and again in the new century," writes a leading job-loss researcher, Princeton University's Henry S. Farber. "Job-loss rates for other educational groups show a cyclical pattern but no upward trend."

Income loss is greater too. The average earnings decline including lost raises was 21 percent for workers forced to find new full-time jobs between 2001 and 2003, four times the mid-1990s rate, Farber found.

Ray Ercoli heads a career ministry at Barrington's Willow Creek Community Church. He added volunteers and services in 2001 to help unemployed high-tech workers, but people kept coming after the economy recovered.

"The need we see now are older workers losing their jobs after being employed 15 to 20 years, usually at one company," he says. Some have that "deer-in-the-headlights look. They're not sure they're going to be able to land another job."

The article is pretty disturbing. Frequent unexpected Job loss has been the scourge of the working class for years, now everyone seems to part of this story. Businesses are becoming less and less inhibited about purging older workers and engaging in continual churn to keep wages low. This is happening while more and more of the risks in health care and retirement are being fobbed off on workers.

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