Tags: full-time | part-time | jobs | manufacturing

WaPo's Meyerson: 'The American Economy Is Eroding the American Job'

By    |   Friday, 12 July 2013 08:11 AM EDT

The full-time American job may be following the dodo into extinction, says Washington Post Op-Ed columnist Harold Meyerson.

Just look at the latest jobs report. The U.S. economy created 195,000 new jobs in June, but the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 322,000 to 8.2 million in June.

These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Some charge that Obamacare is discouraging full-time job creation by requiring large companies to provide employees health insurance if they work 30 or more hours a week.

Editor's Note:
The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

While anecdotal evidence indicates that some employers are cutting hours to avoid the requirement, which was recently postponed until 2015, the decline of workers' hours and rise of low-age work is due to structural changes in the American economy — a shift from manufacturing to services, Meyerson explains.

Hotels, restaurants and bars accounted for 75,000 of the new jobs in June. Workers in that sector average 26.1 hours a week. Those numbers have been about the same over the past 12 months, despite the approaching Obamacare mandate.

The Labor Department reported 37,000 new retail jobs. Those workers average 31.3 hours a week. Meanwhile, 6,000 full-time manufacturing jobs disappeared.

The new jobs pay much less than the jobs lost: $19.26 on average for manufacturing workers versus $13.96 for retail and $11.75 for hotel and restaurant.

Workers would have more hours if the unemployment rate was lower, but that's just part of the reason, according to Meyerson. The decline in workers’ hours has been going on for decades.

In 1966, the American worker put in an average of 38.7 hours a week, compared with 34.5 hours now.

"Left to its own devices, the American economy is eroding the American job," Meyerson writes. "Hours decline, dragging take-home pay down with them."

Another structural change is the shift to temporary staffing agencies, according to Meyerson. Of all new jobs created last month, 10,000 came through temp agencies. Temp agencies allow companies to skirt responsibility for working conditions, avoid paying benefits and limits legal liability for undocumented or injured workers.

More companies constantly change workers' shifts meet their flow of customers, The Portland Phoenix reports.

A City University of New York study found that only 10 percent of part-time workers have a set schedule from week to week, which makes working a second job more difficult.

Receiving little training and education, part-time workers build few marketable skills and may find themselves stuck in dead-end part-time work, according to The Phoenix.

Editor's Note: The ‘Unthinkable’ Could Happen — Wall Street Journal. Prepare for Meltdown

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Economy
The full-time American job may be following the dodo into extinction, says Washington Post Op-Ed columnist Harold Meyerson.
full-time,part-time,jobs,manufacturing
464
2013-11-12
Friday, 12 July 2013 08:11 AM
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