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The Pity-Charity Complex

"I say “you” deliberately here, because much of the writing about low-wage workers tends to obscure just that fact — that these stories could well be about you. Too much writing on the left and the right has tended to treat the people in some of the nation’s most common jobs as if they are some exotic Other rather than our neighbors, our family members and ourselves. " --Sarah Jaffe on the media's strange ways of talking about low-wage workers.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 20, 2014 - 40 comments

 

Some stats behind the doom and gloom

Amid a number of recent articles (previously, previously, and previously) about the state of doctoral study in the United States, the NSF has released an interactive report compiling statistical analysis of broad trends about who earns a doctorates, which fields are attracting students, influences to obtain a degree, payment for that degree, and trends after graduation. The report is also available as a .pdf, with further explanation of what these numbers generally indicate.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 23, 2014 - 15 comments

El Empleo / The Employment

El Empleo / The Employment by Santiago 'Bou' Grasso
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 3, 2013 - 5 comments

The Window Cleaner

James cleans windows for a living.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Nov 17, 2013 - 28 comments

Ban the Box, the Private Edition

Target Bans the Box. Target Corp., one of the nation's largest employers, joins the growing number of cities and states to Ban the Box. Most Ban the Box legislation has been targeted towards public employers and contractors, but there has been a growing trend to enact legislation applicable to private employers, including in Target's home-state Minnesota. Target is one of the few private employers to take the step, and as far as I can tell, the largest yet. [more inside]
posted by likeatoaster on Oct 29, 2013 - 73 comments

Maid training camp

"One of the most important aspects of the interview is to check the tidiness of the future help. Lam Ling checks the hands of a student." In a beautifully shot series, French photographer Gratiane de Moustier depicts the Indonesian women and Hong Kong employers who are linked together in global care chain, beginning at their training camp in Java to their final place of employment in the homes of Hong Kong families.
posted by spamandkimchi on Oct 26, 2013 - 3 comments

Employment Unlocked!

Zero Hours - For a workshop on future London, Arup, Social Life, Re.Work, Commonplace, Tim Maughan and Nesta created 10 Future Londoners for the year 2023. This one describes the working day of 19 year old Nicki, a zero hours retail contractor.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 19, 2013 - 21 comments

Sell Yourself!

The history of the most baffling element of the employment dance - The Cover Letter. (The Atlantic)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 11, 2013 - 132 comments

The Chasing Out Room

With mass layoffs still taboo in Japan, senior workers who refuse to resign are sent to "chasing-out rooms" instead of being allowed to work. (SL NYTimes)
posted by reenum on Sep 4, 2013 - 48 comments

"Your two o'clock appointment is here, and he's black."

Fifty years ago, another bus-centric race dispute took place. Despite "Just 12 miles away in Bath, black crews were working on buses. London Transport recruitment officers had travelled to Barbados specifically to invite workers to come to the capital" ...non-whites found it impossible to obtain employment working on buses in Bristol, England. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Aug 27, 2013 - 11 comments

Learning how to live

Why do we find free time so terrifying? Why is a dedication to work, no matter how physically destructive and ultimately pointless, considered a virtue?
posted by Anima Mundi on Aug 26, 2013 - 68 comments

Being loyal to a corporation is sick. It is genuine madness.

A corporation is not a living creature. It has no soul. It has no heart. It has no feelings. It can neither experience towards you nor enjoy from you even the concept of loyalty. It is a legal fiction, and it exists for one purpose only: to make profit. If you assist in this goal in the long term, your ongoing association with the organization is facilitated. If you detract from it consistently, you will be cut. Family is “where they have to take you in no matter what you’ve done.” A corporation is… well, it’s sort of the exact opposite of this.
Be loyal to yourself.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 20, 2013 - 88 comments

Goose, Gander, etc.

An editorial in the Nation recently argued in favour of higher wages for WalMart employees, many of whom make only the minimum wage. WalMart responded by pointing out that the Nation employs its interns at less than the minimum wage. The Nation replied that since interns are at the beginning of their careers, the situation is different.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 8, 2013 - 75 comments

Amazon’s practices are detrimental to the nation’s economy

President Obama visited an Amazon facility in Tennessee today giving a speech proposing a "grand bargain for middle-class jobs" that would cut the U.S. corporate tax rate and use billions of dollars in revenues generated by a business tax overhaul to fund projects aimed at creating jobs. The American Booksellers Association is not happy about the visit and called him out on it.
posted by dukes909 on Jul 30, 2013 - 233 comments

The Day Care Dilemma

"Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do — and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five — spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent. Most of them are in centers, although a sizable minority attend home day cares.... In other countries, such services are subsidized and well-regulated. In the United States, despite the fact that work and family life has changed profoundly in recent decades, we lack anything resembling an actual child care system. Excellent day cares are available, of course, if you have the money to pay for them and the luck to secure a spot. But the overall quality is wildly uneven and barely monitored, and at the lower end, it’s Dickensian."
posted by zarq on Apr 15, 2013 - 139 comments

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

There is a curious feeling of power you get when you drop a couple of twenties without a trace of critical thinking. "Here in the West, a lifestyle of unnecessary spending has been deliberately cultivated and nurtured in the public by big business." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Apr 14, 2013 - 57 comments

"The Real Truth About Blacks and Unemployment…"

Yolanda Spivey was unemployed for two years, but job offers only started coming in after she changed her race - and name - to White. She wrote about her experience; she's also been interviewed by The Current's Young Turk (video).
posted by jb on Apr 11, 2013 - 101 comments

Incommensurable values

Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 25, 2013 - 27 comments

Disposable Girls, Uninsured Laborers

“Never takes a vacation or holiday. Never asks for a raise. Never costs you a dime for slack time. (When the workload drops, you drop her.)" A brief history of temps. [more inside]
posted by psoas on Jan 28, 2013 - 50 comments

Japan

What's Going On In Japan? "Really Japan is quite a remarkable case, since neither fiscal nor monetary policy seems to be working to achieve the anticipated results. This year Japan will have a fiscal deficit of around 10% of GDP and gross government debt will hit 235% of GDP, yet the country is still struggling to find growth. Instead of reiterating old dogmas (whether they come from Keynes or from Hayek) more people should be asking themselves what is happening here. This is not a simple repetition of something which was first time tragedy and is now second time tragedy, it is something new, and could well be a harbinger for more that is to come, elsewhere. Oh, why oh why are economists not more curious?" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 27, 2012 - 82 comments

"Distribution is the core of the problem we face."

Trade-offs between inequality, productivity, and employment - "The poor do not employ one another, because the necessities they require are produced and sold so cheaply by the rich. The rich are glad to sell to the poor, as long as the poor can come up with property or debt claims or other forms of insurance to offer as payment..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2012 - 45 comments

The Juris Doctor is 'Versatile' Thanks Mainly to Numerous Logical Fallacies

Many people say that a law degree enables the holder to do virtually anything. Am Law Daily explores the logical fallacies behind this statement.
posted by reenum on Aug 16, 2012 - 55 comments

Making a living while working in the arts

Is it possible to make a living in the arts? Meet the double jobbers.
posted by PeterMcDermott on Jul 30, 2012 - 36 comments

Rebranding Diversity

Colorblind Racism Inside the U.S. Advertising Industry. A dissertation by Chris Boulton. [15:13 Vimeo] [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 25, 2012 - 14 comments

The law school scam as a cognitive bias

Discover Magazine posted a couple of blog entries about the law school scam as a cognitive bias and why law school tuition isn't more dispersed.
posted by reenum on Jul 6, 2012 - 52 comments

Posting from work

Let it Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace from Crooked Timber.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 2, 2012 - 184 comments

La Dolce Far Niente

I am not busy. I am the laziest ambitious person I know. Like most writers, I feel like a reprobate who does not deserve to live on any day that I do not write, but I also feel that four or five hours is enough to earn my stay on the planet for one more day. On the best ordinary days of my life, I write in the morning, go for a long bike ride and run errands in the afternoon, and in the evening I see friends, read or watch a movie. This, it seems to me, is a sane and pleasant pace for a day.
Tim Kreider: The ‘Busy’ Trap.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 1, 2012 - 107 comments

Her Majesty Requires a Help Desk Technician

The Royal Household is hiring. Apply online now! [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri on Jun 21, 2012 - 80 comments

Too many trainee positions in biomedical research

The U.S. National Institute of Heath has urged steps to curb growth in "training" positions in biomedical research (report). [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jun 16, 2012 - 39 comments

DEAR AMERICA: You Should Be Mad As Hell About This

DEAR AMERICA: You Should Be Mad As Hell About This. Here is a helpful series of excellent visual aids that shed light on the state of our current American socioeconomy.
posted by Vibrissae on Jun 7, 2012 - 76 comments

10 Faces Behind The Incredible Law School Underemployment Crisis

10 Faces Behind The Incredible Law School Underemployment Crisis
posted by reenum on Jun 1, 2012 - 32 comments

Perhaps that should read "enter the ranks of the unemployed"

A 29-year-old on the difficulties of landing a first job.
posted by onwords on May 17, 2012 - 217 comments

Data trove reveals scope of law schools' hiring of their own graduates

A report by the ABA shows that some law schools hire as many as 15% of new graduates in an effort to boost employment numbers.
posted by reenum on May 4, 2012 - 78 comments

Computer Science: Still have Byte? Or Down to Bits?

While growth prospects in the field are incredibly high, recent trends, such as "tools grow[ing] more advanced" (see Adobe Flash Builder or MS Visual Studio) have had people wondering over the past few years if computer science has much room for growth left. Some question whether it is alive. Others, such as Carnegie Mellon, say not so fast. In any case, employment has been a bit iffy (/.). There is the possibility that Computer Science is simply growing up (PDF), then again the U of Florida decided to say good bye to it this past week. But hey, if you are not going to that University, and still are shooting for computer science, here are some tips.
posted by JoeXIII007 on Apr 23, 2012 - 57 comments

Life on the Breadline

Welcome to the world of Britain's working poor. The Rowleys belong to a section of society not much mentioned in ministerial and media dispatches. They are neither the very wealthy affected by the 50p tax nor the "squeezed middle" expressing anxiety about child benefit and this week's budget; nor are the Rowleys representative of the long-term unemployed or one of the 120,000 "troubled families" in which the government is investing £448m over the next three years. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Mar 18, 2012 - 105 comments

Don't take it personally

"I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave: My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine"
posted by vidur on Feb 27, 2012 - 242 comments

Take Your Parent To Work Day

"Four percent of respondents reported that a parent actually showed up for the candidate's job interview"
posted by freshwater on Feb 9, 2012 - 131 comments

A serial intern in the finance sector speaks.

A serial intern in the finance sector speaks: "Applying for internships is so tiresome and bruising. It's like dating, you sit by the phone waiting for a call. Back in my days at university I would get up at 5.30am or 6am. First I'd go jogging, then send out an application for an internship. Every morning. It's so painful to hear 'no' all the time."
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 27, 2012 - 86 comments

What're the profit margins on a Trojan Horse?

A Swarthmore College student-reporter's questioning of whether it is moral to go into banking sparks NYT columnist Nick Kristof to not only assert the affirmative, but to argue (in part) that in fact more well-educated, liberally-mined people should go into "conservative" industries like banking in order to reform it from the inside. In effect, Kristof suggests, socialist-leaning, educationally-empowered students should hunker down, swallow their disdain, and apply their ideals to change finance. Said student responds (in Slate): elite, ostensibly liberal-leaning students don't seem to be particularly discouraged from capitalism or going into banking in this climate, and probably never have been.
posted by Keter on Jan 24, 2012 - 49 comments

Jobs For Slobs!

The debate about whether young people should expect to 'intern' or work for free - and what this means in terms of who* gets into these industries - has been raging for years, but for unemployed people in Britain, this kind of labour no longer just means trying to enter into competitive or media-driven industries. An unemployed graduate, having been sent to work for Poundland without needing the experience nor being offered the job, is seeking a judicial review against the regulations that require many receiving unemployment benefit to work, unpaid, for large corporations. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Jan 16, 2012 - 66 comments

Washington's Blog on Unemployment

Today I am sharing with you an article arguing that unemployment rates during the Great Depression were overstated, that current unemployment rates are understated and that the two sets of data considered in combination indicate that we are are firmly in Depression-era levels of unemployment.
posted by jason's_planet on Nov 12, 2011 - 78 comments

Getting a job in 2011 America - fun times! *sarcasm*

Why Companies Can't Find the Employees They Need
posted by Anima Mundi on Oct 25, 2011 - 139 comments

Mickey Mouse Job

The Ropes at Disney's - 1943 Employee Handbook. The good old days when women got twice as much sick leave, the Penthouse club was accessible by "men only! - sorry gals...", and a violation of the U.S. Espionage Act could get you fired.
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 26, 2011 - 52 comments

What You Don't Get About The Job Search

The Atlantic collects responses from readers on both sides of the current employment market:
part 1 - the unemployed
part 2 - the employers
part 3 - the jobless

posted by casarkos on Aug 23, 2011 - 119 comments

smaller companies are using robots

Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend - "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 20, 2011 - 52 comments

Bad Education

The Higher Education (Debt) Bubble - "[H]igh and increasing college costs mean students need to take out more loans, more loans mean more securities lenders can package and sell, more selling means lenders can offer more loans with the capital they raise, which means colleges can continue to raise costs. The result is over $800 billion in outstanding student debt, over 30 percent of it securitized, and the federal government directly or indirectly on the hook for almost all of it. If this sounds familiar, it probably should... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 17, 2011 - 185 comments

The German Model & Works Councils

Wondering at the route US vs. German unemployment has taken, I found some clues here and there, but the overriding factor seems to be the German model[1] and works councils.[2] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 27, 2010 - 34 comments

Please Fire Me

Anonymously submit why you hate the job you can't leave. [more inside]
posted by gman on Dec 3, 2010 - 51 comments

Going Dutch

Going Dutch Considerations of gender (in)equality in the Dutch workplace. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 16, 2010 - 43 comments

The shredding secretary and the unrepentant embezzler

In the wake of high-profile "take this job and shove it" reenactors Steven Slater and Jenny Fictional, New York magazine sought out some other amusing walkouts.
posted by GrammarMoses on Aug 11, 2010 - 29 comments

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