The trend for part-time work sweeping the world: Part-time work dominating jobs in the United States, Canada, and Japan

Wal-Mart - Photo by Ben Schumin

The employment statistics do a good job concealing the true nature of the workforce. The unemployment rate has dropped dramatically since the recession ended largely because millions of Americans are now no longer considered part of the workforce. This is an easy way to boost the employment rate without actually creating new jobs. Another trend that seems to be growing around the world is that of part-time work. Part-time work and low wage labor go hand and hand. Part-time workers usually are not afforded the same benefits as those working full-time. They are also brought on with a just in time attitude and are treated as such when no longer needed. Part-time work has been growing before the recession and continues to do so today. In Canada, part-time work has been the dominant sector of employment growth. Low wage labor and part-time work go together like peas in a pod. Is this a trend we should be concerned about?

The growth of part-time work

Companies looking to cut benefits and offer little commitment to future workers will opt to go the part-time route. It is embedded in the nature of low wage labor. This is one major reason how companies have been able to boost profits while filtering profits to the top: slash wages, cut benefits, and squeeze productivity out of workers. It is a good model at the top and simply does not foster a middle class. Why would anyone struggling with part-time work want to commit to buying a home? Long-term purchases are pushed off into the future and big money has stepped in to make those purchases since they have access to funding sources like the Fed with an unlimited window.

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1 thought on “The trend for part-time work sweeping the world: Part-time work dominating jobs in the United States, Canada, and Japan”

  1. In the 1950-1970s negotiations with Unions throughout the United States an emphasis was put on benefits vs. wages. This trend was a compromise. It kept wages at a reasonable level while shifting the negotiation to benefits packages.
    The average person today does not have a Union to negotiate anything. Reagan started this when he busted the Airport Controllers Union. Republicans appear to be totally anti-labor in their policies.
    So by keeping non-union competing workers from doing a me-too with jobs, they often work less than full time. That has been the result of blatent anti-union behavior by the “Christian” party of the Republicans. They appear to be in bed with the Corporations of this country that have moved most of the work overseas.
    If the Democrats were not even worst, they would not be loosing power in the next election.
    Neither party is addressing the real facts of the unemployment issue. It points too many fingers at both parties.
    Without that negotiation power, the average middle class person has no rights in the work place. And that is what has unbalanced things to the point where even the Corporations are beginning to see how it is leading to the biggest breakdown economically since the 30s.

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